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Common Video Conferencing Equipment and Service Terms
Video conferencing is a way for business professionals to interact and meet over long distances and exchange information and ideas. In order to conduct these virtual meetings, individuals need to have the proper audio and video equipment. Equipment includes a camera, computer with Internet connection, microphone and speakers. Specific software may also be required. With advanced technology, these conferences are presented in a high-definition, or HD, format. HD improves picture and image quality for users. Video conferencing offers certain advantages, including reducing travel and lodging expenses.
Camera Presets - Camera presets allow individuals to determine the camera angles, distances and location and store these settings into a video conferencing system. A system will allow users to have multiple preset settings and selecting a number will automatically change to meet those specifications for a meeting.
Integrated Service Digital Network - ISDN is a digital communications system that allows a phone line to transmit voice and data simultaneously. An ISDN line can be used for video conferences, faxing, Internet and telephone services.
Multipoint Control Unit - MCU is a bridge that is used to allow three or more participants to be involved in a video conference.
Cascading - Cascading is a method that allows more individuals to participate in a video conference, compared to what an MCU can support.
Streaming Media - Streaming media is technology that allows individuals to be recorded and viewed in real time or on demand. Audio and video is received and displayed simultaneously.
Document Sharing - Document sharing allows participants in a video conference to view and edit the same computer documents at one time.
Presentation Mode - Presentation mode allows an individual at a single location to act as a presenter and be viewed and heard by all participants.
If you work for a company that has offices spread out all over the country or the world, then you might want to invest in some video conference equipment that can help you communicate with each other when you have meetings. Using a video conference service with low cost and used streaming HD and audio equipment is often much cheaper than having employees travel for meetings, so this investment can actually help your company save money when you reduce travel expenses. Some hospitals even use this equipment for telemedicine, so you know that it works well. When you contact the video conference service companies, you will need to know what questions to ask them to help you decide which ones have the products and services that you need. First, you should ask the company how much experience they have. You will want to choose one that has lots of technical experience because they should know the most about the products and services that are best for you. Ask them if they have displays and HD video and audio recording equipment that uses a streaming connection so your offices can have a virtual meeting. Ask them to five you information on groupware, VTC, ISDN, multipoint, and parallax services as well to help you choose the one that is best for you. Since you want to spend as little money as possible on the products and services that you need, ask them if they have used equipment that you can buy. Get written price quotes to help you compare prices.