Tips on Choosing the Right Video
With the prices of video conference components and
peripherals going down in the recent years, more and more people are
conferencing via video, particularly with webcams. And with
Wainhouse Research Report maintaining that web and streamed video
services will go up to as high as more than 80% in the coming years,
you might as well know what video conferencing is all about.
Video conferencing on desktop is the consumer
those big and fancy video conference facilities used by big businesses.
Unless you have a plush boardroom setup in your home maintain a
dedicated high bandwidth data line, you may not get the same quality as
the big boys do. But then again, maybe you don’t need that
of video conferencing.
For most people, an on-screen window with passable
quality is enough for meeting with someone from either across town or
across the globe. And all this for a price that is practically nothing
compared to the benefits it brings.
Nowadays, if you are interested in getting a video
conference setup for yourself, it could not be easier. The setup is
actually simple: All you will need is at least two computers that are
connected via the Internet or over a local area network or LAN.
Each computer would require the following
- sound card
- video conferencing
For the first four items, you will simply need to
through several computer supply stores or websites to buy them. The
prices will vary with the added features. Take some time to research on
what features you want and compare it with the price to see if you are
getting your money’s worth.
When that is done, you will need to find a program
will allow you to start your own video conferencing experience. Here
are some tips you can use to choose the software that is right for your
As was mentioned before, desktop video
conferencing may not be able to
match hardware-based video conferencing as far as image quality is
concerned. And in most cases, it actually is not all that necessary.
But if you still want a decent picture of a decent size, you may want
to invest slightly on software that you need to purchase as opposed to
those you can get for free.
Video conferencing uses the Internet and given
that, you could be
susceptible to virus, worm or even hacker attacks on your system. Most
video conferencing software will work within your computer’s
existing protection system (anti-virus, firewall, adblocker. etc.). If
the software cannot display and/or receive images, then there probably
are security conflicts that need to be resolved. Consult with your
computer and the software company’s technical support on
issues raised with the video conferencing software you are considering.
Nowadays, simply seeing someone on a video screen
does not quire cut it
like it used to. A lot of video conferencing software allows more fun
and useful features ranging from being able to transfer files with a
single click to playing a game together online while chatting on video.
Pretty cool stuff, isn’t it?
Finally, the Price.
Let’s face it, this is by far THE
deciding factor for most
people. And you should not be ashamed for admitting so. Just looking at
the number of free (yes, FREE) video conference software out there and
you’ll know that you are not alone.
In fact, some of the most popular video conference
software around are distributed for free such as Microsoft’s
Instant Messenger, Apple
iChat or Yahoo
Quality and range of options may not necessarily be trade offs as well
as these can offer satisfactory video quality and added features.
If you are willing to spend on video conference
software, there are a number of excellent ones as well. The prices for
these software range anywhere from $5 to $500 (and even higher for
enterprise-level software) with differences in features much too
complex to be discussed in detail in this article.
Safe to say, however, is that if you are a home
simply wishes to keep in touch (and sight) of friends and loved ones,
spending something like $15 to $20 will more than pay for itself.
When finally making the decision on what video conference software to
buy, keep in mind your basic communication needs (both visual and
aural) as well as the features you feel you will use regularly. Compare
the paid and free
software against your requirements and weigh the pros
and cons. Eventually, you will find the right video conference software