John Vitale, vice president of Products for the commercial integration firm, AVI-SPL offers valuable suggestions on how to design the perfect business videoconferencing system.
By Llanor Alleyne
building a videoconferencing system. Having a cohesive and intuitive dial plan your users can relate to and understand is important. It is also important your dial plan accommodates off-Net and public switched telephone network (PSTN) compatibility. Then, there are infrastructure resources, which will enhance the capabilities of your system. Bridges, also known as multi-point control unites or MCUs, are a key feature many video calls require. Just like doing an audio conference, all participants either call into a bridge or are called by the bridge and then everyone becomes part of the call. Other devices such as video recorders and gateways provide enhanced functionality and greater flexibility for your users.
3. Endpoint or End User System: This is the videoconferencing unit your end users will actually use for a video call. These systems span a range from PC-based software applications to multi-screen immersive telepresence rooms. Regardless of the size or cost, it’s an “endpoint” which consists of a camera, speakers, microphone and a codec. The “codec” stands for encoder/decoder, which is the brain of the video system. It takes the video and audio, compresses it to send it to the other party, where it is uncompressed and shown and heard. This happens in both directions in real time, which then gives you the experience of talking face to face. The endpoint is a key part of the equation because that is what the user actually sees and interfaces with. If it’s hard to use and doesn’t look good, then that’s what will get blamed, regardless of if the problem has to do with the network or call routing.
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