What is video conferencing?
A way to meet face to face, from anywhere
Video conferencing is a form of telecommunications, in which participants join online meetings using devices with built-in cameras. It may also be referred to as videotelphony, video calling, video chat, or web conferencing.
The history of video conference systems begins in the early twentieth century, when research related to technologies like television and radio prompted vendors to explore the possibility of adding live video feeds to these forms of communications. However, the video conferencing solutions developed before the 1990s were impractical, as they could only be operated at high expense and with low framerates that produced unrealistic image quality.
With the emergence of the Internet Protocol (IP) suite in the 1990s, video conferencing finally became viable. Using an internet-connected PC, participants could chat in real-time, adding an extra dimension to their online interactions.
Continual improvements in internet connectivity since then have allowed for better-quality video, including support for HD (1920x1080 pixels) and higher displays. Laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, and dedicated video conferencing systems can all connect to video conferences now via Webex Meetings and other services.
Real collaboration, in real time
- Make eye contact and see meeting participants’ facial expressions in rich detail.
- Keep meetings focused with face-to-face conversations and visual aides.
- Boost participant engagement beyond what’s possible with audio conferencing alone.
- Reduce unnecessary business travel by holding a video conferencing meeting instead.
Simple to join, easy to participate
- Dialing in entails either calling a special number and entering a PIN for the video conference in question, or receiving an automated call to a designated number and then picking up to join. In Webex Meetings, the Call Me feature makes it easy to join in the latter way.
- Connecting with a computer means using that device’s speakers and microphone (instead of a phone) to join a meeting in a web browser or a dedicated desktop app. In many cases, end users opt also for headphones or headsets that allow them to hear better and limit the amount of background noise filtering into the conference.
- With a native mobile app, someone can join a video conference from a phone or tablet without needing the extra step of dialing-in. Joining can be as simple as clicking a button when it’s time to start.
With these features and others, Webex delivers a more streamlined meeting experience. Not only do you get to see everyone in high-definition video, but you don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops just to get into the conference.
Hop on from any device, anytime, anywhere
- Join or host a meeting whether you’re on a computer, tablet, phone or other video-enabled device with a built-in camera.
- Customize the layout so that you get the best possible view for the device you’re currently using.
- Alternatively, join from any standards-based video conferencing system, no matter the vendor.
- Also, it’s possible to hop on from a standard web browser with no additional software downloads required.
Fill in even more details with screen sharing
With screen sharing in Webex, more details can be added with just a few clicks or taps:
- Share you entire screen so that online meeting participants can watch you walk through a detailed workflow step by step.
- Or share just a particular document or application, such as a slide deck or spreadsheet, for a more focused session.
- Screen sharing is also possible even if you’re joining a video conference from a mobile device.
Record and share online meetings
- Record the meeting and easily share it over email or by posting a link elsewhere.
- Ensure viewers can simply click on the link to begin watching, with no download required.
- Download and edit meeting recordings before they’re more widely distributed.
Invite as many participants as you need
- You can invite up to 100,000 people to a Webex conference, making it the perfect venue even for a large-scale video presentation or lecture.
- Hosts can also stream video conferences to social media via Facebook Live for further audience reach.
- Scheduling a video conference with any number of participants is easy and can be done directly from all common calendaring software and even from apps like Salesforce.
A path toward unified communications
- Whiteboarding, file sharing and messaging within the Webex Teams collaboration platform can further boost productivity and keep participants connected.
- Cloud calling provides a fast, feature-rich and cost-effective alternative to a traditional phone system.
- Adding touchscreen whiteboards or meeting room and desktop devices can improve the meeting experience and enhance collaboration.