Video Conferencing Hardware: Why Does It Matter?
A video is becoming the preferred channel of communication among businesses. With video conferencing, businesses have the ability to send the message across clearly without any discrepancies, something that voice-only communication platforms have lacked over the years. The improvements in communication methods that we have today came as a part of the innovations that were made possible by the software and hardware side of things.
Traditional hardware used for video conferencing involves just a webcam and integrated microphone support. But such setups are not suitable for a group conference because a single camera can’t accommodate a multitude of employees sitting around a table. This type of setup requires specialized hardware, and video conferencing hardware is made to do just that!
Why Invest in Video Conferencing Hardware?
With video conferencing hardware, you will have dedicated hardware enabling the following features.
Superior audio tracking: For a device to produce high-quality audio output, it needs similar audio input. However, in meetings, several factors can mess up audio quality like background noise, mixing of noises or events where two or more people speak at once. Video conferencing hardware comes with directional mics and audio processors that cancel out background noise, and better voice separation.
Wide angle camera lens: Wide angle lens is used to increase the viewing area of the camera. The more the viewing angle, the more viewing area. Conference cameras are developed to provide wide angle viewing at high quality, the modern standard being full HD (1080p). Nowadays, conference cameras come with a slew of features like;
- 60+ Hz recording for smooth viewing pleasure
- High-quality lenses that are capable of zooming to a great degree
- Autofocus, tilt and pan feature
HD broadcasting: All these improvements not only leads to HD video but also HD audio. That means that even if two people are talking at the same time at one end, the users on the other end can hear them perfectly well. Each frame and note will be broadcasted in such a way that it feels like natural video and audio, something that non-specialized hardware like laptops or phones fails to achieve.
Codec: Codec stands for Compression and decompression. It is a device or a program that compresses the input video and audio data into a manageable size for transmission and then decompresses it at the other end. If low-quality codecs are used, it will result in the poor rendering of output video and audio, adding more noise and distortion to the feed. High-quality codecs support a feature known as “lossless transmission” which means that the data being transmitted would not get distorted during the compression-decompression process. These codecs are used in video conferencing hardware and are not usually found in mobile devices due to the cost and size limitations.
Control Panel: Conferencing hardware also has a specialized control panel that can be used for a multitude of options like mute, switch lines, call, end, etc.
Connectivity: Modern video conferencing hardware comes with Bluetooth support, making them easier to connect with Bluetooth speakers and computers. They also support USB and remote control to adjust the camera direction and angle.
Compatibility: The two major operating systems in the world are Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS. So investing in a hardware that doesn’t offer sufficient compatibility with either of these will spell a disaster for the company. The latest video conferencing hardware does indeed come with the support for these operating systems and they receive timely updates to keep them running smoothly throughout their lifecycle.
Support for modern telecommunication applications: Today, a majority of the video conferences are done through telecommunication applications. When you choose a video conferencing hardware, make sure that it is compatible with the software that you use. Some of the most common business telecommunication apps are Microsoft Lync 2013, Skype for Business; Cisco Jabber and WebEx.
In addition to the hardware, the performance of a video conferencing system is also dependent on the software. A majority of organizations today prefer to use cloud-hosted conference software which facilitates VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) communication along with video streaming, instant messaging and host of other features. Cloud-hosted solutions essentially remove the cost associated with setting up on-premise infrastructure and are cost-effective in terms of lower call rates.
The difference between a user experience on consumer hardware like laptops or mobile phones and specialized video conferencing hardware is marginal. If your company engages in video-based conferencing, which occur a lot if you have a team working remotely, investing in video conferencing hardware and software will definitely do you good in the long run.
Collaboration is key to the success of any business. Easily collaborate from anywhere on any device using the most integrated video and audio web conferencing with HD quality and instant screen sharing. Call 1-888-919-0758 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.