Voip.com Offers Video Over IP Guidance

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More companies are turning to videoconferencing now, as a way to cut down on rising travel costs. Video over IP is an inexpensive way for small to mid-sized companies to take advantage of videoconferencing, however the low barriers to entry mean many are jumping into virtual meetings without being fully prepared.

What equipment do I need?

In the wake of rising gas prices and broadband’s explosive growth, companies that used to gather far flung employees together for important face-to-face conferences now turn to videoconferencing over IP. Substantial cost savings in both transmission and equipment mean small to mid-sized businesses and schools are also taking advantage of video over IP communication. Voip.com, one of the leading resources for voip and IP communication, offers these pointers for successful video over IP.

One of the first questions people have is, “What equipment do I need?” Since a virtual videoconference is transmitted over the internet, like voip internet phone calls, a high-speed broadband connection of at least 300-400 kbps is needed. Monitors can be as small as the screen on a laptop, but organizers should keep in mind they must also be large enough for everyone on your end of the meeting to see. 20”-35” is a common choice for small to mid-sized groups. Software, like Microsoft’s NetMeeting is frequently used to encode the video signal for transmission and decode it when it reaches its destination, instead of more expensive hardware options. Although more costly cameras are available, inexpensive internet cameras may be used with generally positive results. Speakers and microphones are the last piece of the audio-visual equipment puzzle and come as either stand-alone sets or part of an integrated headset. If headsets are not used, some type of microphone, whether voice-activated or manual, has to be provided.

Once the equipment is in place, be sure to perform a dry run of the system before your critical videoconference. You can shake the bugs out of your system and ensure that the broadcasting environment is configured for successful videoconferencing. Some often overlooked failure points are inadequate lighting, poorly arranged seating, and background noise pollution.

After you’ve finished setting the stage for your next videoconference, it might be a good idea to do hold a practice session, allowing participants to let go of any performance anxiety they may have and get comfortable with being on-camera. This also gives you an opportunity to check camera angles and audio quality.

Video conferencing over IP is a valuable asset in any company’s communication toolkit. Effective presentations save time, money, and increase productivity. For more information about video over IP, check out voip.com’s recent piece on videoconference etiquette.

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Camie Gontier
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