Video Conferencing Systems

Video Conferencing is a telecommunication technology that allows interaction between two or more users as well as real-time video and audio exchange.

There are four main types of video conferencing systems: personal, group, mobile, and industry specific systems. In order to better understand the key features of each system, let us examine them in detail.

Personal video conferencing systems allow two users to communicate one-on-one or point-to-point in real time (personal video calls).

Group video conferencing systems allow conducting simultaneous video conferences among three or more people (multipoint video conferences). In fact, the participants can be spread over different countries and even continents.

Mobile video conferencing systems are very practical, since they allow conducting video conferencing sessions even in unconventional conditions. Handheld mobile devices allow organizing video conferences on-the-fly. Healthcare and medicine, emergency services, and military departments usually take advantage of such systems.

Industry specific video conferencing systems are utilized in certain industries, for example, healthcare, judiciary, construction etc.

Software and Hardware Video Conferencing Systems

Software solutions implement coding and decoding of video and audio streams using special software. There are a variety of software solutions from client applications to video conferencing software and peer-to-peer connection. Software solutions are versatile programs that allow conducting all types of video conferences without any additional equipment. Another key advantage of the software solutions is their simple scalability, i.e. it is enough to install additional client and server applications, while increasing the number of users of hardware video conferencing systems would require buying new terminals and other expensive equipment. On the other hand, the heightened load on the computer’s CPU can negatively affect video conferencing performance.

Hardware solutions for video conferencing often use standardized methods of audio and video streams compression enabling the users of various systems to connect to each other. A hardware codec is a mandatory component of such systems. Modern VC hardware systems tend to support Telepresence solutions. Such systems provide a physical presence effect of all the speakers in one location, using high-definition video (not less than Full HD), one-to-one image scaling, positioning the camera at eye level, specific shape of the space, and high-quality audio equipment. The limitations of using hardware solutions include the necessity to purchase additional costly terminals and servers for system modernization, as opposed to software solutions when it takes only to update or install an additional application.