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Video Conferencing FAQ

Video conferencing is a rapidly growing business collaboration solution. It provides the most natural available form of communication outside of actually being there. But video conferencing can be a confusing set of technologies. Do you need special equipment? What is far end camera control? What is VCaaS? Find the answers to these frequently asked questions and more from our video conferencing experts!

What is video conferencing?

Video conferencing, also known as teleconferencing, is a live video connection that allows for both audio and visual data transmission between two or more parties at different locations.

What is VCaaS (Video Conferencing as a Service)?

VCaaS (Video Conferencing as a Service) refers to cloud-hosted video conferencing solutions that are subscription based. VCaaS solutions are generally more affordable than room-based systems, because they don't require you to buy expensive equipment. Basic webcams and speakerphones are commonly used in place of expensive room-based systems. However, many VCaaS providers such as Zoom and BlueJeans support room-based systems in the event you have a large room that requires one of these larger systems.

Do I need special equipment to video conference?

You need a standards-based video conferencing system from a company like Polycom, Cisco, or AVer if you plan on connecting to another standards-based system. If you use VCaaS, you should check with the service provider what equipment is compatible with their service. Many service providers support basic webcams, USB speakerphones, and huddle room kits such as the Polycom Zoom Rooms Huddle Room Kit for Zoom video conferencing, and also room-based video conferencing systems like the Polycom Group 500 for larger rooms.

What is a video conferencing codec?

A video conferencing codec is a computer that acts as the control center of the video conferencing system. It's responsible for the encoding and decoding of data. Essentially, the signal gets compressed by the coder then transmitted to the decoder, which then expands the signal. Some common codecs used in video conferencing include H.264 SVC, H.264 High Profile, and H.263.

Do I need a special type of display for video conferencing?

Any modern flatscreen TV should work; however, we recommend using a commercial grade display, especially if the display will be used a lot. Make sure to check that the codec can connect to the display.

What does far end camera control mean?

Far end camera control means the remote conferencing party can control the camera in your room by using the pan-tilt-zoom features. Far end camera control helps remote parties get the optimal view of your side of the conversation or objects in your room such as a whiteboard.

What is multisite video conferencing?

Multisite video conferencing, also known as multipoint video conferencing, means there are more than two parties or locations in a video conference.

What is point-to-point video conferencing?

Point-to-point video conferencing means there are only two parties or locations in a video conference.

What is content sharing?

Content sharing is when your system or service supports the sharing of content such as a PowerPoint presentation, Excel spreadsheet, video, etc., with the other video conferencing participants.

Does content sharing require two displays?

No, content sharing does not require two displays. When another party shares content when you only have one display, the display with either show only the content being shared or, if your system or service supports dual display, the screen will show the party you are conferencing with on one half of the screen and the shared content on the other half.