What is TelePresence and why should I use it — Do I really need TelePresence?

There are 4 basic ways to video conference as illustrated on the home page of this web site – Room System; Executive Endpoint; Desktop and Mobile App.  There is however a fifth way to video conference – TelePresence.  TelePresence is not common and a very small part of most manufactures’ product offerings.


The above picture illustrates TelePresence — Basically this is multi-camera / multi-monitor video conferencing, (usually 3 cameras / 3 monitors), requiring major bandwidth for high definition video and to create the feeling of actually being in the same conference room from a distance point to point.  The cost for TelePresence is very high — well into the six figures up to $500,000 per end point.  To maintain high definition video conferencing on all the monitors, monthly bandwidth costs are also very high.   It’s difficult to rationalize this type of expense; however there are highly profitable companies with almost limitless budgets who can.   If there is a need to meet often on this level at a distance TelePresence works great, but be prepared to pay.  Additionally TelePresence requires its own separate network with dedicated broadband circuits.   TelePresence requires high definition video to maintain the “feel” of being in the same room at the same time.

Most video conferencing equipment manufacturers see this as a very limited market.  Most applications do not require TelePresence.  Keep in mind you can have a simple set up using one high definition camera and a single monitor and still have the “feel” you are in the same conference room.  Ironically audio has much more impact on the “feeling” you are in the same room.  Years ago one study proved this by testing participants in one video conferencing room with poor video quality and high audio quality. Conversely the same group of participants experienced a high quality video and poor audio in another room. Participants said the video quality was better in the first room.  Our five senses can fool us sometimes and because the audio quality was much better in the first room participants perceived the video quality was better.  Even with high definition video, audio has a profound impact on the participant’s experience.   If you do have the budget for TelePresence make sure your audio, meaning speakers amplifiers and microphones are up to the task.


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