Nowadays, videoconferencing has long ceased to be an attribute and prerogative of big business and big politics. Its use is already widely practiced in medicine, education, science, military affairs, and even in courts.
If you believe the research of psychologists, the perception of information during personal communication reaches eighty percent, during a telephone conversation only twenty, and if the communication takes place via video, then as many as sixty. That is, videoconferencing is almost very close to a face-to-face conversation in terms of perception.
Therefore, let’s discuss the video conferencing software and everything that one needs to organize online events properly.
How to start choosing equipment for videoconferencing?
First of all, it is necessary to answer a number of questions:
- Who are you planning to videoconference with? Within your company or with someone outside of it?
- How reliable is your network? Will it withstand the load of video and audio streams? What will this result in financial terms?
- How many participants will be using the video conferencing equipment?
- What kind of information will be transmitted? Will I need to transfer any files and documents during the video call?
- How suitable is your room for online conferencing? Is there enough space, light, and comfort for participants?
- What budget are you willing to allocate for the equipment?
- Do you have enough qualified personnel to support the system?
Based on the answers to these questions, you will understand what is the best equipment for video conferencing in your case.
Hardware conference system
This is a system in which all algorithms for transmitting signals between participants are implemented exclusively at the hardware level. They appeared in the second half of the last century, even before the era of the Internet. They consist of a codec and tools for displaying, capturing, and playing sound which are divided into personal and universal groups.
Personal videoconferencing hardware systems
They consist of a videophone with a small display and are usually used by one person such as a leader in his office.
Universal hardware group systems
These tools are used in large rooms for multipoint video communication sessions. A distinctive feature is the presence of a telepresence system, multiple screens, as well as cameras, and close integration with the audio devices.
On the one hand, these options differ in high quality video communication, the presence of many additional functions, and almost uninterrupted reliable operation. On the other hand, all these benefits translate into a very significant drawback. All these solutions are very expensive both in installation and in subsequent maintenance.
It is quite possible that in addition to it, highly qualified personnel will have to be hired. Moreover, these systems are very inconvenient in terms of updating and changing the configuration, since each manufacturer prefers to use their own video conferencing device that is incompatible with competitors’ counterparts.
Tools of this type are increasingly replacing hardware codecs, as the scope of their use has spread everywhere, from home options to numerous offices of multinational companies. It is also important that with the quality of video communication comparable to hardware solutions, it costs several times cheaper.
One of the simplest solutions in this category consists of a personal computer, appropriate software, and absolutely any webcam and microphone. That is, if necessary, you can change the configuration literally on the fly.
In more complex solutions a few subsystems are already included. In the case of technological TV subsystems, there are video cameras or a subsystem for displaying information that can be presented from a large diagonal display to an LCD panel.
Practical recommendations based on the size of the group involved
When you are searching for the proper devices do not forget to think about the number of people involved in the event.
For a group of up to four people
In this case, the set consisting of a pro-level web camera and microphone, with a capture radius of up to one and a half meters will be enough.
When you host up to eight people
As the number of participants grows, then you will already need a camera and microphone for the older models. The camcorder already needs features such as PTZ, wide-angle, and optical zoom. The speakerphone should be chosen with a capture radius of at least two and a half meters.
Ten or more people
For big groups, you can no longer do without several microphones, or even congress communication systems, which are united together. For a video part of the event, it is better to utilize a FullHD PTZ camera with the ability to quickly move to one of several previously saved positions.
Instead of a conclusion, let’s add a few tips on the design of the room and the appearance of those who are taking part in the online event.
Imagine that the choice of equipment for videoconferencing is completed. Then, let us go to the conference room:
- The size of the room should be such that there are at least four screen diagonals from the video display to the person closest to it.
- No moving objects, such as curtains, are allowed in the background.
- In no case should there be an entrance door in the frame, so that employees entering and exiting do not draw attention to themselves.
- Check the light and temperature in the room and whether there is everything needed near the working places.
In addition, think beforehand about some problems that may appear in the process and who will help to solve them. The qualified technical support must be always in touch and ready to answer your questions or fix the problem instantly.
If you need to equip a meeting room and a conference room, then contact the professionals who will explain to you the types and functions of the existing software and devices in greater detail. Then you will be able to make a choice according to your needs.