Maintaining Acceptable Latency for Video Conferencing

It costs a lot to hold a physical meeting, especially if the meeting participants live in different geographical locations. Some of the costs incurred to hold a physical meeting for distributed teams include air tickets, car and hotel expenses for every participant every time there is such a meeting. On the contrary, to conduct meetings via video conferencing, you will only need:

  • Wide Area Network and CPE router
  • Cameras, codec, and microphones
  • At least 2 HDTVs per location
  • Room modifications and
  • End-user training

Most of the video conferencing expenses are one-off. As a result, it goes without saying, that video conferencing --an online visual connection between two or more people living in different geographical locations for purposes of collaboration and communication—can tremendously cut down business travel costs of an organization.

However, before you delve into implementing video conferencing in your organization, you must first determine if your network can efficiently and effectively handle regular video traffic.

Network Requirements for Video Conferencing

A robust WAN should be able to connect multiple locations across the globe and meet increased demand targeted on it.

Before you roll out video conferencing, your IT team should do the following:

  • Compute video conferencing bandwidth requirements.
  • Assess prevailing contracts and circuits.
  • Incorporate Quality of Service feature in your video conferencing bandwidth computation.
  • Test your video conferencing system to check for any video conferencing problems.

To drive the point home, here are key concepts you need to know:

Bandwidth

You must decide if you will use a single WAN for data and video traffic, or have an independent connection for each traffic type. Also, you must be very careful when selecting your service provider. Service providers like 8x8 have systems that can move traffic from an ineffective network to robust ones in case of outages and acute performance degradation. This guarantees the best path routing of traffic within and between different global locations.

Jitter

Sometimes, during a video conference, packets received vary from those sent. The variation of packets is referred to as jitter. A great video conference should have less than 20 milliseconds jitter.

Packet Loss

Drop-outs and jerkiness during video conferences are as a result of packet losses. A typical video conference should not experience a loss of more than 2% of its packets.

Latency

Latency refers to the time delay before the transfer of video after receiving instruction for its transmission. Audio packets are small than video packets. This leads to the audio and video packets having different transit times in the intermediate routers, thus leading to the loss of lip synchronization.

Acceptable latency for video conferencing is less than 300 milliseconds round trip from one endpoint to another before a noticeable delay --between the speaker and the receipt of their words by the far end participants-- is registered.

The degree of acceptable latency is influenced by the type of the video conference. Video conferences where participants from both endpoints are speakers need a decreased latency unlike one-sided video conferences like training sessions where it’s only a trainer speaking while the learners listen.

Without prioritization of the video conference traffic as a whole, latency of more than 400 milliseconds will lead to a communication breakdown, characterized by parties talking over each other.

Latency Testing

Network latency can be measured by sophisticated equipment like high-speed cameras; set of distinct computer commands and programs such as ping or trace route commands; or with just a stop watch.

Reducing Latency

Latency can be decreased by enhancing networking and software configurations, and improving hardware.

Software for Video Conferencing

Companies with the full understanding of how positively impactful video conferencing can be, use 8×8 Meetings. With Meetings, you get the most robust video and audio conferencing with high definition and instant screen sharing. Here are more reasons why you should consider Meetings:

  • No endless app installs to join meetings.
  • A single click to transition from call to chat to video conferencing.
  • Round the clock support.
  • Video recording capabilities.
  • Team and private chat features.
  • Industry-leading reliability and uptime.
  • Highly secure and compliant.
  • Supports screen sharing for up to 100 participants.
  • Integrated scheduling with your calendar.
  • Call-in features to promptly join meetings.
  • Dial-in number options for more than 100 countries.

Conclusion

When its all said and done, video conferencing should enhance collaboration. Before rolling out video conferencing in your business, it’s always advisable to first assess if your WAN bandwidth is capable of handling video conferencing. Failure to do so will lead jerkiness in your network due to extreme video traffic. This may lead to intolerable jittering and latency.

8x8 is one of the third-party secure extranet services providers that prioritized video conference traffic to ensure that remote teams are able to easily collaborate from anywhere on any device using the most integrated video and audio conferencing with HD quality and instant screen sharing. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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