Planner Resources


Meetings Tech Tip - October 2011

Business videoconferencing

Skype deserves a lot of credit for being a quick, cool option for face time with your daughter who’s off at college or your grandma in Scottsdale.

But if you’re looking for a business-class solution, you might want to consider High Definition or TelePresence videoconferencing. While pricey, these systems are quickly becoming main-stream because they help eliminate expensive air travel. The increased detail in both the video and audio (think Blu-Ray) is stunning. People say they actually feel like they can reach across the table and hand something to the attendees on the other end!

Here are a few videoconferencing tips from our resident Q Center experts. And, yes, some of them are even helpful for Skyping with grandma.

Wear

Don't

  • Wear solid, neutral colors. Complicated patterns and stripes can create distracting optical illusions. Bright colors – and even white – can have a halo effect that makes the garment appear to glow.
  • Let the sun shine. If at all possible, use a room with a window and open the curtains. Natural light will render neutral colors and skin tone best across the data stream. Many purpose-built videoconference rooms are actually equipped with specially-designed fixtures that reflect light off tabletops and onto faces. This helps prevent that scary stalker-movie shadow that can come from overhead lighting.
  • Bandwidth rules! Make sure the system you’re using has sufficient network bandwidth. (GEEK TALK ALERT!) Old-school, lower resolution ISDN (384 kbps) systems run on a telephone line. Newer high-def videoconference systems need a high-speed IP connection running at 1.5-2.0 Mbps for 720p, all the way up to 6.0 Mbps for 1080p. This bandwidth needs to be guaranteed and exclusive to the videoconference; otherwise the video quality will suffer. Translation: The higher the def, the wider the pipe you’ll need to stream the data. And you’ll need to have that pipe all to yourself.
  • Meet your match. So what happens if you’re at a conference center that has an awesome HD videoconferencing system, but your office only has a lower resolution phone-based system? Enter the bridging service. This service enables systems of varying qualities to talk to one another and optimizes the video quality for each participant.

Got any other suggestions? Speak your mind by leaving a comment.


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