HQ Video is being there without the miles

Frequent fliers could be a thing of the past as desktop video conferencing and telepresence systems make businesses question the real need for business travel. With the advent of High Definition (HD) systems, quality sound and better network connectivity, video conferences and telepresence are capable of creating virtual meetings with a true feeling of “being there.” Just over a year ago Gartner Fellow Steve Prentice said “The challenge of the current economic conditions demands that every organisation revisit the need for face-to-face meetings,” as Gartner predicted a significant uptick in the video telepresence market at the expense of the airlines. Frost and Sullivan concur as earlier this year they reported the total 2009 videoconferencing systems and services market was $2.27 billion and is forecasted to over double reach $5 billion in 2014.

A number of key elements are required for a successful video conferencing implementation. Undoubtedly the cameras, microphones etc must be able to provide the necessary high quality virtual meeting experience. It is the infrastructure, however, that makes the difference between a system that works and one that doesn’t.

Capable endpoints – For a fully unified communications solution ensuring that all endpoints have the necessary capacity and video processing capabilities is essential. Integrated software solutions are needed for seamless collaboration and special video processing add on cards ensure the highest quality communications.

Multipoint Control Units (MCU) or Conferencing Servers – There are plenty of simple point to point solutions but for the real benefit of video conferencing it is the multi-party solution that is required. MCU’s allow multiple endpoints to be brought together and typically must support transcoding and switching functions to ensure the fullest endpoint compatibility.

Video and Audio Codecs. The advances in compression algorithms have been a key enabler in the ongoing success of video conferencing.  Any system should be capable of supporting a full suite of the latest  codecs,. The capability to support and add the newest options e.g. networking centric  SVC (Scalable Video Codec ) HD Codecs is crucial.

Network infrastructure- A lot of focus is placed upon the primary video components which is understandable, however, for an implementation to run as desired it is crucial that the network infrastructure be sized to match the ongoing bandwidth requirements. Likewise all the key complements e.g. MCU etc should have the networking performance to match their video capabilities.

The demands of high quality video systems require there be no weak links in the chain. Advantech’s DSPC-8502 is an x8 media processing card that can bring 4 video capable DSPs to a PC desktop or server platform. Whether for an MCU, video gateway or a conference room telepresence solution the Advantech DSPC-8502 will ensure your video and network connections are solid.

RT Lu – Associate Vice President, Embedded Media & Smart Technology (EMST)


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