What Is Video Conferencing? - Definition, Advantages & Disadvantages

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  • 0:00 Conferencing Across Distances
  • 0:33 Video Conferencing Advantages
  • 2:13 Video Conferencing…
  • 3:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Raymond Blockmon

Raymond has earned a bachelor's degree in computer information systems and a master's degree in organizational leadership.

Video conferencing is the ability to host live interactive meetings by using Internet connectivity, a computer and a web camera. With video conferencing, businesses can now hold meetings with the participants being virtually anywhere in the world.

Conferencing Across Distances

Video conferencing, or VC for short, is defined as conducting meetings in two or more locations by audio and video transmission. Specifically, VC uses special equipment, such as webcams, high-speed Internet connectivity and personal computers. With VC, those who participate in the meeting can see, hear and speak to one another, regardless of their geographical location, in real time. In this lesson, we will go over the advantages and disadvantages of using video conferencing technology.

Video Conferencing Advantages

Let's start with the advantages. By using VC, companies can save a lot of money, because they don't need to spend money transporting employees to meetings. Say, for example, a company has a meeting every week and has to fly people from around the world to attend. This can be extremely pricey and not very efficient. The business would have to coordinate flights as well as booking food, lodging and transport. Thanks to video conferencing, businesses no longer have to spend time and money on these activities.

Video conferencing is also good for home use. Imagine chatting over real-time video with your loved ones back home. This can save money until you're ready to return home for an extended period of time. Video conferencing can also come in handy in the event you have work or other scheduling conflicts that won't allow you to fly back home.

Another reason why VC is good for business is that it is very cheap. There are only three pieces of hardware you will need. First, you need a personal computer. Secondly, the computer needs a webcam. Finally, the computer needs to be hooked up to a high speed Internet connection. Most people can find a laptop and a stable Internet connection under $300 dollars, which works well for personal home use. However, businesses and organizations that have to hosts numerous connections around the world may have to opt for a video conference package that is anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.

You must also use some type of software as well. Most VCs come with their own software for communicating. But for the home user, software such as Microsoft's Skype, which is free to download for home use, is available.

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