A video conference system is made up of an extensive range of components, including both dedicated hardware and software platforms. There are several factors to take into consideration when setting up a video conference system, such as methods to transfer data, compress data, and elements that display and record video and audio. 

Here we will explore what is at the core of a video conference system and what makes a successful system work.


This will consist of two or more webcams or video cameras used to record individuals, groups, or props in a video conference. These cameras can be integrated with the computers or set up to be used remotely such as in the centre of a room or in front of a flip chart or other item that is required in the conference. Users may also use digital projectors or interactive whiteboards.


This is hardware that will display the video feed from the other user.  This piece of equipment will display what is happening and will show individuals or props. These normally come in the form of computer monitors, screens, televisions, or projector displays.


In a successful video conferencing setup, a system will usually include either a selection of microphones, located in the center of the room or positioned in front of the individuals involved. Users may also use wireless headsets or any other compatible forms of audio input.


Successful video conferencing systems will usually include professional quality speakers positioned around the room, built in laptop or computer speakers, or dedicated headphones.


This allows real-time conversation to happen successfully, eliminating audio delays and echo sounds minimizing the risks of misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Some systems may even implement echo canceling microphones (ECM) or employ the use of headphones to cancel out surrounding sound that may conflict with what is being said.


Nowadays, video conferencing platforms usually rely on high-speed broadband or fiber optic connections which are more than capable of handling the data transfer rate. In some circumstances, LAN and even ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) connections may be used. It is important to ensure you are using a high-speed Internet provider to make sure you do not experience problems such as glitchy video or audio feeds or lag in conversation.


Considered one of the most crucial elements of video conferencing systems, video and audio codecs are responsible for compressing and decompressing the data that is sent during a conference. When speaking into a webcam and microphone, the codecs compress the data into digital packets which are then sent to the user on the receiving end and decompressed and displayed in their correct format. It is important to make sure the codecs in video conference packages are compatible as some providers will not work properly with others.

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