Colleagues and partners need to meet one another, but for international companies this means considerable travel costs. Therefore, efficient video conference facilities have become an increasingly attractive alternative to physical meetings. A good video conference system allows employees to work effectively in geographically dispersed teams, without the time, expense and negative environmental impact of flying. In fact, according to a report published in January 2009 by Aberdeen, companies which use video conferences can reduce corporate travel and its associated costs by 24%.*
In the past, a video conference were plagued by poor data connections (narrow bandwidth) and low resolution images. Typically, it was only possible to see the face of the person talking, which made it impossible for participants to read body language and disrupted the natural flow of the communication. In fact, the ’real’ conversations would often take place off-screen when the video conference was officially over!
Happily, these days the combination of increased bandwidth and improved image compression software has greatly improved the video conferencing experience. It is now possible to transmit a good quality, live video signal. And with the emergence of optical bright room projection screens, the entire video meeting and all its participants can be seen clearly, all at once.
Team members can see their colleagues’ expressions and body language, almost as if they were in the same room. The fact that people no longer feel inhibited by the technology makes video conferences a highly effective option.
The components of a video conference system are either an integrated video conference solution or a PC with video conferencing software installed, broadband internet connection, a microphone, a dedicated video conferencing camera and a large screen. Being the focal point of the system, the screen is arguably its most important element. A common pitfall is that to get a good result, video conference cameras require a high level of ambient light (typically > 800 lux), but if you’re using a traditional, non-optical projection screen, that amount of light washes out the image. The only way to avoid this problem is to use a high quality optical projection screen, such as those made by dnp.
dnp optical projection screens enhance any video conference experience by focusing and concentrating the projected light. Thanks to the screens’ advanced optical lens system it’s possible to get high quality images, even in brightly-lit environments. dnp’s optical front projection screens can enhance the contrast level of a projected image by 7 times, while the dnp rear projection screens can achieve a stunning 21 times better contrast level when compared with a similar image on a standard white front screen. When you’ve experienced a video conference with a dnp screen, there’s no going back!
The improvement to video conference technology is also having an impact on educational institutions. Schools are waking up to the benefits of video conference lessons as a way of bringing new expertise into the classroom. Some examples of creative applications for video conferencing include teaming up with schools in other countries for live cultural or linguistic exchanges, virtual visits to churches & art galleries and collaborative musical performances.
While remote meetings are still the main application of video nhbconferencing, the technology can be put to many other uses. Video conference is no longer solely an executive tool, but a technology that can catalyse efficiency throughout the workplace. Businesses are slowly but surely discovering that a good video conferencing facility can do much more than reduce the corporate footprint and promote global collaboration. It can also accelerate complex product development initiatives and even aid remote talent acquisition.
"Being in Two Places at Once: Telepresence vs. Videoconferencing in the Enterprise”