What is video conferencing?
Video conferencing is two-way interactive communication delivered using telephone or Internet technologies that allows people at different location to come together for a meeting. The video conference can be as simple as a conversation between two people in private offices (point-to-point) or involve several sites (multi-point) with more than one person in large rooms at different sites.
A basic video conference setup has a camera and a microphone. Video from the camera and audio from the microphone is converted into a digital format and transmitted to a receiving location using a coding and decoding device, often referred to as a "codec".
At that receiving location is another codec device that decodes the receiving digital stream into a form that can be seen and heard on monitors or televisions. At the same time, video and audio from cameras and microphones at the received location is sent back to the original location.
Video conferencing saves travel time and money. Participants can see and hear all other participants and communicate both verbally and visually, creating a face-to-face experience. PowerPoint and other on screen graphic, as well as other cameras are also available presentation options. People downtime is reduced and productivity gains are achieved by removing the logistics of flight preparations, airport delays, hotel stays, and all the other inconveniences of business travel. In distance education, video conferencing provides quality access to students who could not travel to or could afford to relocate to a traditional campus. Video conferences can also be recorded and made available in a variety of ways, e.g., DVDs, streaming video. Besides distance education, other applications include meetings, dissertation and thesis defenses, tele-medical procedures, and online conferences.
People use video conferencing when: