(redirected from Video teleconference)
Also found in: Acronyms.


[‚vid·ē·ō′ kän·frəns·iŋ]
(computer science)
Two-way interactive, digital communication through video streaming on the Internet, or by communications satellite, video telephone, and so forth.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A real-time video session between two or more users who reside in different locations. While videoconferencing supports several end points, the terms "video call" and "video chat" generally mean one-to-one. However, all the terms are used synonymously. See video calling and computer audio.

In 1964, AT&T unveiled its Picturephone at the New York World's Fair, but it was very expensive and there were few takers. Today, due to high-speed Internet access, video meetings have become commonplace for everyone with services such as Skype, FaceTime, Google Meet and Zoom (see videoconferencing software).

It Used to Be Only for Companies
In the 1970s, business videoconferencing was established between branch offices. By the early 1980s, in-house systems became popular after Compression Labs pioneered highly compressed digital video to shorten the data being transmitted over much slower lines than we now have. Ever since, various resolutions and frame rates have been used with speeds from 128 Kbps to multi-megabits per second.

Room Systems - The Beginning
In the early 1980s, videoconferencing emerged with room systems like this unit from Tandberg, which Cisco acquired in 2010. (Image courtesy of Tandberg,

Early Internet Videoconferencing
Desktop videoconferencing became widely used after the universal adoption of Internet protocols in the late 1990s (see IP). This software from Polycom (now Poly) turned a Windows PC into a videoconferencing system. (Image courtesy of Poly,

ISDN was the traditional transport for private videoconferencing because it provided dedicated 64 Kbps channels that could be dynamically allocated. However, ISDN gave way to the Internet protocol (IP). In a private IP network deployed by either the enterprise or via carriers, the quality can be controlled.

Using the public Internet as transport provides reasonable quality without additional cost. Although congestion is inevitable, systems can throttle down to lower frame rates to eliminate most of the jerkiness.

Multipoint Conferences and Telepresence
A point-to-point conference between two people is straightforward, but a conference with several people requires moderating. A multipoint control unit (MCU) is used to mix the audio and highlight the frame of the dominant speaker or make it larger, which is necessary in large groups (see MCU). Multipoint conferences are also achieved by connecting to a carrier's conferencing network service. A more immersive environment for group meetings is achieved with multiple monitors and loudspeakers (see telepresence).

Firewalls often presented a problem for Internet videoconferencing because they are designed to block packets that were not previously requested. However, there are numerous ways of configuring routers and firewalls to accept videoconferencing data. A common method is to invite participants, who then click links to initiate a request. Another option is to place the video system in the demilitarized zone between the private network and the Internet (see DMZ).

Video PBXs
Like a telephony PBX, a video PBX is used to switch calls and provide call forwarding and call transfer. Video network management is also required to adjust bandwidth, provide quality of service (QoS) and to log calls for accounting purposes. See videoconferencing standards.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
So, we have a wide variety of available desktop VTC platforms, some of which come with everything you need to hold video teleconferences right out of the box.
This note discusses the nature of the right to be physically present in the courtroom when entering a guilty plea and analyzes the consequences that arise when a criminal defendant pleads guilty through the medium of video teleconference. Section I of this note examines the development of the due process right to be present at critical stages of one's criminal proceeding as established by Supreme Court case law.
Or imagine Battle Damage Assessment imagery from a spaceborne imager having to wait for a four-star video teleconference to finish before it can be disseminated within theater.
Kavanagh communicated with her class daily through e-mail and even conducted a video teleconference so she could speak to students individually.
A five-and-a-half hour video teleconference session for 32 Sailors costs about $6,400.
The guidelines state that a clear statement of the client's career planning or counseling needs must be obtained to assess whether the Internet is the appropriate service delivery mode and that the counselor must speak to the client by telephone or video teleconference to make a full assessment.
Last week, the companies demonstrated the ability of the Nomad System to display wireless data received from a live video teleconference. An individual equipped with the Nomad System and integrated video camera received video information from and transmitted to a central command post.
The LPIT functions throughout the year by having ILET video teleconference meetings to discuss the specific work they are doing on the current LPIT issues.
The phenomenal growth in the number of adults enrolled in graduate level classes that are delivered through distance education methods, such as video teleconference technology, has implications for library support services.
This tape documents the Getty Center for Education in the Arts' first national video teleconference held in April, 1994.
More than 800 local government officials participated in the firstever nationwide interactive video teleconference on the role of local government on the information superhighway on Friday, Sept.
"Many of our customers are smal but information-intensive organizations that find it much-more convenient to use our public video-room system for a video teleconference than to trvel to a distant location of an in-person meting," explains Alex Battey, accound executive for the Meeting Channel, the Atlanta-based full-service communications company whose 16 public video-teleconferencing rooms around the US are open to any and all users.