by November 7, 2009 0 comments

Over the past couple of years, organizations worldwide have started to invest
considerably in video conferencing. One of the large video conferencing
providers claims that it has been approximately adding over 800 new customers
every quarter globally while experiencing a 45 percent increase in the first
half of ’09 as compared to that of ’08. Main reasons behind this phenomenal
growth still remain the same i.e. cost cutting, going green, etc. Apart from
growth, another good thing happening with video conferencing is that vendors are
constantly innovating. Almost every vendor wants to provide the total solution
to meet demands of enterprises -be it desktop video conferencing, web
conferencing, collaboration or even industry specific solutions such as for
healthcare. This in turn creates a confusion for enterprises to decide as to
which solution to buy. Read on to find out what all you need to consider before
buying a video conferencing solution.

Things to consider
Choosing the right video conferencing solution can be difficult. So, before
you even start speaking to a vendor, you need to clearly define your needs and
goals. This would help you determine whether you require a total solution or a
desktop video conferencing solution or even a web conferencing system. You need
to be clear on whether you have ample bandwidth available or you would need to
invest on it. Also you need to determine, the maximum number of sites you would
require to connect to a conference, whether you would be communicating with your
clients, partners etc. outside your firewall. If yes, then you need to figure
out the sensitivity of information going out and also the kind of encryption you
would need. Equally important is finding out how much of content sharing would
be required over VC -whether you will be sharing spreadsheets, files, etc, over
video conferencing. Last, not the least, will you train your employees to make
best use of the solution? Do you need to record video conferences for later use?

LifeSize introduces passport

LifeSize introduced
its new compact size HD video conferencing system that provides TelePresence
experience to anyone, anywhere. LifeSize claims it weighs less than a pound
without cables and delivers 720p 30 frames per second HD video and audio,
and can be easily carried along. According to LifeSize, this is the first HD
video system to enable Skype audio calls. From the LifeSize interface,
Passport users can easily connect directly with any Skype user worldwide, as
well as with other LifeSize and standards-compliant enterprise video

There are various strategies for deploying a video conferencing solution. A
common one is to deploy a mix of solutions, such as TelePresence, for top
management who need to take business critical decisions quickly. For middle
management, you can go for a Web-based video conferencing, where a small lag
won’t cause much of an issue. Recently we have seen an implementation wherein an
enterprise has decided to go for desktop video conferencing for the entire
management, top and middle, so that everyone can make calls as and when needed,
doing away with the trouble to see if the room is available for a particular day
and time. Since that was a geographically dispersed company, with its employees
regularly needing to collaborate with those at the other location, the solution
worked very well .

When deciding upon a video conferencing solution, it’s important to see how
well it integrates with your existing solutions. Before you zero down on a
single solution, try some for a while. This would give you a chance to see the
features as well as other aspects in action right in your environment. Support
is another crucial part to heed to. If your company is new to video
conferencing, than ask the vendor if they provide any sort of trainings and if
you would need to shell out extra for that.

Video Conferencing via USB

TANDBERG’s Bangalore R&D
center has created a product from scratch to finish — which allows you to
plug in a webcam and attend HD quality video conferencing

Vishnu Anand

Afew days before the Cisco acquisition of TANDBERG, PCQuest received an
exclusive demo of a product which was created completely by the
Bangalore-based R&D lab of TANDBERG. Called the Precision HD USB Camera, the
device is positioned as a business quality, HD Video communication device
which syncs up to PC video applications in order to enable high quality
video conferencing. Powered by 2.7 megapixel CMOS sensor, with features like
Auto Focus and Auto Light Adjustment, and laptop, desktop and stand-alone
mounting options, the camera does not require a driver or software to
install it. It powers up from any USB drive, and allows full screen HD video
capability. The entire design to development has happened out of TANDBERG’s
Bangalore R&D center, which started operations about 17 months back.

According to TANDBERG, there are four distinct areas of R&D that has gone
into the development of this product — optics, mechanics, hardware and
software. The optics involved high quality lens, a sensor that works in
conjunction with a movement capture mechanism — real time at 30 frames per
second. Surprisingly, the product is very software intensive, mainly in the
area of image processes. The hardware development on the other hand was
aimed at creating an easy-to-use flexible device.

At the core of the product lies the video communications backbone, with
the idea of providing a mobile conferencing system to a mobile broadband
user. TANDBERG has researched the video for quality, analysis of data,
processing of the data and sub-system developments. To disseminate, packet
and encrypt the video if required, there is a networking component of the
product development.

So, the next time when you travel, or need to attend that
unavoidable video conferencing meeting but need to be out on the field to
clinch that important project, fret not. You can now be sitting at a coffee
shop, your car, or wherever else, and be attending the video conference,
with a webcam tethered to your laptop.

High-def video conferencing
When going for a high definition video conferencing, you would need to look
at things like display/monitor size, type of display -plasma, LCD or a rear
projection. You would also need to consider the resolution of the display. Here
again the size of the display will depend upon the size of the conference room
and maximum number of people who can be present for a video conferencing. In
case of high definition video conferencing, you also need to figure out how many
displays would be required by your business. Most of the vendors support up to
two displays. This gives users advantage of showing full screen video or data on
both the displays.

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