The new normal, where everything is happening online whether school, college, or office. People are meeting online, many conferences are held online, do you know what is common between them? Well the mode they all are meeting is through video conference and audio conference, without these technologies we can’t think meeting in a group without any physical contact. So, let’s understand audio conference and then video conference.
Also called Teleconference, means meeting a group or party via a phone call instead of meeting them physically. The person who starts the audio conference called the calling party and the people who are attending the calls are known as participants. So, in the audio conference at the same time, one can talk to many people. The benefit of using an audio conference as it is less expensive than the video conference because it needs very fewer devices but at the same time it lacks some richness of video conference.
Technology requirement of the audio conference:
- Phone/Computer with access to internet connection
Benefits of Audio Conference
If we compare audio conference to video conference then it is less expensive, easy to set up and very much accessible by all. But, yes it can not totally compare to video conference as it lacks the richness of video conference. In a video conference, one can see each other as well as listen to one another, and this reduced miscommunication, but the audio conference is not the case.
The audio conference has also saved a lot of time and expense as now people do not have to travel to meet and discuss anything rather they can host the audio conference call. Also, at the same time, you can interact with as many people as you can.
Demerits of Audio Conference
Apart from the advantages, there are some limitations like the first one is the communication is only verbal. Studies show that effective communication is non-verbal communication. Also, the audio conference call cannot keep you focused in the meeting, as people cannot see images of each other so many times people who don’t pay attention to the speaker and do his/her work like cooking or any either chores. The third demerit is the poor quality of the audio call, since the communication is telephonic then there are many times poor network reduced the quality of audio which affects the communication. Also, the background noise affects the quality of voice.
Basically, video conference enables the user to connect each other from different locations by both video and audio transmission at the same time, using telecommunication technology. Or we can say that it is a type of online meeting where people meet live on the audio-visual call. Video conference is also called video teleconference. It is more effective and efficient than the audio conference calls, as we can see the facial expression of the people which help us to connect them more easily rather than voice calls where only we can hear a voice. But, there are some problems, like setting video conference needs devices and all.
Technology requirement of video conference:
- Computer with access to internet connection
- Microphone(for both audio and video conference)
- Web camera (for only video conference)
Factors affecting Video Quality
If we talk about the factors which can affect video quality is firstly the speed of the internet. Poor internet connection or slow connection acts as a barrier because people aren’t able to see each other, sometimes their video or audio got paused. Although with the advancement of new technology motion pictures can work in slower internet connection, but again people have to compromise with the video quality.
There are some minor factors too that can also affect the quality of video conferencing like the placement of the microphone. In video conferencing the audio plays an important role, without any audio one cannot decode the message of others. Thus, the placement and quality of the microphone also matter. At the same time, the placement of meeting, one should sit in the light before attending the video conference as in darkness your face will not visible to others. Also, during the presentation, the size of fonts and images matters a lot. If the font size of the presentation is too small or images are blurred then no one can read your presentation or understand your images.
Usefulness of Videoconferencing
The new normal already taught us a lesson about the importance of digital literacy. Nowadays, whether an office meeting or school all are happening from home, and they all are using video conferencing to meet each other. Video Conferencing also used to host live events and seminars. Now let’s look at in detail :
- Distance Learning: Even before the Covid situation, many people are using video conferencing in the education field. This enables to set up a classroom-type environment where teacher and student can both interact with each other. However, there are some limitations, and one is the lack of human touch.
- Business meetings: Again this is very popular, people meet and do their work together over a distance.
- Telecommuting/Home Office: No one has ever thought that people can work from home and the only thing which made it possible is the advancement of Information technology which includes video conference.
- Legal environment: The use of video conferencing becomes a more frequent practice in the courtroom. It helps to testify witnesses to appear in court without physically travel to the courtroom.
- Telemedicine: There are many times a patient needs medical advice but he/she is not able to visit a doctor physically, then video conferencing comes into the picture where staying at home one can take medical advice from the doctor or specialist.
So far we looked at both voice conference calls and video conference calls. We see both have some merits and demerits at the same time. Audio conference call is flexible, requires less expanse compared to video call and very easy to set up. At the same time video conference has a good quality of communication compares to audio because here one can see as well as hear each other. In a Video conference call, one can set up an environment like an office or a classroom which is not possible in audio conference calls. Thus, both have some goods and bad and this is up to us what we need.
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