Factors Affecting Video Conferencing
Teleconferencing, also famous as audio conferencing is defined as the conference held over the telephone among different parties/people. The teleconferencing includes one organizer and one or more than one participants. The organizer of the conference/meeting is known as the Calling Party. Since the audio conference only has the option of audio available, only the voices of people can be heard and the discussion takes place by understanding and listening to each other.
In a similar way, in case a meeting/conference occurs with both audio and video on, the conference is known as a Video conference or video teleconference. There are other things required for video conferencing. Let’s learn about this concept in detail,
Video conferencing is done by a set of telecommunication technologies, and it is a two-way audio-video communication process. In video conferencing, two or more than two parties/people come on their devices to communicate with each other. Video conferencing is also organized by one Host and the rest of the people are known as participants. Video conferencing is also known as tele videoconferencing, as both audio and video are available.
Brief History of Video Conferencing
Back in 1960s, the first picturephone for video calls was introduced at the world’s fair, New York by AT&T, and they also did the debut of video calls in 1970s. Then in 1982, Compression labs introduced the first system for video conferencing and in 1991, video conferencing could finally be available on PCs which is very common nowadays, but there was a time when it was a big deal. In 2005, the concept of video conferencing in High Definition was introduced by Lifesize. In recent times, from big conference rooms to personal computers to mobile phones, video conference has grown and is still improvising.
Uses of Video Conferencing
- There are many softwares used for Video conferencing like Cisco Webex. Breeze can also be used for video conferencing.
- Requirements for video conferencing are as: A decent Internet Connection, Microphone, speakers, Web camera.
- Video conferencing is now used almost everywhere professionally and personally by people. Examples of the usefulness of video conferencing are: Business, distance learning, home offices, legal environment, telemedicines, personal communications, etc.
Factors affecting Video quality
In daily lives, when video call from friends, family or for work purposes happen, people are able to notice the fluctuating quality of the video sometimes. It is not always a very smooth process, sometimes some glitches and sometimes sudden decrease in quality is experienced. Let’s learn the factors responsible for this,
Speed of Network Connection
The speed of the network connectivity is one of the biggest factors to determine the quality of the video. If the speed of the internet connection is slow and unstable, the quality of the video automatically becomes worse and sometimes the videos stop or connection is lost, in such a case, the whole point of video conferencing becomes pointless.
However, after 1999, some newer components were introduced to improve the video quality during conferences. They helped in producing excellent motion pictures that helped the video to have improved quality even under slow connections.
Microphone placement and the function of microphone can affect the quality, although this is a minor factor, it still affects the quality as audio clarity is very essential during the conference.
The movement of the participants during the conference can cause a lot of disturbance not only in terms of discipline but also affects the video quality during the conference. Too much movement of the participants can cause the hardware-software based coding and decoding technology, known as Codecs to create blurred images of the participants and some disturbed communication signals can occur as well. Codecs can be understood as a vital video conferencing engine.
If there are computer presentations required in any video conference, the type-size of the font can cause real issues especially if they are too small. Some standard sizes are already provided and suggested to be used during such meetings for improved quality.
Some drawbacks of Video Conferencing
Nowadays, video conferencing has become a part of all of the people. Children for their education, elders for their works, old people to connect with friends, etc. But due to this, no personal contact is done now and that meeting is personal, “getting to know them and connect with them” factor is lost somewhere on the way. Apart from these, due to network issues or time lags created, some very important meetings go to waste and become good for nothing, not able to see or meet people and participating in video conferencing very frequently for work can cause stress in work and decreases efficiency.
Question 1: What are the latest Video conferencing vendors or software that are known and commonly used?
The latest video conferencing software that are used by almost everyone are:
- Zoom calls
- Apple’s facetime
- Google’s chat
- Microsoft’s Skype
- Cisco Webex
Question 2: How teleconferencing differs from Video conferencing? Do the technologies required are also different in both cases?
Teleconferencing is only the conference of different parties from locations over telephone while video conferencing or video teleconferencing has two ways audio-video communication, therefore, it includes both audios and the videos of the parties/people participating in the conference.
The technology required for teleconferencing is different from video conferencing. Teleconferencing requires good signal and telephone while video conferencing requires good internet connection, web camera, microphone, etc.
Question 3: Apart from weak internet connection, are there other factors that can cause the disturbance in video quality?
While poor internet connection plays the major role in poor video quality during video conferencing, there are certain other small factors as well that affect the video quality. Factors like movement of the participants can cause codecs to create poor sync, bad placement of microphone can also cause poor quality, Bad font- size can create issues while showing the presentations during meetings. These are some of the factors that affect video quality apart from poor internet connection.