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A complete guide to Video Conferencing

Video conferencing can seem like rather an intimidating world when you first start looking into the possible solutions. However, video conferencing really needn’t be either complex or expensive and this guide will introduce you to video conferencing and how you can choose the right solution for your business.

What is video conferencing?
Video conferencing is where various participants are connected through the internet to a group video meeting. Video conferencing solutions range from online solutions (where you simply download the software onto your web cam enabled PC or laptop) to solutions that install dedicated equipment.

Considerations for video conferencing pre-purchase
Key to choosing your video conferencing solution is what features you need. To establish these run through the following questions, these will help you in figuring out the most suitable system for you.
- How many physical sites do you need to connect to the video conference?
- Are you looking for customers or business associates to be connected?
- How much of a budget are you reasonably looking to invest?
- How frequently are you looking to use your equipment?
- Do you have a specific area to video conference from?
- What are your and your will be participant’s bandwidth levels like?
- Are you looking to share files over the video conferencing facilities? (Such as PowerPoints, Word files etc.)

A full video conferencing solution
If you’re looking for video conferencing across multiple sites that needs to be both robust and reliable then you’ll likely need a custom solution. This will involve the following system parts:
- Camera,
- Display,
- Microphone,
- Speakers,
- Codec/Software (this is the technical aspect that basically allows communications between all outputting devices through a common system).
Such components will vary in terms of quality, as will the associated costs.

Video Conferencing on a super low budget
If you’re looking for video conferencing facilities on a super tight budget then there are free options that are available. However these invariably tend to be of less robust quality than some of the premium services out there.
Additionally free solutions may not be suitable where customers are involved within the video conferencing as connections can be either slow or sometimes unpredictable.
Additionally however, if you only require video conferencing for a one off occasion then you can opt for a free trial with a premium service.

Thinking about budget for your video conferencing facilities
Negotiating with the provider
If you’re looking to install video conferencing facilities over a number of sites then you have the power of negation on your side. Representatives for video conferencing companies always have a little flexibility on the prices that they offer, with such deals depending on the number of units that you order.