If you’ve been researching possible video conferencing solutions for your organization, you’ve undoubtedly come across Zoom, MS Teams, and Webex. While these are the most popular video conferencing systems currently available, there are other options that may be better suited for your organization.
The most well-known video conferencing systems are cloud-based, which offers high flexibility at a relatively low cost. However, many organizations require a more comprehensive setup to accommodate video conferencing equipment and hardware. When it’s time to upgrade your video conferencing system, assess your needs and the different systems available to ensure that you select the ideal option.
Why Are Video Conferencing Systems Important?
Video conferencing systems allow users to host meetings with two or more participants in real time. While most video conferencing systems require an internet connection, there are some that do not. These advanced AV systems utilize audio and video technologies to improve collaboration, productivity, and communication. The right video conferencing system will allow your organization to reap the following benefits:
- Improved communication. Clear communication is vital in any professional environment for employees and clients to understand each project. Effective communication ensures that users do not waste precious time clarifying information.
- Strengthened professional relationships. Face-to-face conversations allow people to foster stronger personal connections with verbal and non-verbal cues. When video conferencing systems facilitate effective communication between users, it becomes easier for users to form meaningful professional relationships.
- Reduced operational costs. With advanced video conferencing systems, users can experience the benefits of “in-person” communication without traveling to a meeting. As a result, your company will not need to cover travel costs for training conferences, and other gatherings. Additionally, video conferencing systems make it easier to employ remote workers, thereby expanding your pool of talent.
The 3 Types of Video Conferencing
All video conferencing systems are not created equal. It’s important to assess all of your options before committing to a specific video conferencing system. While one option is not inherently better than the other, some AV equipment will suit your organization’s needs better than others. When it’s time to discuss your video conferencing system options with audiovisual integration professionals, consider these options.
1. Soft Codec Systems
Soft codec systems are often referred to as cloud or web-based video conferencing software. They are considered “soft” because they do not require hardware and other equipment to function properly. Zoom and MS Teams are prime examples of soft codec systems because users only need an internet connection and a camera-enabled device.
While soft codec systems are a wonderful option for small businesses with limited financial resources, soft codec systems often allow businesses to use cost-free video conferencing tools. Users only need to download these easy-to-use video conferencing systems if they’re interested in using them.
On the downside, soft codec systems are not as secure as other options, but they do offer security in the form of end-to-end encryption and TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol. Furthermore, soft codec system costs can increase quickly as your team expands.
2. Hard Codec Systems
Hard codec systems can only function properly when AV professionals install physical equipment onsite. These video conferencing systems from manufacturers such as Cisco or Poly are hardwired to function using data networks for transport, along with external displays, cameras, and microphones.. Organizations typically utilize these video conferencing systems in fully integrated conference rooms..
Organizations select hard codec systems in favor of other options because they offer superior performance in terms of processing power, screen resolution, and bandwidth when compared to soft codec systems.
The primary drawback with hard codec systems is the high cost because they require specific installation and equipment. Hard codec systems have compatibility requirements as well, so you will need the assistance of audiovisual integration professionals to ensure proper installation.
Unlike hard or soft codec systems, telepresence systems utilize screens to mimic the appearance of physical meeting rooms so that users feel as though they’re interacting in person. Telepresence system installation will require AV integrators to hide speakers, cameras, and microphones, which creates a realistic experience for all participants. This innovative technology offers a realistic, high-definition view of users.
When telepresence systems are paired with advanced audio technology, the immersive experience enables unprecedented levels of engagement. Moreover, telepresence systems provide clear audio and directional cues to ensure that participants know which person is speaking.
However, since most telepresence systems are not compatible with other video conferencing systems, there are restrictions on who users can participate in meetings. Small businesses avoid telepresence video conferencing systems due to extensive installation and equipment expenses.
Which Video Conferencing System is Right for Your Organization?
While hard codec and telepresence systems are significantly more expensive than soft codec systems, they offer a consistent, high-quality video conferencing experience for increased engagement and improved collaboration. However, soft codec systems offer accessibility and flexibility that may suit some businesses better than other options.
If your organization requires video conferencing systems for large meeting spaces, hard codec systems may be the ideal solution for your needs because they offer supreme reliability and stability. Meanwhile, small businesses with limited access to AV technology typically select soft codec systems. High-tech organizations looking to make a lasting impression with an immersive collaborative experience will benefit most from telepresence systems.
Choose the Ideal Video Conferencing System with Applied Global
While there are three primary types of video conferencing systems, each AV solution requires different programs and equipment. If you’re ready to get started and install a new video conferencing system, discuss your options with audiovisual integration experts to ensure that you make the best choice for your organization.
At Applied Global Technologies (AGT), we offer a wide range of AV solutions designed to improve workplace productivity. Our team has the tools and expertise to help your business make the most of its shared office space.
To learn more about our AV solutions, contact us today. We’ll be happy to discuss your specific needs and recommend the right solution for your business needs and budget.