How can I use videoconferencing technology on my computer?

It is inevitable that the computer would be an important part of videoconferencing technology. There are basically four ways to video conference today. 1) Room Systems; these are for the conference room and with a pan tilt zoom camera to cover the entire conference room with high quality video. 2) Executive End Point; this is a self contained system designed for a one person or very small conference table. 3) Desktop; this is a video conference system or CODEC, that works on your existing computer. 4) Mobile; this works on an iPad, iPhone, Droid as a simple downloadable video conferencing app. This article will focus on number three, the Desktop.

In the early days many room systems needed a computer to function. This made video cumbersome and not user friendly. The computer was quickly eliminated from the room systems and the leader of this computer technology exodus was Polycom. They developed a computer free video conferencing CODEC that is simple to use in the conference room. This became known as a set top CODEC that installed easily and sat right on top of the television monitor. Subsequently, there was a drive back towards the computer with its own self contained CODEC that works with a web cam. Polycom developed a software product bundled with a camera and mic. This was first real step into video conferencing on a computer through IP or Internet Protocol. If your network was efficient and your computer was part of the network this solution works great.

Today there is a big demand for video conferencing through the computer and there are many options. The problem is many options work on a proprietary protocol. Skype is one example. There are video conferencing bridging services that will certainly connect these options to standards based systems. However this can become costly and many times participants are disappointed in the results. There are some companies offering a free app solution that connects directly to room systems without the need of a third party bridging service to make the connections. Soon our computers will be efficient video conferencing end points that will connect seamlessly to any room system, executive endpoint or mobile app. The future for video conferencing through a computer is very clear. This will evolve quickly to a free app for the computer or the mobile device on ITU, (International Telecommunications Union), standards. The small and medium sized companies will then use video conferencing on their desktops and laptops as an everyday communications tool, like email and cell phones. For more information on video conferencing using your computer call us at 330-677-5566.

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