Learning Guide

Videoconferencing tutorial

Videoconferencing is becoming the most in-demand application of the new information age. Better, lower-cost technology, green IT initiatives and high travel costs have contributed to the rise of videoconferencing as a collaborative solution.

This comprehensive tutorial details the ins and outs of videoconferencing, from basic architecture to advanced management and security solutions.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
  

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Videoconferencing basics
   Videoconferencing implementation and management
   Telepresence
   Videoconferencing in the enterprise

  Videoconferencing basics Return to Table of Contents

The growth of videoconferencing is explosive, making the technology more and more essential in inter-business as well as intra-business communications. Companies have invested huge sums in computer and networking technology and now are focused on getting even better returns from that huge outlay with applications that can bring real business benefits. Videoconferencing is the next "killer app."

Even if your firm has evaluated videoconferencing in the past, the enormous changes in the technology in just the last year more than justify reconsidering. Companies around the world are quickly realizing that videoconferencing is not just a less expensive communication method, it is actually a better one -- a method destined to change the face of business in the years to come.

  • Videoconference
    DEFINITION - A videoconference is a live connection between people in separate locations for the purpose of communication, usually involving audio and often text as well as video. At its simplest, videoconferencing provides transmission of static images and text between two locations. At its most sophisticated, it provides transmission of full-motion video images and high-quality audio between multiple locations.

  • Four factors driving videoconferencing
    Videoconferencing has undergone significant changes, making it a valuable and easy-to-use collaboration tool. Learn how videoconferencing can benefit your enterprise and what's in store for the collaboration market.

  • With videoconferencing, the more users the merrier
    Some high-definition videoconferencing technologies are extremely expensive. Cheaper video solutions sacrifice quality but allow more people to collaborate.

  • Microsoft demonstrates RoundTable videoconferencing device
    Microsoft's Brandon Taylor demonstrated the company's RoundTable videoconferencing device for SearchUnifiedCommunications.com during VoiceCon Orlando 2008. Watch the demo video and learn more about the RoundTable system.

  • Mobile video conferencing and interactive multimedia
    This chapter excerpt provides an understanding of mobile video conferencing technology, standards and applications.

  • Voice and Video Conferencing Fundamentals
    As audio and video conferencing move rapidly into the mainstream, customers and end users are demanding unprecedented performance, reliability, scalability, and security. In Voice and Video Conferencing Fundamentals, three leading experts systematically introduce the principles, technologies, and protocols underlying today's state-of-the-art conferencing systems.

  • Wainhouse Research
    Wainhouse Research covers the unified communications market and offers several free white papers and briefs, mostly on video and web conferencing.

  Videoconferencing implementation and management Return to Table of Contents

A VoIP manager needs to know about video's effect on QoS and potential integration with VoIP. First, QoS Video traffic does need prioritization and protection against data traffic, and when you have both voice and video traffic, it can be challenging to figure out how much bandwidth to size your queues for. You'll want to make sure you have your Call Admission Control worked out before you deploy. Second, if you have both VoIP and videoconferencing, there's a good chance some of your users will want the videophones and the ability to have voice-only participants in your videoconferences, where the voice participants are using VoIP in your network.

  Telepresence Return to Table of Contents

Telepresence is a combination of very high quality audio and videoconferencing technology integrated with management services and especially designed physical environments to create a simulation of in-person meetings. In high-end installations, users can book a telepresence meeting in Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes. Then they can walk into a telepresence room at the appointed time, and the meeting will be up and running without any need to dial in or turn on cameras.

  • Telepresence
    DEFINITION - Telepresence is a sophisticated form of robotic remote control in which a human operator has a sense of being on location so that the experience resembles virtual reality (VR). Control and feedback are done by telemetry over wires, optical fibers, wireless links, or the Internet.

  • Telepresence industry to pass $1 billion in 2013
    Frost & Sullivan predicts that the nascent telepresence industry will reach $1.4 billion by 2013.

  • A vision of the future with TelePresence
    At VoiceCon 2008, thousands saw the power of Cisco's TelePresence and saw former vice president Al Gore endorse the technology as a key tool in reducing carbon emissions.

  • Cisco's TelePresence is as good as being there
    Cisco's TelePresence is not just a more expensive version of videoconferencing. Experiencing Cisco's TelePresence live is an experience totally unlike anything videoconferencing has delivered before.

  • Is TelePresence right for your enterprise? - Expert Podcast
    Mark Cortner, a senior analyst with the Burton Group, discusses how Cisco's TelePresence fits in to the enterprise.

  Videoconferencing in the enterprise Return to Table of Contents

Enhanced productivity and reduced time-to-market are the main reasons companies give for installing video conferencing. Being able to meet spontaneously face-to-face not only allows people at different locations to get more done faster, it also improves camaraderie, communication and employee morale.

Arriving at quick decisions based only on audio or e-mail communications is often difficult. Many people don't communicate well verbally or in writing. They always feel more comfortable seeing each other face-to-face – judging expressions, body language and millions of tiny non-verbal cues. The new video conferencing technology has such excellent definition, picture and sound quality, plus data-sharing capability that people feel like they've gotten the whole story.

  • Telepresence room
    DEFINITION - A telepresence room is a conference space dedicated to high-end videoconferencing. The goal of telepresence technology is to replicate face-to-face communication virtually, thereby eliminating the cost and time of long distance travel. Telepresence rooms improve on the traditional videoconferencing experience by using multiple high definition cameras with eye-tracking features and directional microphones.

  • 10 ways to determine if video conferencing can up your productivity and reduce your costs
    Videoconferencing technologies are the most in-demand applications of the information age. Learn how it can help you boost productivity and reduce costs.

  • Siemens OpenScape offers tight integration of voice, video and messaging
    With its OpenScape Unified Communications Server, Siemens moves further into the software-based communications market with a tightly integrated voice, video and messaging product.

  • Videoconferencing tool gives Uno an edge
    Videoconferencing has given Pizzeria Uno the ability to bring together more than 200 people and has enabled more efficient and cost-effective communication.

  • VLAN setup for mobile videoconference equipment
    Ideally, in order to create a special VLAN for mobile videoconferencing equipment, you would need to follow a lengthy process that involves high administrative overhead. Learn if this solution is right for your enterprise.

This was first published in May 2008

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