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Tips in testing video conferencing

Technology gave us the capability to interact more effectively with almost anyone in the world, thanks to video teleconferencing. Now, not only can we listen to the persons we are speaking to; we can see them as well with the use of audio-visual equipment.

But like any other forms of technology, users must know how to prepare and test video conferencing to maximize its effects. Initial testing must be done by all the parties involved in video teleconferencing to minimize and avoid untoward incidents from happening while the conference is ongoing.

Here are some tips in testing and troubleshooting video conferencing setups.

1. Prepare the equipment

See to it that you have all the equipment you need for the teleconferencing, as well as network and power facilities. There must be back-up plans (use of other equipment, connection or power source) if something unexpected happens.

2. Be aware of possible causes of problems and check if they are all working properly.

Common technical problem causes are:

- connection of audio-visual equipment to the power source
- connection and configuration of the input-output devices (external versus speakerphones, etc)
- incorrect camera configuration (room versus document, composite versus s-video)
- incorrect IP gateway or IP address dialed
- RJ-45 is not connected
- wrong configuration of the network connection

Checking these things and ensuring that they are in the proper setup minimizes the possibilities of video teleconferencing failures and troubleshooting.

Conference facilitators must keep in mind that approximately 80 percent of the time, the conferencing failures are due to simple matters stated above and not because of assumed complex problems.

3. Prepare all the materials needed beforehand.

All visual aids and electronic presentations must be prepared before hand and tested before the actual conversation starts. This allows modifications and substitution whenever something fails.

4. Allot ample time to test connectivity among other conference participants.

Video conferencing must be launched five minutes prior to the actual conversation. This is done to ensure the connectivity of the audio-visual systems among participants as well as the reception of video and sounds. If there is no or poor reception of the multimedia messages, modifications can be done without delaying the video conference.

That means that if you have four other participants in the video teleconference, you must allot twenty minutes for testing.

5. Test for audio clarity

Facilitators must make sure that no feedback or echoing happens during conferencing.

Other complications that must be checked are:

-strong reverberation
- howling due to feedbacks
- hearing one’s voice (with a slight delay).

Facilitators must also use the time allotted for testing to make sure that the sound transmitted and received are audible and loud enough. Blasting must be avoided for it will be very unpleasant to hear.

6. Test for video quality

Clarity of image is highly affected by the compression ratio during transmission. The data may be transferred at a faster rate, but clarity is compromised. Ensure that the video and images being transmitted are clear enough to be seen by the other participants or it will defeat the purpose of having a video conference.

A good and effective video conferencing can only be achieved if proper preparation and testing has been done. It also reflects how effective the conference facilitator is in handling his job in crucial times.

 

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