Video Conferencing Reviews

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: April 29, 2011

Video conferencing can be quite useful for small and mid-size businesses. The service allows people to see each other during conference calls and make visual presentations across large distances. There are a wide range of video conferencing solutions on the market, though, which can make selecting one a complicated task.

Starting the Video Conferencing Review Process

There are four main possibilities:

PC-Based – This generally works best for individuals, and probably won’t work unless your office is very small.

Rollabout – A rollabout system can handle between three and fifteen people at once, and has most of the features a studio-based system. It’s called a rollabout since it’s mounted on a trolley and moved around the office.

Installed – An installed video conferencing system can support around five to thirty people at the same time. The visual quality tends to be very good, but they’re also a bit more expensive than other systems.

Portable – This can only host about eight people at once, though it has the benefit of portability. Your employees can travel around the world and still take part in a video conference.

The next step of the video conferencing review process is to visit technology websites in order to gather information on available products. Many of them have detailed reviews of video conferencing systems that describe visual and audio quality, dependability of service, and ease of use. You will also want to visit the manufacturer’s web pages in order to get a better look at their merchandise.

Video Conference Factors to Consider:

Do you need to connect to static locations or changing locations?

If most of your calls are going to be the same location, you might want to choose a video conferencing system that specializes in providing that service. If you’re going to be video conferencing with employees who are constantly on the move, though, make sure to choose a system that supports that capability.

What special features do you want to have?

Not all video conferencing solutions offer the same features. Some provide a poll feature where the host can ask a question that the attendees can then answer. Others have voice-active switching, recording services, or a video help desk. You’ll want to review the different functions and make sure the system provides the ones you need.

Are you able to share data without significantly increasing the bandwidth?

Some video conferencing solutions have a fair amount of difficulty with data transfers during a conference call. This can lower the visual quality and make the experience less than satisfactory. If you’re going to need to upload files during your presentations, make sure the system can properly handle it.

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