In a business setting, video conferencing would be a more sensible choice than business travel in three ways – cost, productivity versus travel time, and environmentally. Environmental pressures have steadily increased as environmentalists are starting to call out the impact of car trips and business travels on carbon emissions. This has become an additional motivation for businesses to start looking into video conferences as a viable option. Today, 75 percent of work or meetings can now be done in a virtual setting.

The availability of new hardware and software systems puts the business in a position where it becomes easier to gain the benefits of HD video conferencing. In addition, individuals have become more sophisticated users of the Internet as service providers started tapping fiber optic technologies that provide for faster speeds and higher bandwidth; both happen to be critical components to companies like Blue Jeans HD video conferencing.

Here is a quick guide on equipment needed to get an HD video conference going for the company’s use.

A webcam is what many users are more familiar with, usually integrated into the user’s laptop or could be a separate component of the computer setup. For HD video conferencing, a high definition conferencing camera will be the perfect choice in an office setting. Such also offers higher resolution and the best possible image much similar to HD-capable television monitors used in homes. These high-end cameras will also allow for other functionalities such as zooming in or out and tilt with a remote control plan to boot.

CODEC (Coder-decoder)
The video conferencing codec unit is the system that captures the video and audio straight from the microphone then compresses it to be able to transmit them over the IP network. Then, the same is decompressed so the participants can view the audio and video signals transmitted on their end. It may seem like a complicated process but this happens at the speed of light, as you can imagine.

HD Display
In a big setting with many participants in one room, a high definition projector or monitor is best. The best resolution comes from displays ranging between 720p and 1080i / 1080p. Compared to standard displays, it also allows you to see 20 percent more area so one gets as close to face-to-face meetings as possible. Generally, this is the experience one can expect to get from services like Blue Jeans HD video conferencing. There are several other options as far as displays are concerned and depending on budget, one can take advantage of several options and test them first to ensure that it fits the company’s needs.

Microphone (Audio System)
For small groups, analog audio systems may be adequate for the group’s purpose. There are also the intermediate video systems that use digital microphones, designed to work in collaboration with integrated software. For HD video conferences, this software works best especially when participants are using a bigger venue where echo becomes a bit of a problem in case an analog microphone is used instead. But with this software in place, it is possible to cancel out audio echo during the session.

Auxiliary Devices
HD video conferencing will also require a PC, surge suppressor, switcher, DVR, etc. Investing in directional lighting will be a big help since most fluorescent lights used in offices do not necessarily work well during video conferences. Imagine what it’s going to be like seeing the speaker with a strong light behind him and casting a shadow on his image on the display. Even with a high definition display, poor lighting can make the presenter’s image look blurry and dark.

A centralized MCU (Multipoint Conferencing Unit) allows for networking of three or four rooms all at one time. This works to assemble several endpoints into a single conference. There may be instances when one will require a straightforward point to point service. However, there will also be times when a meeting will require a larger group from different locations to attend all at one time since it will eventually be easier and faster to communicate changes or updates if provided one time to all departments concerned. This will happen more commonly in businesses with a global presence especially when considering different time zones.

HD video conferencing has become a culture in many businesses and institutions. Not only do business executives see how this system works to their advantage but so do employees who prefer to work from home and get on video conferences for weekly contact points with their supervisors or colleagues. Universities have become open to providing online support to their students and like businesses; they too have invested in equipment to get this system under way. Advances in this technology have opened the doors to possibilities that decades ago were difficult or expensive to do. This is a welcome change overall.

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