Dispelling the Myths of HD Video Conferencing – Part 6 of 7

Myth # 6: HD video conferencing bridges need to be tightly controlled and scheduled to work properly

Fact: You guessed it. It doesn’t.

Here’s a little history on bridges or multipoint control units (MCUs):

From a technical standpoint, there are several legacy multipoint architectures. The oldest technologies use a costly shared encoder architecture where all users share the same view. In this case, the conference call is hosted at the quality level of the least capable participant. Therefore, if even one person has standard definition (SD) capacity, then all of the attendees, even those with Full HD, are forced to view video at the lesser resolution.

Newer technologies, made available within the past five years, have addressed this compromise by utilizing pools of digital signal processors (DSPs) that enable unique layouts per participant and full transcoding. Each participant is treated as an individual, rather than allowing the lowest common denominator to bring everyone else down in terms of quality.

Multiple vendors have developed separate algorithms for pooling DSP resources. Some vendors concentrate on variable capacity, while others focus on flat capacity.

Variable capacity complicates the setup of the video infrastructure, requiring the administrator to continuously determine the proper settings for the company. Administrators must first establish the level of service they wish to provide. Then, they construct the bridge specifically to address bandwidth, resolution, encryption, frame rates and number of callers in order to determine the best mode of operation for their businesses. It can be complicated and confusing, not to mention time-consuming, for IT staff.

A flat capacity architecture, like the one used with LifeSize® Bridge™, empowers smart growth by increasing efficiency and easing management. This model requires minimal administrative oversight. It maintains its capacity in every configuration and provides a consistent level of service. There are no complicated algorithms to calculate the variable capacity of shared encoder bridges. Key feature: All users can take advantage of the same high definition capacity.

In terms of scheduling, LifeSize Bridge makes both scheduled and on-demand video conferencing simple for both administrator and user. Using the LifeSize Bridge scheduler, meetings can be reserved and guaranteed. With LifeSize® Control™ integration, meetings can be directly scheduled via Microsoft® Exchange or Google® Calendar.

To join a meeting, end users simply enter the conference ID and IP address into their video systems. Using a simple dial-string, they are directly entered into the call without searching for the specific meeting or requiring administrative support.

By taking the guesswork out of video conferencing technology, users can focus on its true benefits: communicating and collaborating with a broader audience than ever before. The more intuitive a bridge is, the easier it is to use and the more likely businesses will use it every day. Through flat capacity architecture, LifeSize Bridge allows end users to achieve superior quality without the hassle of manual moderation.


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