Monthly Archives: November 2014

VIDEO CONFERENCING

What Is Video Conferencing?

Video Conferencing enables people, in different locations, to hold conversations and meetings simultaneously and is developing rapidly in the way that it’s used, where it’s used, by whom and for what.

But  what exactly is Video Conferencing?

A video conference can be as simple as two people having a private conversation, in separate offices, or as complex as several people, in multiple sites, getting together for a meeting.

Bringing people together by using audio and video telecommunication such as a computer, camera, speakers, microphone, coder/decoder and network (such as the Internet) is the art of video conferencing.

As well as the audio and visual communication of meeting undertakings, video conferencing can be used to share documents, computer-displayed information and even whiteboards.

How would Video Conferencing benefit my company?

First and foremost, video conferencing is an extremely useful and cost effective method of communication.

    • All company members can communicate with one another, even those in remote or otherwise isolated facilities.
    • Managers can keep in touch with staff while attending conferences.
    • Administrators, on tight schedules, can work together on budget preparations.
    • Companies with multiple sites can collaborate and share information
    • Documents and applications can be shared in real time
    • All company members, in distant locations, can participate in meetings on short notice thus saving them time and money.
    • Job interviews can be conducted from anywhere and so will eliminate the time and travel costs for applicants.

What equipment is needed for Video Conferencing?

According to the type of video conference you plan to have, the following Video Conferencing equipment will need to be set up.

  • Camera: A camera is necessary to send images of your site to recipients. It is optional when you join a hosted video conferencing session and you only need to view and listen to the broadcast. A basic webcam (including those built-in to notebooks) is quite sufficient for broadcasting the image of one or two persons. For larger groups it is recommended that you use a mid-range webcam and specialised video conferencing rooms require a specialised camera with a specific lens suited for the venue and the type of video conference to be set up.
  • Display device: A display device is required to view the image or video broadcast from your remote site/s. The basic notebook or computer monitor would be sufficient for one to two people to view a particular broadcast. If your audience increases in size, the display device should be substituted with a digital projector or LCD Monitor. In cases where it is necessary to view multiple groups at the same time, or where applications are shared, (as part of the video conferencing session) a second display device would be advisable.
  • Speakers: Speaker technology has advanced so much so that basic build-in notebook or computer speakers are often sufficient for a one-to-one person broadcast. A USB microphone headset would greatly enhance personal sound and voice quality. Depending on the requirements for a specific session, additional speakers might be required. In most cases this could be accomplished by connecting the computer to the venue’s sound system.
  • Microphone: Specialised microphones are available for larger venues and are selected based on the requirements and venue acoustics. In cases where only one person, at each venue would be contributing to the conversation, a USB microphone headset would be sufficient.
  • Venue: When planning a room for Video Conferencing facilities it is very important to consider the acoustics, layout, furniture, lighting, wall colour and decorations of the room.
  • Coder or Decoder: Non-computer based video conferencing requires a coder or decoder to perform the communication function that the computer would perform. The devices support ISDN, IP or both. There are a number of service providers available.

Venue considerations

  • Table: The shape, and position, of the table will determine the seating position and will also determine if all participants will be visible to the camera. A table surface not only affects the light reflection, but will also affect the acoustics. Reflected light is coloured by the surface from which it is reflected. For example a leather-covered table, or one with a table cloth, will absorb noise created by someone maybe tapping on the table, whereas a metal or glass table will amplify those sounds.
  • Room: Colours and decor also determine the amount of reflected light, which will affect the quality of the image transmitted. The shape and layout of your room will greatly influence the quality of the sound and image transmitted from the venue. Non-uniform rooms are best suited to reduce reflection and noise vibration. The ideal shape of a conference venue is a rectangle, as opposed to a square room.
  • Walls: Bright or dark colours should be avoided and a matt finish used as gloss creates unwanted reflections. The most suitable colours are mid-grey and greyish tones of blue and green. If noise levels are an issue then sound-deadening paint or materials should be applied to the walls.
  • Floors: These play a similar role to that of the table surface and carpeted floors are ideal as they dampen noise and reduce reflection.
  • Windows: These normally provide light from one side of the room, which can cause the faces of participants to be either too light or too dark (depending which side of the room they are located). Therefore either curtains or blinds, or some mechanism that will allow control over the amount of light that enters the room, will be necessary. An excellent alternative is to tint or frost the windows.
  • Lighting: Soft diffused lighting is ideal as this will determine the image quality of the viewing parties. Fluorescent lighting with diffusers are best suited for video conferencing. Down lighters should be avoided as they cause uneven lighting and cast shadows.
  • Furniture: Furniture colouring and its finishes are very important as they affect both the acoustics in the room and the amount of reflected light. Padded chairs will help dampen sound while matt finished covering will assist in creating a clear video image. Bold or geometrical patterns should be avoided. Try to arrange your participants to sit in a horseshoe arrangement around a rectangular or oval table. Mid-brown tables with a matt finish have a limited reflection and will help reduce shadows on faces that would be created by an upward reflection. Table inputs for power, microphones and digital displays should also be considered.

 

Bright Lights Trading LLC provides, installs and maintains Video Conferencing Systems

Bright Lights will offer you a consulting and support service to:

  • Assist you in deciding which Video Conferencing option best suits your company needs.
  • Specify the network infrastructure on which to run your video conference.
  • Specify the required video conferencing equipment.
  • Provide a recommendation for the complete installation of Video Conferencing equipment.
  • Manage the installation, set up and maintenance of the Video Conferencing equipment.
  • Offer general support for application-based Video Conferencing.

 

Video Conference Muscat Bright Lights

Video Conferencing Services From Bright Lights, Muscat