videoconferencing

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videoconferencing

[‚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.

videoconferencing

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, www.cisco.com)







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, www.poly.com)







ISDN and IP
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
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Where the GVC3200 is a great option for businesses seeking up to 9-way conferencing and support for up to 3 Full HD monitors in large conferencing scenarios (such as corporate headquarters), the GVC3202 offers a slightly lower capacity and lower cost option for businesses wanting up to 3-way video-conferencing and support for up to 2 Full HD monitors (such as small-to- medium offices or branch offices).
LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari inaugurated the video-conferencing facility, while LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah, Vice President Kashif Anwar, former President Mian Anjum Nisar, former Vice President Saeeda Nazar, Executive Committee Member Zahid Javaid Ahmad, Waqar Ahmad Mian, Nasir Saeed, Syed Mehmood Ghaznavi, Amjad Ali Jawa and Rehmatullah Javaid were also present.
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Focal goal to start Video-Conferencing System, Computer and Internet in spreading education is socio-economic uplifting of the students and providing them equal opportunities of receiving quality education.
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Although teachers may not know it, they already may have all or nearly all the necessary components--modern computer, broadband Internet connection, free video-conferencing software and digital video camera.
The video-conferencing internet-based network is funded by training body ELWa and the universities' HEFCW, and EC cash.
Video-conferencing facilities will be in every secondary school in the town by the end of this month thanks to pounds 93,000 from the Learning and Skills Council.

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