Setting up the Ideal Video Conferencing System for Your Business
When selecting equipment for your video conferencing system, how do you know what to choose? There is so much equipment out there today, so you need to be able to choose the best setup to ensure you will get the quality and function that you need. Here are some guidelines to follow as you are going through the selection process to guarantee that you choose the best equipment for your business.
There are three basic types of video conferencing systems: 1) Studio-based 2) Computer-based or 3) Desktop system. All three types have some great points. Studio-based systems tend to be the best setup because they allow you to house all of your technology in a “studio type environment” (or conference room). Computer-based systems are the least expensive but they offer the least quality as well. So you will not want to waste your time on these types of setups for your business purposes. The desktop system is a middle ground between the studio-based and computer-based setup and offers better quality than the computer-based system. It houses the hardware and software on a full desktop computer system which allows better quality than the basic computer system.
EASE OF USE
You should train all people who will be involved in setting up the conferences well, but also have a few staff members on hand who also know the technology well enough to intervene and offer assistance when needed. That being said, the best way to ensure that things go smoothly is to get a video conferencing setup that will be easy to operate from an average staff member’s standpoint. Remember that the way you setup and join a conference says a lot about your business and how you handle new technologies.
The most important aspect of a good video conferencing system is the ability to connect to the sources you need it to, and the quality and speed of the transmission.
One means of achieving this connection and quality is through an ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) line. This setup is ideal for a large network or when you will be allowing multiple users. Keep in mind, while less expensive, this T1 line requires a great deal of speed and memory over the system. It needs to transmit a DS1 formatted digital signal at a speed of 1.5 Mbps. It will enable you to hook up with overseas companies using a phone line.
TECHNICAL SPECS IN CONNECTIVITY
- The physical layer specs for an ISDN set up are I.430 and I.431. This is the basis for a BRI frame for 48 bits. The BRI frame requires a cycle speed of 4000rps, which provides a total bandwidth of around 192,000bps. There is up to 192 kbps available on the user end for the BRI circuit. If the D channel is used for data, you can tweak this to 144 kbps. This is influenced though by the service provider and their ability to convert the D channel to a data signal.
- ISDN allows a lot of flexibility in delivery models for video conferencing networking, but it can be contingent on your provider, so choose a good one.
- If you choose to connect through a standard IP (internet protocol), keep in mind that this type of system has very limited bandwidth, which can create delays or loss of quality in the transmission.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
Keep in mind that the most important thing is that you connect quickly and setup the video conferences in a timely manner. Your guest will not want to wait while you fight with your equipment, and you don’t have time for this either. If you choose the right equipment from the start, many problems may be prevented, which brings us to brands.
TRUSTED NAME BRANDS
Cisco: Cisco offers a wide variety of video conferencing systems. they also have a long history of diverse experience with networking so they have ideal video conferencing solutions to meet your needs. One of the main advantages to their equipment is that they are compatible between SD and HD connections, allowing you more flexibility with end points.
Polycom: One of the leaders in video conferencing equipment, Polycom specializes in high-end video technology that allows seamless integration with all of your conference room technology.
Blue Jeans Network: This new network has its advantages in that it is compatible with most of your existing video equipment. This backwards compatibility function allows you to use popular online video conferencing formats and your standard equipment. It also allows you to communicate with more people, due to its ability to adapt to their setups as well.
THE BOTTOM LINE
To set up the ideal video conferencing system, keep these things in mind, including the functionality and purpose, specific needs of your business, and the speed and inter compatibility you require with other equipment from either your end or the participants’ end. Choose your connectivity requirements based on the distance involved, how many participants you will have, and the audio requirements. Consider the exact technical specs so that you can talk to your ISP and make sure they can deliver the speeds and connectivity you are wanting for your particular setup. Lastly, always consider your budgeting limits and decide based on what you can honestly afford, while looking for the ideal setup for your needs.
We specialize in high-quality Polycom, Cisco, and Blue Jeans video conferencing and networking systems. Contact us for more information about how we can help you set up your ideal video conferencing system.