Today, technology has given new methods of communication which made people’s day to day lives a whole lot easier and better. This growth in technology has also made a great impact among organizations and businesses in their means of communicating with their people, staff and clients. Video conferencing tool is one of these technological innovations developed earlier in the industry. Before, the only means to communicate with people is by meeting them in person, write them letters or have a telephone call. However, due to the perpetual evolution of technology, face-to-face communication behind the screen is already possible. And that is through video conferencing.
Through the rapid development in technology, more and more business owners and professionals are choosing to invest in video conferencing due to its various benefits. Through this tool, people have the ability to connect with their friends, colleagues, family or anyone in a real-time aspect through audio and video tools that runs through the internet. To know more about video conferencing, read through the end of this article and gain in-depth knowledge about this medium. You will also get a few tips in choosing the top video conferencing tools for your business.
Video Conferencing Definition
Video conference refers to the live visual communication between two or more people residing in different locations. Video conferencing software is a technology which allows users from various locations to conduct face-to-face communications without the need to meet the other physically. This tool is renowned to be commonly utilized by business professionals, as well as online educators, in doing their day to day job and meetings.
According to the article Video Conferencing Made Easy – LifeSize.com, there are three main types of video conferencing software:
- Point-to-point – often called single calls, is a direct communication between two users in different locations. It is like having a telephone call but with a video.
- Multipoint – involves three or more people in the same or varying locations taking part in the one video conference. Multiple people have the ability to meet through an HD video infrastructure from the office, at home, school or even outdoors.
- Streaming – refers to the connection of a video conference to other facilities that wants to view a certain meeting on a remote computer or on any mobile device which has access to the internet. It is also possible to view the meeting later on through a web browser.
Video conferencing helps people from all over the globe to connect real-time at the convenience of their workplace, home or even on the go through audio and video communication over an internet connection. Like any other technologies, video conferencing tools do have advantages and disadvantages which will be discussed below.
Video Conferencing Advantages
- Save time and reduce travel – video conferencing can be accessed anywhere for as long as your device has internet connection in it. Users do not have to travel from one place to another anymore to attend a meeting or talk to somebody. Video conferencing enables users to communicate with people from separate locations in only a matter of clicks. Thus, helping them save time and reduce the need to travel. Moreover, in video conferencing, time constraint is never an issue. People can conduct calls anytime no matter the time differences between users.
- Easy document access – video conferencing app is also great for people having business meetings or students and teachers having online lessons because the tool allows document sharing. Participants are able to participate well during meetings and discussions conducted via video conference because they have access to informative documents and presentations shared over the line. Participants are also able to share files, do presentations and conduct electronic voting. They may also have the option to record the call for future reference.
- Easy to use – video conferencing does not require its users to have high technical skills in order to make a call with another line. As simple as a couple of clicks, anyone can already communicate with people anywhere in the world. Its simplicity and ease of access is what makes it popular. It can be used by professionals, laymen, elderly and anyone in between due to its user-friendly interface. To know more about which ones are most convenient to use, you may read reviews of video conferencing tools.
- Save cost – there are various ways video conferencing helps users in saving money. A great example is among companies. Due to the fact that they can now do meetings and conferences digitally, they no longer have to allocate budget for travelling and other office miscellaneous needed for the conduction of meetings. Another example is among online lessons which are very popular these days. Companies no longer have to rent a bigger space for educators and students to conduct classes. Teachers can now teach at the comfort of their homes and the same goes to its clients.
- Increase productivity – meetings can be held anytime, anywhere and with anyone because video conferencing helps in eliminating time and location barriers. Through this, meetings and conversations become more efficient and productive. Moreover, due to helpful tools, which allows participants to have a more informative meeting, decision making becomes faster and easier. Therefore, allowing participants to do more important tasks and have a more productive and less stressful working environment.
The things mentioned are only a few of the many benefits of using video conferencing tools. It is also important to remember that not every tool works the same, some may work great but some may be rubbish. To help you choose one, see the latest recap of the top video conferencing tools from CrowdReviews.com.
Video Conferencing Disadvantages
- Lack of personal communication – with video conferencing, there is a high-tendency for people to lose personal interaction. Some meetings are way different when it is conducted face-to-face. The sense and atmosphere of being around people while having a meeting or a simple chat is never felt during a video call. People are possible to miss out on body language and gestures when a conversation is streamed over a video, let alone when you have a crappy internet connection which makes the video conference pixilated and stuttered.
- Fast internet speed is required – although not necessarily, but if you want an HD video quality when having a video conference, you need to have an internet connection with a higher bandwidth. Having slow connection may result to low video quality and delays in both audio and video transmission. Moreover, according to the article Video Conferencing Pros and Cons – Tech-ICT.com, even if users have a fast internet speed, delays between responses is still inevitable especially if participants are from one side of the globe to the other.
- Technical issues – one of the main disadvantages of video conferencing systems is a technical problem resulting from hardware, software or network malfunction. Connections can also be interrupted by environmental barriers such as heavy rains, typhoons and other natural causes. For people having little to no knowledge about technical issues, retrieving a smooth flow of video conference can be challenging. Others will be left with no choice but to contact technical support personnel and may have to pay for the service rendered.
- Time differences – if people have to communicate with people from another side of the world regularly, this means one must have to adjust and stay up late at night in order to conduct a call. This is one of the main reasons why a lot of workers have to go for a night shift. They need to adjust their body clock in order to render service to a client whose day is the night of another country. People may save time and cost because they no longer need to travel to talk with other people who is in another continent, but stress and health issues are highly possible if one must stay up late at night regularly.
- Video conferencing can be expensive – there are many factors that make video conferencing costly. One is the need for a higher internet bandwidth, which normally requires a higher amount of fee to pay to an ISP (internet service provider). Second are the video systems; if you want a high quality video conference, investing in higher-end video infrastructures is recommended, which means to say that you will need to go a bit overboard with your budget when purchasing necessary tools. And another factor is video conferencing tool’s technical issues; if you are not very keen with technology, you might have to hire a technical support professional to help you fix technical problems.
There you have it! Those are some of the hits and misses in video conferencing. Whether you are a professional trying to be as productive as you can, a student who is in constant need of learning, a simple housewife who wants to stay in touch with your family whilst they are on their daily errands; video conferencing is for you no matter what your state in life is.
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