Video conferencing has become an important tool for many businesses. It allows them to hold meetings with colleagues and customers in other locations. Video conferencing comes in many forms with many setups available. There are a large variety of options for different circumstances and different types of conferences and meetings, whether it is between two individuals, two groups of people, or several people in a number of locations.
The most basic form of video conferencing is where two groups are sitting around a table in their respective locations and there is one central camera at each location filming those present. This is then relayed to the other location where it is viewed on a single large screen at the front of the room.
There are other occasions where a wall can be covered in large screens where each participant at another location is individually shown on one monitor each. Sometimes they will even be life-sized, giving more of an impression of them being in the same room. As well as the common case of having large screens at the front of the room for all to see, in some cases each individual will have their own monitor rather than having a shared one.
A video conference does not have to be between two parties (whether individuals or groups) but can be between several. It is more complex where there are three or more parties as they all need interlinking, but there are video conferencing solutions that can offer this service. Where this is the case there may be several screens within each location, with each screen showing those at one of the other locations. For example, where there are four locations involved in a conference, each may have three monitors, with each of these dedicated to one of the other locations. In other, less advanced, video conferencing suits it may be necessary to switch between locations as required.
Often monitors are not only used to show those in other locations, but also to show documents. By bringing up a text document, a spreadsheet or a presentation on a computer it may be possible to show this to other participants via their own monitor. In some cases this is very useful and means those in different locations can discuss a document while all being able to view it.
You don’t have to be in a large video conferencing suite to communicate via this technology. With the right software it is possible to use a PC or laptop with a webcam to join a video conference. This is good for those who are often travelling for work as they can still be involved in meetings simply by using their laptop. This is most useful when one person needs to have a meeting with another individual or one person is involved in a meeting with several others who are all in the same rooms as each other. It is not so suitable where several locations are involved due to the restrictions of the screen size.
The use of video conferencing is on the increase. There are all sorts of video conferencing solutions available for businesses to use depending on their circumstances, whether it is two individuals needing to communicate with each other, two groups of people, or a number of people in several different locations.
Andrew Marshall ©