Video VoIP (VVoIP)
Many people no longer need to justify the deployment Voice over IP (VoIP) — it works, it saves money, and it enables communication across global boundaries. What else can VoIP do for folks who want more out of this service? One option is to add video to VoIP. This capability, also known as VVoIP, adds a new dimension for businesses that want to implement video conferencing to individuals who simply want to see the person with whom they are talking with on the phone. The business applications benefit greatly from a video addition, as it allows users to avoid the confusion caused by more than one person speaking at once and the inability to discern the individual who is talking at any given time. One sure advantage to video calls is that it opens up telephony communications to persons who have hearing problems. Video plus Voip supplies the means for that individual to read visual clues to follow a conversation as they can watch the other call participant through a real-time video.
How it Works
Many phone companies and individual enterprises are offering video service for VoIP through standalone video phones, software, and suggestions for hardware such as Webcams, microphones, sound cards and more. The user must connect all these devices and fire up the software to activate the video portion of any call. In most cases, the activation is a plug-and-play operation. Once a call is made or an incoming call is recieved, the users can - in most cases - decide whether or not to use the video device for that particular call.
What You Need
In some cases, all a user needs to bring video to VoIP is a DSL or cable connection, a video phone, high-quality video capabilities and an RCA In/Out for remote cameras and monitors. Some IM (Instant Messaging) programs allow users to make video phone calls with just a couple mouse clicks after a Webcam and microphone are installed. Some VoIP services support free video calling between two computers that have the same VoIP software installed and that have the appropriate hardware such as Webcams, microphones and sound cards. In the latter case, users can switch the video portion on or off during calls. Other Web services provide multi-point audio and video conferencing built on peer-to-peer architecture. These services can bridge multiple chat applications and telephony streams into one big online meeting. The phones offered for video conferencing usually are SIP- or H.323-based phones that are desktop handsets that include an LCD screen for video. Some phones include flip-up screens, built-in VGA cameras, integrated WiFi client and mapping features. Dedicated video phones are stand-alone devices that don't need a connection to a computer. They plug directly into the network. Many of these dedicated phones support advanced display options such as picture-in-picture and have speakers for hands-free conferencing. With that said, video phones range from the simple to the complex.
Video calls can be an inexpensive or high-end venture for those who wish to add this capability to personal or business calls. As mentioned above, a Webcam and microphone can set up a video chat for some IM users. On the other end, companies that want to spend some money can find conferencing solutions that range from $3,000 to over $300,000. The latter option includes full-size and life-like views of other conference participants. Some mid-range options include a setup that offers a panoramic 360-degree viewing circle along with several microphones. Even these mid-range options allow for sophisticated change of lighting and the ability to focus in on a speaker among several participants. With the high price of gas and travel these days, a look into video options for VoIP may save money in the long run for companies that rely on remote teamwork.