The infrastructure requirements for video conferencing software have evolved tremendously in the past few years where virtual communication was the only way humans were able to communicate. With the modern hybrid workplace model that has since emerged and been embraced by many businesses, companies are paying attention to the infrastructure requirements for effective video conferencing to grow and improve their business.
What are Video Conferencing Infrastructure Requirements?
Communication infrastructure requirements have evolved immensely for companies as employees seem to respond better to the virtual presence of team members as more companies allow remote working opportunities. Likewise, customers also prefer to maintain face-to-face relationships with companies and are more in favor of companies that invest and improve the infrastructure requirements to improve their communication systems. Following are the basic infrastructure requirements to maintain effective video communication/
Before gathering up microphones, video cameras, audio mixers, and other bits of infrastructure requirements to plug into your network, a look at the capabilities of that network is wise. As in most things related to the internet, more video conferencing bandwidth and infrastructure requirements are always nice.
Excess bandwidth can even mask shortcomings in other areas. For a good quality video conference, using the SIP or H.323 protocols, a symmetrical bandwidth of 1.5 to 3.0 Mb/sec will do nicely. Most internet connections, especially residential ones, are asymmetrical, and the download speed is considerably faster than the upload speed. If the infrastructure requirements of a symmetrical connection are not available, the frame rate of the video is likely to be affected.
Frame Rate and Resolution
A typical video conference uses 384kbps to 768kbps, this “pipe” must deliver a number of frames (pictures) per second at a particular resolution, along with the infrastructure requirements and connection overhead required for internet transmission.
With higher video resolution and greater frame rate, more bandwidth is required. Some infrastructure requirements for reference: typical resolution specifications are 640x480 pixels for webcams, 720x480 for NTSC cameras, and 720x576 for PAL cameras. Frame rates look best at 25-30 per second but can be as slow as 7.5 frames per second and still be tolerable in some situations. The needs of specific video conferencing infrastructure requirements will depend upon how that system will be used.
Codec for Video Conferencing
A codec (encoding /decoding algorithm) compresses the data at the transmission end and reconstitutes it at the receiving end. H.264/AVC is a popular industry standard codec that handles these tasks. Coding and decoding are computationally intensive and can easily stress a PC’s resources if, as usual in low-end video communication systems infrastructure requirements, the PC is running the codec software. Hardware encoders are much faster than the software versions and can make a noticeable quality difference in video conferences, especially across a long-distance or multi-hop connection. The best tools for remote video conferencing should offer the proper infrastructure to support high-quality voice and video transmissions with minimal glitches or interruptions.
It might seem strange, but the audio part of the infrastructure requirements needed to fully support video conferencing is possibly more important than the video. The reason for this is simple, and when you think about it. If the picture goes away during a video conference or becomes unstable, participants can simply drop back to a “conference call” and continue. However, if the infrastructure requirements fail and sound goes away, or becomes unintelligible, there isn't much point in continuing the electronic connection.
Human voice spends most of its time around 2kHz, with a functional maximum frequency of about 7 kHz, so microphones offering frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz are not worth the extra cost. But this doesn't mean cheap mics are the way to go either. If separate microphone(s) and speakers are used (rather than headsets) the outgoing voice signal can be picked up by the microphone on the other end and come back slightly delayed (thanks to latency) from the original signal’s infrastructure requirements. The tell-tale echo means the system you're connected to is not using echo suppression infrastructure requirements, noise-canceling microphones, or has the microphone and speaker too close together.
Two people, using headsets and webcams can carry on a video conversation across the internet or PSTN with good reliability. Voice and video quality will serve the purpose but are likely to have infrastructure requirements and quality issues. As soon as the virtual meeting becomes more complex, involving more people and possibly multiple locations, the technical infrastructure requirements issues increase rapidly.
The basic advice is to assure adequate symmetrical infrastructure requirements bandwidth and use dedicated video conferencing hardware. Appropriate infrastructure requirements and equipment are important components of your overall video conferencing etiquette and should handle the codec functions, including sophisticated microphones intended for video conferences, and feature cameras that can be adjusted for color and brightness, and physically controlled to optimize the quality of the picture as well as the content of the frame.
The right computer systems are key infrastructure requirements for effective video conferencing. The right set of devices making up the infrastructure requirements for your video conferencing system should be able to handle audio and video input. Computers will compress and decompress data with access to a network. Hence, it is important to invest in the right infrastructure requirements to maintain effective communication via video conferencing.
A final piece of advice; when setting up a video conference, have people at each end-point to check the quality of the video and voice. With their feedback, you can make sure the system's infrastructure requirements will deliver the desired experience before the participants “go live”.
Video displays, speakers, telephones, TV screens, or a projector can fill in as infrastructure requirements for video conferencing. Based on your video conferencing needs for customers and available infrastructure requirements, your business will have to deploy an endpoint system that is right for you and your audience.
Video conferencing technology will only continue to evolve as the world’s economy grows more connected. The human touch that is perceived via video conferencing has made businesses seem more accessible than ever before. As your business explores buying video conferencing software solutions and the infrastructure requirements that follow, consult with our video conferencing buyer’s guide to select the right solution and infrastructure requirements that accompany your business.