How Does Business Class Video Conferencing Work?

By Sheila Shanker
Updated: April 08, 2011

Video conferencing is not a new technology. It’s been around for a while, but only recently quality has improved, while costs have gone down. Video conferencing is a good option for reluctant business travelers. Nowadays, travel is expensive and tiresome. Many executives would pay not to go to an airport and be subjected to delays, x-ray machines, pat-downs and other joys of traveling. No wonder business class video conferencing is so popular. According to the Infonetics Research report as of March 2011,

Annual enterprise video conferencing and telepresence system grew 18% in 2010 to $2.2 billion worldwide.

The report from this well-known market research firm indicates that enterprise video conferencing and telepresence will more than double by 2015. Video conferencing works and technology is making it reliable, easy-to-use and affordable for many businesses.

How the system works

The idea is for a videoconferencing system to compress audio and video streams in real time. The compression can be done with a software or hardware, called a “codec,” which stands for coder/decoder. Voice and audio can be compressed up to 1:500, creating a digital stream of labeled packets that are transmitted in a digital network such as ISDN or IP (Internet Protocol). If you use modems, you will be able to convert the digital data into analog waves and utilize POTS, the Plain Old Telephone System. In the early 1990s, the utilization of IP technology gave videoconferencing business-class quality.

What you need

On a videoconferencing setup you need a video input, such as a camera or webcam. You also need video outputs – computer monitor, projector or TV screens. HD quality of communication is the standard these days. For your audio, you need an input, usually a microphone, and an output, such as a loudspeaker. A few choices exists regarding how the data travels within a digital network, such as ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) or IP (Internet Protocol). These days, many businesses select an Internet Protocol system because it is often affordable and simple to use.

If you’re going to conference with three or more remote areas, you may also need a “Multipoint Control Unit,” also known as MCU, which works like a bridge to interconnect calls from several places. However, some businesses have opted out of this setup and instead use a H.323 function known as “decentralized multipoint,” which usually makes video and audio better quality.

Don’t forget the “Acoustic Echo Cancellation” (AEC), which is an algorithm that prevents audio problems, such as echoes and reverberations.

If you’re concerned with security, you may consider creating a “Virtual Private Network” (VPN) service working with your Internet connection. This service is flexible and creates a protective overlay over the video connection.

Business class video conferencing is a good alternative to expensive and stressful travel. Individuals can exchange information and make decisions in real-time, while taking advantage of the latest technology with IP advances. Take a look at videoconferencing to consider how it can meet your needs -- you may be surprised...

Featured Research
  • Why Q4 is the Perfect Time to Invest in Video Conferencing

    If you’re currently relying on an outdated video conferencing solution - or if you don’t have one at all - you’re in luck. While any time is a good time to invest in video conferencing, Q4 may be the best. One big reason is that Q4 is when you can get the best deals, but there are also other important factors like increased access to seasonal employees. more

  • Video Conferencing Showdown

    If you feel overwhelmed by the video conferencing options available for your business, you aren’t alone. There are dozens and dozens of different solutions, ranging from no-cost options to software that will cost thousands. The question is which one is right for your business and how can you get the most value. more

  • Best Video Conferencing Features for Business

    Most businesses are currently underutilizing their video conferencing software because they aren’t aware of the different ways it can be used. Understanding the different features of video conferencing software can be critical to getting the most out of your investment. These features often vary from one option to the next as well, so it's important to do your homework before choosing a specific service. more

  • 9 Ways Video Conferencing Supports Business Growth

    90% of information is transmitted in the human brain is visual, and people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Video and video conferencing is fastly becoming the new must-have business tool for generating profits and successfully growing your business. In fact, over the past four years, the percentage of companies utilizing video conferencing has jumped from 41% to 58%. more

  • 9 Tips for a Compelling Video Presentation

    Face-to-face communication is the most effective way to collaborate and bring ideas to life in your business. Because of this, many businesses invest heavily in travel budgets so they can meet in person to create and nurture business opportunities. However, video technology has become more accessible, affordable, and user-friendly over the years. In fact, the enterprise video business market will reach $36.5 billion by 2018. more