Everything You Need to Know About Web Conferencing vs. Video Conferencing

Look at the two opposing conferencing solutions listed in the title of this blog post, and then try to answer the following questions about them.  Are web conferencing and video conferencing the same thing?  If not, what are the differences?  Is one better than the other for use in business meetings?

Chances are good that, unless you’re very familiar with both products, you might not be able to succinctly answer these questions.  But chances are also good that if you’re visiting this blog because you’re thinking about adopting one over the other at your company, you’re interested in learning a little about what distinguishes the two, and a bit about the comparative advantages of each.

So What’s the Difference?

Before we can talk about what separates the two technologies, we first need to establish why business would be interested in them to begin with.  As you probably know, the words you use account for just a small portion of the content of your message; the rest is communicated in your tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language.  Both video and web conferencing utilize a camera-captured image to combine this visual component with the audio component you’re used to in traditional telephone calls.  In many ways, that is where the similarities end.

Web conferencing is typically software-based, operating over the desktop or laptop computer you already use.  It has low bandwidth requirements, is typically inexpensive or even free, and requires no additional equipment.  But these conveniences come at a cost, both in customer service and in the quality of image rendered; this is very much a case of “you get what you pay for.”  Web conferences are frequently rife with frozen images, pixelation, and other inconsistencies caused by their low bandwidth, which limits interactivity.  That makes web conferencing great for lectures and speeches, but for meetings, it leaves much to be desired.

Video conferencing, on the other hand, is designed specifically for use in meetings.  While video conferencing suites cost more up front, they’re loaded with features like high-definition video, crystal-clear sound, IT management tools, and more.  As a result, they offer lifelike interaction between endpoint users, perfectly recreating the experience of a face-to-face dialogue. This in turn breaks down the barriers created by geographic distance and greatly reduces a business’s need for frequent travel – saving them time and money in the process.

So What’s the Verdict?

Simply put, if the meeting matters, you’ll want the HD image and audio quality that only video conferencing can provide.  Web conferencing works great for personal use or for broadcasting a single speaker’s speech, but if quality, reliability, and dialogue are important to you, nothing beats high-definition video conferencing.

Interested in adopting a video conferencing solution at your company? Want to learn more about the advantages of video conferencing and what satisfied customers are saying about it?  Watch a 90-second video here.

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4 Responses to Everything You Need to Know About Web Conferencing vs. Video Conferencing

  1. arnold gordijn says:

    Thanks for this comparison.
    But for me it looks like this is fom the year 2000.

    Try vidyo or radvision
    Its not fee sure but the quality is good.

  2. John Click says:

    Yeah, I’d agree with Arnold… I think the state of both arts is beyond this article’s description. For instance, I’ve been using RHUB for online collaboration, and its conferencing solutions are stellar.

  3. Rose pattinson says:

    There is a great deal of confusion in our industry over web conferences and video conferences. Web Conferencing is where a presenter can deliver a presentation over the web to a group of geographically dispersed participants. In it’s simplest form, the presentation is not interactive. Participants can see what’s on the screen but cannot make changes. A video conference is where cameras are used to enable participants in a virtual conference to see the presenter and, sometimes, the other participants. Video conferencing system like provide the best way of video conferencing.

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