Note from Kelly Curnow, Small Business Community Manager: Casey King, CTO, LifeSize Communications shares the technology behind HD video communications and some tips on the benefits for small businesses.
All you need to start are two video “endpoints.” Each video communication system needs a camera, microphone, codec (video encoder/decoder), and a remote control. Then connect the system to a large flat-panel HD display and a broadband Internet connection and you’re ready to communicate in high definition. It’s really that easy.
You might start by installing systems in the locations your employees travel to most – customers find that the travel savings alone pay for the systems within 3-6 months, and in many cases, faster.
Do people really use it?
It’s actually an addictive experience. With HD video, communication is rich, natural, effortless and productive. Once you start using it, you’ll want to use it more and more. With a choice between making a phone call or a video call, I always choose video. LifeSize systems have built-in data sharing, so it makes it easy to share anything that is on your PC – spreadsheets, video, presentations. Also, brainstorming in high definition is easy since you can point the camera at your whiteboard.
Video has eliminated most of my routine travel. Plus, video is green – every trip you don’t take is a direct reduction in your carbon footprint.
Is it like a webcam?
A high definition video call is nothing like a webcam chat. Webcams deliver a more rudimentary video experience. The low-resolution, low frame rate image on your computer screen is small, the audio quality is low and there’s no sense of eye contact.
High definition video on a large screen is a completely different experience. Insist on true HD – 1280×720 resolution, 30 frames per second, high quality wideband audio and high performance image processing (108,000 macroblocks per second). True HD delivers an experience that webcams and older “standard definition” videoconferencing simply can’t match.
What is “telepresence?”
There’s a lot of buzz – and a lot of confusion – around the term telepresence. Simply put, telepresence is the experience of being present at a distance – a video communications experience that has the same realism and interaction as an in-person meeting. At the heart of telepresence systems is high definition video technology, combined with large screens and excellent audio. Elements such as lighting, furniture, room color and décor help create the sensation of sitting across the table from one another.