Even though it looks seamless, several components come together to make your videoconferencing technology work properly. It’s more than just a video screen with speakers.
Video input. Minimally, you’ll need video cameras on both ends of the connections to send video images to the other party. You can also send images from digital projectors and interactive whiteboards with cable connections.
Video output. Your videoconferencing technology must include a way to see the images the other side sends to you. You have some options here, depending on the size of your conference room. You can utilize a computer monitor, flatscreen TV, projector, or a video wall for large rooms.
Audio input. The other side of the connection needs to be able to hear you and your team correctly. Your videoconferencing system needs microphones to pick up every nuanced sound in the room. One larger microphone in a central location can do the trick. For larger rooms, you might need two microphones on each side of the room.
Audio output. Your team needs to hear the voices coming from the other end of the connection. Take care of this through speakers, strategically placed either near the monitor so everyone’s attention faces the screen or throughout the room for a surround-sound experience.
Coder-decoder (codec) technology. Any videoconferencing system needs a robust coder-decoder technology to make sure the rise and fall of sound signals don’t overpower the system. Your room’s codec uses noise suppression, echo cancellation, and gain control for ultra-clear audio signals.
Network data transfer. Most American companies have the infrastructure in place for fast data transmission with HD quality. Make sure your telecommunication lines are in place to handle the bandwidth you require.
Yes, and you want a system installed that you can easily upgrade in the future when the technology improves. For example, many video systems are well-equipped to handle HD signals. But what happens when things move to 4K Ultra HD? Is your system ready for an upgrade in five years?
Professional audio-visual companies can create a videoconferencing system that can be easily upgraded without changing out the entire system.
Again, it’s important to have the right infrastructure in place for this to happen.
Videoconferencing soared in popularity when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2019. Supply chain shortages caused delays in getting computer hardware in the hands of companies that needed it the most.
Software platforms also became very important, and they all had a sudden uptick in business. Most of these platforms work with a wide range of technological components.
- Cisco WebEx
- Google Meet
- Skype for Business
- Microsoft Teams
A professional audio-visual equipment company can recommend the correct equipment to work with any of these platforms.
Your conference room equipment and technology are only part of the story for hosting great remote meetings.
Your team can improve the videoconferencing experience with a few quick tips.
Train on using the technology and equipment. When you introduce new technology to your company, everyone who expects to use it regularly should receive training. A professional installation company can take care of this training for you because they are the experts. It’s almost as good as receiving factory training on the conference room equipment!
Familiarize yourself with the software. Similarly, become familiar with how the software platform works for your videoconferencing equipment. Make sure you have the logins and passwords set up beforehand for best results.
Prepare ahead of time. Know how to use your equipment before the meeting. Start setting things up five to 10 minutes ahead of time. If there are any snafus with the equipment or software, you have time to work through them before the meeting time. Test out the audio and video connections to make sure you can be heard and seen. Many programs have a way to test things before the other participants arrive.
Keep charging equipment cords if you’re on a laptop or mobile device. For particularly long meetings, make sure you have chargers for laptops and mobile devices handy. Using a lot of bandwidth and constant use drains the batteries on these devices faster. If you know your meeting will be more than an hour, keep chargers handy because your full charge may drain quickly.
Reduce background distractions. Keep the door to the conference room closed as much as possible. Turn down cellphones to vibrate. Make sure your team is paying attention to what’s going on in the meeting.
Speak and act normally. Because the equipment is top-notch, there’s no need to shout or raise your voice. Microphones should be able to pick up your voice just fine.
Despite your best efforts, your videoconferencing technology doesn’t seem to be working right in the middle of your meeting. The problem might be your laptop connected to the screen.
Think of these quick troubleshooting tips on the fly:
Restart your computer. If your computer crashed, consider rebooting it and only start the programs you need for the meeting.
Update your browser. If you need to use an internet browser on your computer during the meeting, update it to see if that makes the connection better.
Restart your browser. Sometimes, your browser gets stuck from too many tabs open or some program on a window running in the background. Click out of your browser and get back into it to see if that solves the problem.
Close unnecessary programs. Keep unnecessary tabs and programs closed during the meeting. Additional programs can slow your computer’s operating speed.
Go incognito. Some browser extensions might hinder or interfere with the presentation coming from your computer. Try an incognito browser window to keep those browser extensions from getting in the way of your meeting.
Professional installation is the best way to go for great videoconferencing technology, no matter the size of the room. Professionals, like those at American Sound & Electronics, will make sure your new videoconferencing system looks cohesive, works properly, and trains the necessary staff on its operation.