Communicating via technology is mainstream now but the same was a luxury a decade back. The revolution that started with the onset of the bulky types of equipment and webcams is not localized to every person’s palm in their smartphone. Video conferencing is no longer a luxury but a quintessential mode of personal and professional communication.
The consistent development and upgrade of the Voice over IP technology have paved the way for streamlined video conferencing communication. And, the best part? There are available technologies that are free for its users.
This article will discuss all the nitty-gritty about video conferencing that you should know about.
Video conferencing – Definition
Video conferencing is an online meeting or communication between two or more individuals to discuss a subject, have a friendly conversation, etc., within a real-time audio-visual call. The process requires a fast and reliable internet connection of all the participants for seamless communication.
Video conferences are common in both the personal and professional lives of people. It can be done to catch up on the progress of a project in an organization. At the same time, it can be used virtually to meet a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time.
What are the Types of Video Conferencing?
Distinguishing video conferencing can be confusing. After all, what is there to distinguish, right? You connect with multiple people online and discuss a point or subject. However, there are two major types of video conferencing worth noting.
- Point to point conferencing
- Multipoint conferencing
Let us elaborate on each of them a little more for better understanding.
Point to point conferencing
This involves two participants in the call. It can include a job meeting you are having with the CEO of a company or it can include your call with a tech support executive. Since you are only engaging in a conversation with ONE other participant, it is termed and point-to-point.
Point-to-point conferencing is becoming more mainstream in the after-sales service of several brands. This is to prioritize customer support and customize each customer’s needs and requirements. Also, this type of video communication helps with the quicker hiring of resources for companies.
As the name suggests, multipoint conferencing is where there are multiple people involved in the call. It typically includes three or more people. It is also alternatively known as a group video conference call.
This type of video call is primarily used for conducting webinars, hosting team meetings and discussing things with people in a group. There is several video conferencing software that supports multipoint conferencing for free.
How does video conferencing work?
Now that you have a fair idea about the definition and types of video conference calls, let’s see how it works. Typically, the process is divided into two steps:
During this procedure, the microphone in the desktop or even the smartphone captures the audiovisual input. The collected data is then transmitted in the form of frequencies and amplitudes. The involved codecs then convert the collected data into digital packets, while compressing the data to reduce the bandwidth usage.
The transfer phase is where the digital packets are sent over a network via a cloud service and then relayed to the video conference participants. Once the digital packets reach their destination, the codecs on the receiver end decompress the received data and convert them to tangible audiovisual data.
Key features of a Video conferencing software
Besides the basic components involved in a video conferencing system, the one that makes all of this possible is the video conferencing software. Good software should be enriched with a host of amazing features and functionalities that streamlined the user experience for the better.
Following are the key features of video conferencing software:
- Screen sharing – Ideal for team meetings and presentations, the screen sharing feature streamlines communication. It allows ease of explanation of a topic or situation while keeping everyone on the same page.
- Simultaneous annotation – This feature helps the host or even the participants in the video conference to annotate on a shared screen for better query clarification.
- Chatbox – This is to facilitate text-based conversation in the general chat box of the video call or as a private conversation among a few participants. This can be used to keep pointers of the highlights of the meet, provide suggestions during the meeting without interrupting the host. Check this live chat software list.
- File sharing – Supports sending different types of files and documents securely during a video conferencing call. Allows in-app transfer without the integration of a third-party application.
- Noise cancellation – Although not a very common feature in most of the free video conferencing software, this does what it suggests. It minimizes noise distortion from the background to ensure that the host isn’t interrupted. It can include background noise, keyboard tapping, etc
- Voice call recording – A virtual way to record the minutes of the meeting so the participants can go back and refer for pointers and other highlights to integrate into the projects in the future. This also serves as a saved copy for the participants who couldn’t attend the meeting
- Device switching – Last and another rarely used feature available in several software is the device switching option. If you started the call on a desktop but need to travel immediately, the participant can switch it to their mobile to connect on the go.
Video Conferencing Benefits
The video conferencing benefits are immaculate, diverse and extremely versatile. They aren’t limited to just corporate or businesses but work equally well for personal communication. Reports have found that being in a video conference call improved employee productivity tangibly.
Some of the other highlights of video conferencing are:
- Video conferencing supports and improves productivity, keeping employees in sync and having transparent communication.
- The additional “visual” component of video calls makes the virtual meet-ups a lot more humanized.
- The inclusion of live audio-visual communication supports faster processing and better execution of work.
- The preconceived time frame for a video call cuts down unnecessary discussions, pointless stories and focuses on the topic at priority.
- It cuts down the additional expenses of in-person meetings, which can include restaurant bills, office utility bills, etc. With video conferencing, all you have to do is pay for the internet connection.
- Video conferencing supports and encourages a hybrid work lifestyle and remote working.
These benefits are a testament that video conferencing is growing and for the right reasons. The improvement and advancements in technology are shaping up people’s needs and streamlining work better.
Video conferencing is at its peak currently, with more and more corporations and small businesses including them in their business model. Not only does it facilitate communication, but it is also a worthy tool for query solving and quicker resolution of the roadblocks that are affecting productivity.
Dilip is freelance software and tech content writer. At TopItSoftware mostly write about the best software. In his free time is doing graphic design work.