What equipment do I need to hold a web conference?

Tuesday, October 9 2012

Web conferencing technology makes it easier for businesses to connect its employees with each other and clients. Instead of making an impersonal phone call or going on an expensive trip, people are able to use the software to hold face-to-face remote meetings with anyone that has the compatible equipment.

Without the right hardware, no video conference will be successful. Even after weeks of preparation, technical glitches can prevent any meeting from being a productive one. There are basic gadgets and accessories that every business needs so their virtual conferences aren't hindered by faulty equipment.

Strong internet connection
Transmitting and receiving live video requires a reliable network connection. With a weak internet signal, picture quality diminishes and there's a chance that video speed will lag. This increases the potential of missing key talking points, thus negating a web conference's purpose.

Wired connections are stronger than Wi-Fi ones. Wireless signals degrade as they travel through the air, so meetings that are held far away from a router will likely have connection issues. If wiring a computer to an ethernet jack isn't possible, a second Wi-Fi receiver should be in close proximity to minimize the odds of a dropped signal while video conferencing.

High-resolution webcam
Meeting face to face with someone is one of collaboration software's main advantages over other digital meeting technologies. Distorted pictures produced by low resolution cameras that have slow frame rates distract from the main purposes of web conferences.

Installing a high-definition webcam eliminates issues related to video quality. Everyone that joins a digital meeting should be able to see their fellow participants and follow along with a speaker. Businesses need to ensure that poor picture quality is not distracting anyone from their video conferences' discussion.

A clear screen
Receiving clear images is as important as sending them. Employees' attentions are likely to wander if they can't see what's supposed to be shown on screen. Ultimately, supplementary graphics and illustrations that require a high-resolution screen to be displayed will be blurry if they're projected via devices that don't have the proper visual specifications.

High-definition televisions and computer screens make it easy for anyone to read screen-based content. Many of these gadgets are backlit for clear, uniform displays so that everything is visible without distorting the live video. In the end, this creates greater engagement by ensuring that everyone can see exactly what they are supposed to be viewing.

Dedicated microphone
Audio video conferencing software needs sound support as well as visual aids. Web conferences offer higher call quality than telephone calls if every participant is speaking into a microphone. If too many users are talking into a computer's built-in microphone, there's an increased likelihood that they won't be heard if they aren't in close proximity.

There are various gadgets built that are best used in different settings. An omnidirectional mic supports a large group that is sitting around the device, meaning it'd be best used in a large conference room setting. Headsets are better suited for one-on-one web conferences to eliminate background noise.

For specific hardware, preferences and needs should be kept in mind. No two businesses hold video conferences in the exact same manner, so there are no universal gadgets. Companies should consider what models best meet their web conferencing demands before purchasing anything. Without the basic equipment, it's difficult to hold a successful web meeting. Having the right accessories can turn mildly productive conferences into highly successful ones.