Why would I want high def videoconferencing / do I really need HD Videoconferencing?

High Definition video conferencing requires high definition cameras, more bandwidth and a flat panel display that accommodates HD — All of these costs more.   There is visual power in video conferencing whether it’s high definition, HD or standard definition, SD.   In fact if you are collaborating or sharing computer input in a video conference this input is transmitted to the other side in true XGA resolution, even on a  SD  or standard definition video call.  So if details are important in computer input you may not need HD video conferencing.   If on the other hand you are a field engineer and you need to show details of a malfunctioning machine on the factory floor from your iPad, which has a high definition camera, you would definitely see a huge benefit in having HD video conferencing.

The key in determining whether you need high definition videoconferencing is found in your application.  For example if you are a doctor and you are seeing patients remotely, high definition would certainly make a big difference in determining symptoms.   If you are showing highly detailed documents through a document camera connected to your video conferencing system, high definition would certainly be required.   Keep in mind that even If you have high definition capability through your videoconferencing system you do not have to use all of the bandwidth required for HD. You can still connect via SD, standard definition to other locations with SD only.   Applications like job interviews, legal depositions, remote court room arraignments, and management meetings really don’t require HD video conferencing.

If you are purchasing new videoconferencing equipment for the first time you can only get HD, however as mentioned earlier you can still connect to legacy SD or standard definition end points seamlessly as long as they are on the ITU, (International Telecommunications Union), standard protocols.   Initially you may not need HD videoconferencing; however there may be future applications whereby HD will really benefit.  The key is to write down on paper your three main applications and one or two potential future applications to help you determine your need for HD high definition videoconferencing.

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