Modern business and communication thrive off of video conferencing systems ?and the different technologies that enhance remote connection and collaboration
Sept. 27, 2023 - Video has set the new standard for communication in our personal lives and in business. It’s become so prominent that specific legislation is being created to ensure these technologies are used responsibly (say goodbye to work calls during your commute). This can be attributed to the rapid explosion of innovative technologies that have made these systems more affordable, more reliable, easier to use, and offer many user benefits beyond traditional video calling.
So naturally, everyone is looking for a personalized video conferencing system for office spaces, classrooms, lecture halls, and more. And there is simply no one-size-fits-all system. This can complicate things further when deciding which video conferencing platforms to standardize or which cameras work best for your space. But some important considerations can get you started down the right path when you’re ready to upgrade your space or implement your first video conferencing system.
Benefits of Professional Video Conferencing Systems
A video conferencing system is created by connecting several separate components into a unified solution to capture and transmit video, audio, digital files, digital screen sharing, and more to facilitate long-distance communications and collaboration between individuals and groups.
While most modern smartphones and personal computers can accomplish all of this with built-in and add-on devices, a professional video conferencing system must meet a higher standard of video/audio quality, security, connectivity, system management, and scalability.
Meeting those higher standards provides users with several notable benefits.
Enhanced Remote Collaboration
According to findings from Forbes® magazine, over 40% of the global workforce is now on a remote or hybrid working status. Even 10 years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine many workers having access to the right tools to collaborate well enough remotely. Fortunately, there have been numerous innovations in collaboration technology in recent years.
Now, it is possible to host interactive virtual meetings in real-time with several people located in different geographical areas through many popular video collaboration solutions such as Microsoft Teams® software, Zoom®, Slack®, Webex®, and other software platforms. These web-based video meeting platforms use screen-sharing capabilities to enable users to share working documents with any sized group, present content, and even perform live edits while receiving peer feedback.
And with new technologies coming into play, collaboration is enhanced further with features like automatic speaker framing and group framing to increase meeting equity among all members.
Increased Productivity and Efficiency
Most major professional video conferencing platforms have added features to help users stay productive most efficiently. For example, Microsoft Teams® software and Zoom® software use their own self-contained file storage solution. When users share a file, the system stores it natively so it can be easily recalled later without leaving the platform. Many of these platforms also offer other built-in features such as calendars, chats, and other applications allowing users to do multiple tasks within one solution.
On the hardware side, professional video conferencing systems are becoming more user-friendly. Features like one-touch meetings and occupancy sensors remove friction from the physical meeting experience, saving the user time and hassle.
Cost Savings of Video Conferencing
While the initial costs of professional video conferencing equipment might feel like a big investment, the overall savings are hard to ignore over time. You might be surprised at the long-term affordability when compared to cheaper components. The cost savings of these systems come from:
Video Conferencing Hardware and Technology
The technology and equipment needed for a professional video conferencing system varies depending on the users' needs and the different spaces being used. However, some foundational devices are essential to video conferencing:
Internet Connections: A good internet connection is required to communicate with others in remote areas, especially while streaming video. According to a study by the University of Chicago, most video conferencing platforms require an average of 1-2 megabits per second (Mbps) of download bandwidth and 0.75-1.4 Mbps of upload bandwidth for a single video call.
Wired vs. Wireless: Do you want people to enter your conference space and physically plug into the system, or would you prefer a seamless wireless interaction? You can go both routes; however, there are some notable benefits to going wireless.
Conferencing Software: A few trusted video conferencing software platforms offer the features and functionality for almost any type of video call. The most popular of those are Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet™ software.
Cameras: At least one camera is required for video conferencing. Most laptops and phones have these built into the hardware. However, external webcams and professional video conferencing cameras work as well, with features like speaker tracking and auto-framing for more high-definition video calls.
Microphone: Again, most PCs have a built-in microphone that works great. These can be upgraded with higher-quality external microphones ranging from noise-canceling headset microphones to in-ceiling microphones for conference rooms.
Speakers: For a single user, a simple pair of headphones or built-in laptop speakers may get the job done. But for group conferencing in larger rooms, you’ll need to consider room speakers. These can vary from built-in ceiling speakers to more flexible solutions such as Crestron Flex Pods for spaces that may change from meeting to meeting.
Displays and Projectors: Video conferencing requires displaying the video on a screen. This is especially helpful for larger group conferences and when sharing informative documents. In most smaller rooms, a simple wall-mounted LED display will suffice. For much larger spaces like lecture rooms or conference halls, projectors are far superior to ensure the content is large enough to see.
By combining the technologies and equipment listed above, you can create the foundation of your professional video conferencing system. Depending on your room size and layout, you may even be able to kill three birds with one stone and opt for an all-in-one video conferencing system. Crestron Videobar 70 combines cameras, microphones, and speakers into one product.