Must Have Video Conferencing Features

By Jelani Harper
Updated: February 17, 2011

There are several standard features that accompany most video conferencing products, which allow people to interactively exchange audio, video, and file sharing information, simultaneously, while being in separate locations. The following features are some of the more non-traditional options which can prove to be just as valuable as the standard features.

User Data Protocol (UDP) Multicast

UDP allows users to transmit audio, video and file-sharing data among each other without going through a video conferencing server. Usually, all data is transferred through the server and its network, which (depending on the amount of information transmitted and on the number of locations it is directed to) may create a strain on these components. UDP multicast circumvents this issue by allowing a direct transmission between users without going through the server.

Multipoint Conferences

Multipoint Conferences are extremely useful since, depending on the particular videoconferencing product selected, they can connect roughly16 different locations at once. Participants are able to see and hear each other, as well as work on documents and data. The individual windows for each person’s location may be enlarged or minimized depending on personal preference.

User Privileges

User Privileges enable users to be separated into different groups which can be given privileges distinct from one another. This application is useful for restricting access to information, as well as for creating video calls and multipoint conferences.

Video Lecturing

Video Lecturing is similar to the multipoint conference feature in that it allows roughly 16 locations to be connected. However, the lecturing feature allows one speaker’s transmission to be received by all the other participants, while that speaker can in turn see and hear the others. This feature is ideal for educational purposes, as it does not permit conference members to be distracted by each other.

Virtual Meeting

Virtual Meeting is a feature particularly useful for larger companies. Depending on the videoconference product selected, as many as 100 users can be connected at once. This feature typically allows about three speakers, whom the rest of the users can see and hear.

Whiteboard

Whiteboard features allow videoconferencing participants the tools to transmit graphic and textual data in a separate window, so that all conference members can see them. Virtually any type of electronic diagram, including slide shows, design models, and illustrations can be utilized.

Desktop Sharing

Desktop Sharing permits conference participants to demonstrate the contents of their desktops to one another in real time. Conference members can see each others’ work without utilizing additional hardware, which is extremely useful for solving computer problems or for giving examples. File transfer or any other additional preparation is not required.

Recording

Recording is a valuable feature that enables one to preserve the audio and video data of a particular conference member, to be shown at a later time.

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