Video Conferencing Over Internet

Video conferencing over Internet (VCOI) connections, especially if the visuals are in high definition format, might be the cost savings answer to companies seeking to cut travel expenses but still maintain a personal touch. While video phones are meant to give voice and visual contact between two persons, video conferencing is intended to give the ability to actually give one group of people access to another group of people from across town or across the globe with the use of video conferencing equipment. The ability to allow emergency trouble shooting experts from various levels and experiences to sit down face to face, so to speak, and brainstorm over possible solutions or design team members to haggle over changes to be made in a product between new York and Paris, or a team of doctors in Dallas to talk to a surgical team in Moscow is really the stuff only dreamt of fifty years ago. Video conferencing over Internet connections make these types of long distance meetings an everyday occurrence for many businesses all around the earth. The possibilities are endless in terms of cost savings, conveniency and quick response action being able to be made.

The key to making all this happen is first a commitment by a company to move from emails and faxes and postal mailings to a willingness to have the facilities and video conferencing equipment capable of having face to face contact with vendors and clients. As will be mentioned later, not all companies have this VCOI capability, but being ready and prepared to host another company that does have the equipment just enhances the image and the commitment of any business willing to make the choice to add VCOI to its arsenal of marketing and communications arsenal. As rising fuel prices are forcing airlines to cut back on local and even regional service, more and more companies will have to either put account executives on the road or bring more capabilities such as VCOI into play. In and of itself, video conferencing equipment is not inexpensive, but neither is a fleet of company cars or paying account executives sixty cents per mile for mileage expenses. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (II Corinthians 5:10)

Video Conferencing over Internet connections comes in two forms. The first is called a dedicated system, which means that all required video conferencing equipment components come in one single piece of equipment akin to a console and camera. The camera is typically remote controlled and can be panned in various directions. In addition, omni-directional microphones, or microphones that can pick up sounds from various sources around the microphone as well as a TV monitor, speakers and perhaps a video projector are all included in this one purchase package. These packages are marketed either for large auditoriums, small group meeting rooms or individual units, the only kind of these dedicated units that is built to be portable.

The second type systems that are sold are known as desktop systems and are marketed as add-ons to already existing pcs. Adding a good quality camera, microphone and software are included in the basic VOIT equipment packages. This enables individual members of a group to talk to members of another group, with all members of the video conferencing over Internet connections sitting at their various desktop locations, be it at home, on the road or in the office. These types of individual meetings are called emeetings. So what would be the advantages and disadvantages to each system format?

The dedicated system can be quite expensive and even in the small meeting room environment is not meant to be portable to another room without some hassle. A system may cost over ten thousand dollars that will provide face to face group meeting capabilities. On the other hand, there is something very special about seeing group interaction, especially when trying to make major decisions. The interplay in group dynamics is not something to be dismissed or under estimated. Enthusiasm, concern, dismay, certain glances to one another, eyebrows raised, shifting in seats, boredom and other signs that may not be evidenced in an individual setting or wouldn't occur in a one on one setting could prove very helpful to understanding certain issues. On the other hand, the desktop setting is actually very cost effective.

When it comes to video conferencing equipment for desktop applications, a very high quality camera that needs no panning, tilting or zooming capabilities can be purchased for under a hundred dollars. In addition, a headset microphone is under sixty dollars in most cases, making a strong case for going with this option. Only being able to see one person's shoulder up image at a time, or very small group images may not convey all the nuanced body language signals some decision makers are looking for. But nonetheless, video conferencing over Internet connections, be it dedicated or desktop in format, makes doing business a much more exciting possibility as the cost of travel seems to have no visible ceiling for the near future. Besides companies that are willing to sell or lease VCOI equipment to a customer, there are a number of businesses willing to help with the process from beginning to end, including providing gateways that are always open for conferencing, no matter the day or time. For those still emailing, get ready for the emeeting and group video conferencing revolution.

Free Web Conferencing

Corporations take advantage of free web conferencing to cut communications costs and improve productivity. For businesses on a budget, saving money on conference calling while building teamwork is a plus! Smaller companies can afford to schedule online meetings without incurring exorbitant monthly fees and long distance charges. In today's corporate world, every dollar counts; and businesses have to work smarter, not harder. Innovative Internet solutions provide companies some pretty powerful options for enhancing employee communications to help boost their bottom lines. Organizers can conduct online meetings for literally pennies per minute and at no charge to participants across town or across the globe.

Today's high-tech but low-cost web-based communication services not only enable meeting attendees from around the globe to chat, but also to share files and applications, view Powerpoint presentations, simultaneously tour websites, and make online notes visible on everyone's PC. Far more advanced than traditional conference calling, audio web communications can be accessed by participants via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) at no charge. Cheap web conferencing providers issue toll free dial-up numbers, which enable participants to call into meetings at no charge, and individual conference numbers with secure access codes.

Some providers of cheap web conferencing make online meetings a seamless procedure for participants via shared software applications. Organizers establish an account with audio conferencing providers and issue an audio personal identification number, or PIN, to access online audio conferencing. Once logged on to the centrally located conference site, participants can view each other's desktops, share applications, modify documents, and participate in question and answer sessions. Users can click on remote control options to move cursors across the screen and guide participants through sensitive or technical data or provide instruction on operating specific applications. A well placed web camera can add sight to sound for an interactive online meeting in real time.

While some may argue that nothing, including free web conferencing, is truly free, salvation is a priceless possession freely given to mankind through the sacrificial offering of Jesus Christ. "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many" (Romans 5:14-15).

There are a myriad of uses for web-based audio and video conferencing. Architectural firms can utilize shared desktop features to review and modify plans electronically while conferring with developers. Physicians can conduct free web conferencing sessions and review patient X-rays and diagnostic tests prior to scheduling surgeries or coordinating patient care. Secondary and post graduate school instructors can also participate in cheap web conferencing to plan curriculums, consult with teaching coaches, or review student records and documents. Almost any group of professionals in fields of healthcare, property development, education, and more can utilize interactive web-based tools to access and share vital documents -- all from the comfort of an office or home PC -- avoiding the high cost of commuting to a physical meeting site.

Organizing and scheduling free web conferencing is a pretty straightforward process. Anyone with access to a landline phone can sign up for an account for audio conferencing via email, which will contain access codes, a confirmation of conference dates, and a subscriber personal identification number, or PIN. Each meeting attendee is given a domestic long distance phone number to dial into the audio conference. Meeting organizers are charged a pennies-per-minute rate per attendee billed by their domestic long distance carrier. Some providers issue a toll-free number for even greater savings. Providers usually limit the number of participants and the length of time for each session. Online meetings begin the moment the first participant dials into the conference and ends the moment the phone connection is broken. This type of audio-only session requires no computer and can be conducted from landline or mobile phones.

Another way to conduct low- or no-cost online meetings is to install a web camera and videotape real time meetings or provide participant access to videos on demand. Combined with VoIP technology, meeting participants can talk for free via the web while viewing presentations or conference speakers on computer screens. An IP addressable camera is also a unique way to access cheap web conferencing. In addition to surveillance capabilities, wireless cameras can record and broadcast live images accessed via an Internet Protocol address. Organizers simply install a camera focused on presenters in a remote location and attendees can access real time videos from anywhere in the world by logging onto onsite servers. Meeting participants simply type the IP address into a search engine to view live presentations.

Today's web-based and telecommunications technology makes conducting meetings and motivating employees easier and more cost effective. The relatively low cost of computers, digital cameras, speakers, and headsets enables individuals with little or no PC savvy to organize and conduct online conferences that rival those of large corporations. Providers vying for corporate and consumer dollars offer cheap web conferencing beginning with audio-only meetings via landline phones to video sessions via cyberspace connections. Thanks to the Internet, employees can share files and applications, view presentations, and collaborate on projects, building teamwork in a global environment. There is really no reason why today's individual entrepreneurs and corporate executive officers cannot take full advantage of an almost unlimited arsenal of high-tech products and services to take doing business to the next level of excellence!

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