Video Conferencing IP

Video Conferencing through IP (Internet Protocol) networks:
Video Conferencing (VC) as a business productivity tool is fast evolving in sync with the recent advancement of technology. From the typical room-system VC to adoption of the H.230 standards supported by ISDN networks, VC solutions have undergone phenomenal changes and currently IP based VC systems are the current flavor driven by the growing popularity of the latest IP-based solutions. IP (Internet Protocol) based VC solutions have become possible because of the remarkable growth of the Internet and IP networks. Businesses are increasingly switching over to voice and VC solutions over IP networks because of the universal adoption of the standards for multimedia conferencing over packet networks. Gradual fall in prices of VC hardware, desktops, bandwidth prices and constant up-gradation in video quality i.e. rich video and availability of state-of-the-art video-related services have driven companies to choose VC through IP as the preferred mode of communications because of cost efficiencies involved.

Advantages of VC through IP:
Some of the advantages that IP networks offers are that they have a distributed and flexible architecture which includes Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN) and the Internet. Being independent of location and service provider, the inbuilt scalability of IP allows for increasing the bandwidth, adding equipment and service improvement without rendering any fundamental alterations to the basic infrastructure. Its installation is also simple compared to ISDN-based solutions. However, a lot of careful choices are required to ensure that the required infrastructure is ready for supporting IP-centric conferencing or in selecting services. However, some of the unique advantages of VC through IP networks are (i) no need of long distance calling charges as in conventional VC (ii) IP based technology is always available because of widespread application of Internet technologies across devices and platforms (iii) IP is a standard based solution and is capable of connection across intricate and diverse networks (iv) the technology comes with built-in multimedia integration, web as well as document collaboration. (v) IP standards commands a larger user base since users have greater familiarity with the use of IP networks (vi) recent advances in IP infrastructure ushers new features. (vii) over the years there has been a rapid growth in popularity of IP video.

The main types of conferencing through IP:
The basic types of IP conferencing are (i) point-to-point conferencing which is the communication between two points over an IP connection happening in real-time (ii) multi-point conferencing in which the communication between three or more points over an IP connection happens in real-time. (iii)voice conferencing which is the interactive voice only communication between two or additional endpoints (iv) Video conference which is two-way communication with video and audio inputs in real-time between two or additional points. (v) Data collaboration: Under this system conference participants view shared files as well as application (vi) Data sharing: Under this system multiple conference participants are able to actually work in applications that is operational in one of device of the participants. Latest developments in technology and the growing availability of high speed Ethernet as an affordable media have facilitated the shift towards desktop VC solutions. The simplest IP-based desktop systems make use of PC, web camera, microphone and propriety software that comes free for signal coding and decoding. The document sharing feature allows participants to see as well as edit files while conferencing. This facility as well as the low cost of desktop systems makes this a perfect educational technology tool aiding online learning and business meeting.

Major companies in the IP Video Conferencing space:
(i) IVCi: IVCi is a global leader in offering managed solutions in the present conferencing and collaboration technology space. The company has the reputation of earning the coveted TANDBERG's AV and Service provider. IVCi's flagship product, the IntelliNet IP VC network offers reliability and performance enhancements compared to traditional networks like ISDN. The fixed fee based unlimited usage plans give more economy compared to ISDN-based video conferencing environments. Besides, IntelliNet can be deployed without affecting the existing data network and offers a completely safe conferencing setting. The differentiating aspect of IVCI is that it is a complete conferencing solutions house. Through the IntelliNet MCS, IVCi is capable of providing products and services which are inclusive of installation, maintenance and support, offering professional services, project management, IP Conferencing network, Conference System Management and Conference Network Management all under a single platform. The company has several industry leading certifications to its credit. The company is a Polycom Certified Service Partner and TANDBERG Service Specialization Partner as well. These certification levels give recognition to service providers who have attained the highest stage of technical expertise as well as customer service.
(ii) WiredRed: Wired Red's e/pop Multipoint VC offers rich media conferencing over IP networks. The company has a complete site of desktop sharing, web, VoIP and multiparty conferencing utilities. The product is available in on-premise software as well as hosted service forms of delivery. The product is ideal for B2B applications which can provide dedicated and secure connections for as large as 500 users in a single session. e/pop functions by providing the just needed software and routing components required for a successful VC leveraging from the ever-increasing power of desktop PCs and webcams to manage multipoint video in real-time. e/pop lets everybody to connect with each other over the Internet through the use of existing networks and through Internet browsers and standard web addresses. The product uses a secure routing technology to link up all users despite being behind firewalls and proxy servers. It has a modular, high level architecture using distributed client-server technology through application of highly reliable TCP/IP connections between clients using browser and the conferencing server. The concern for security has been adequately looked into by the company since the connections are always initiated by users themselves and connect to a server through a firewall. IP based VC never attempts to make a connection from outside a LAN or WAN into a closed system. Besides, no peer-to-peer or any protocol or connection types are there which tries to make access to desktops directly.