Video conferencing is becoming an increasingly important part of how today’s companies do business. Throughout various sectors, companies are opting to conduct long-distance meetings and conversations via videoconferencing rather than the traditional conference call. The benefits of this approach include improved communication and stronger relationships. When video is not optimal for whatever reason, a high-quality voice conferencing system is best for facilitating the effective communication you may need.
For this reason, it is important to source voice and video conferencing technology that is cost-effective, reliable and meets your company’s specific needs. High-quality imaging is a must to reap the benefits of video conferencing, especially when you need to display video or image content. Priorities for this technology often include high audio and video quality as well as transmission speed.
Circuit Switching and Packet Switching
Standard phone systems use circuit switching to transmit data. This means the system selects a specific path to transmit all the data from the conference. This route is only used for that data so long as the session continues. Because you pay for the exclusive use of the bandwidth, this method tends to be more costly. Some types of videoconferencing use circuit switching.
The most common protocol for video and audio conferencing is packet switching, which uses IP-based networks. This protocol converts the information to a sequence of packets, then sends them. Each packet travels through the network separately. Because these routes are also used by others, this method does not cost as much.
On the other hand, this protocol on its own can result in a lower transmission quality, as the data packets do not have a dedicated circuit open for them and compete with other data traveling along the same route. VoIP uses packet switching; a high-quality communication systems provider will typically use additional protocols to increase reliability and transmission quality. There are also several methods to keep network conditions from affecting quality.
Types of Systems
Conferencing technology systems can come in a variety of configurations. These include systems that individuals can use on desktop computer or full featured smartphone. Set-ups for large audiences in a single room often rely of broadcast quality bandwidth dedicated to that production. A configuration optimal for conferencing in a large number of people in disparate locations may use an IP voice switch for the audio and a larger bandwidth on the same IP network for the video packets. Some video conferencing systems may have a voice switch baked into the system, allowing one person to speak and appear at a time. Others create the atmosphere of a meeting by showing everyone simultaneously.
Radio Over IP
Some companies, such as those operating mobile fleets, need to integrate their radio network to work over IP. VoIP to radio switching can be a cost-effective and reliable way to connect radio users and operators via dispatching hardware. Because the IP protocol can route the audio to a wide variety of radio types, it can make system-wide integration easier.