Your video conferencing solution at work shouldn’t be worse than the 10-year-old backup TV you keep in your spare bedroom. And while some providers are sticking with the mentality that “good enough” quality is all you need, today we’re focusing on why it’s important to continuously push the boundaries of quality and resolution as we welcome the new era of 4K video conferencing. But first, we need to understand what 4K is and the difference between 4K and 1080p HD video conferencing. 

4K > 1080p > 720p. While many video conferencing services are stuck on 720p, businesses are now deploying Lifesize 4K video conferencing systems for the best quality experience for their mission-critical communications.

What is 4K?

4K is the ultra-high definition digital image resolution for images that are around 4,000 pixels wide (3840 × 2160). This is in contrast to the previous generation of 1080p high definition images, which were named after the image height (1920×1080). In most instances, 4K represents a next-generation level of image quality that is higher than standard HD.

Is 4K better than 1080p?

4K video conferencing allows double the line resolution and four times the pixels compared to 1080p HD, making it ultra HD. This means 4K video conferencing technology produces noticeably more intricate levels of detail and higher contrast ratios. Lines are sharper, curves are smoother and the level of detail is far greater. 

What is 4K video conferencing?

4K video conferencing is a live video conference call that is captured, transmitted and delivered end to end using the ultra-high definition 4K resolution. Recently, Lifesize unveiled the world’s first and only global 4K video conferencing solution using the 4K Lifesize® Icon 700™ and 4K-optimized cloud video-conferencing service.

How does 4K video conferencing work?

Today’s video conferencing solution comprises a cloud-hosted infrastructure routing calls between personal device clients and meeting room device endpoints. While some providers offer recommended hardware kits of select third-party vendors, Lifesize develops purpose-built conference room equipment perfectly tuned for cloud video conferencing and optimized to support 4K data transfer. It’s the tight integration between 4K cloud service architecture and 4K conference room equipment that enables the future-proof 4K quality while still supporting previous generation resolutions in limited bandwidth situations or for devices that don’t yet support 4K.

4K > 1080p > 720p. While many video conferencing services are stuck on 720p, businesses are now deploying Lifesize 4K video conferencing systems for the best quality experience for their mission-critical communications.

Why do you need 4K video conferencing?

Superior video quality

The visual quality improvement from 1080p HD to 4K is remarkable, but HD also applies to 720p, which is the actual resolution that most video conferencing providers support. 4K video conferencing delivers a resolution that is 8X greater than 720p and provides businesses with the best solution for both high-powered meetings and everyday communications.

Instant and engaging collaboration

Instead of relying on costly air travel or time-consuming commutes between office locations, 4K video conferencing gives remote teams instant access to the more meaningful human connection of a face-to-face meeting in every interaction.

Stronger communication culture

4K video conferencing is more than just a meeting room tool. With video incorporated into your communication culture, employees are not only more focused and engaged during meetings, they also benefit from nonverbal cues and body language to create better, more authentic relationships with their remote coworkers and customers.

What type of teams use 4K video conferencing?

1. Detail-oriented teams

Ultra-high definition 4K video conferencing will appeal to businesses that work with fine levels of detail. In addition to 4K video feeds, 4K full-motion content sharing ensures that the quality and details of your work are maintained during important presentations. While creative services, medical institutions and manufacturing industries will see 4K as a must-have, software engineers reviewing code on screen and management teams evaluating spreadsheets will appreciate the quality in the details.

2. Distributed teams

Global companies that have multiple offices, do business with clients from around the world and have remote employees will also see immediate benefits in 4K video conferencing. The brilliant quality makes video meetings truly lifelike and eliminates the stress, time and money waste associated with commuting to and from in-person meetings. When it comes to strengthening your internal global communication culture, 4K gives you the best video conferencing experience for your distributed teams.

3. External clients

Pixelated 720p video and compressed audio aren’t good enough — not for your business, not for your first impression and not for your mission-critical relationships. Whether recruiting top talent or connecting face to face with new customers, 4K video conferencing lets you present your business in the best light with crystal clear image quality and exceptional audio clarity. Don’t settle for anything less than amazing when it comes to connecting with external clients.

What equipment do you need for 4K video conferencing?

4K video conferencing requires the combination of a 4K camera, 4K display and a 4K-capable video conferencing software. Without all three, the resolution is simply limited to the best possible scenario in the solution set. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to connect in full HD even if you haven’t upgraded all three elements to 4K. Remember when HD movies first came out? The only way to get a true high definition signal was to use a Blu-ray player, Blu-ray disk and HD television. Here’s a breakdown of the equipment you’ll need to get started:

Lifesize Icon 700 conference room system

Designed with industry-first 4K video conferencing capabilities, the Lifesize Icon 700 offers full-motion 4K content sharing and an unparalleled quality experience. Powerful 20x zoom and rich camera optics provide incredible image clarity and a stunning meeting experience.

Lifesize Phone HD

The Lifesize Phone HD is the audio component of the Lifesize solution. The intuitive touchscreen device reduces tabletop clutter and background noise delivering incredible audio perfectly tuned for human speech.

4K Lifesize cloud service

With a complete overhaul of the global cloud service architecture, Lifesize made it possible to support the world’s first true live 4K video call with 4K full-motion content sharing. Cloud services offered by competing companies, like WebEx, Zoom and BlueJeans, downgrade the stream quality to 720p even if you use a 4K video camera.

4K meeting room display

Any 4K-capable TV will work. The general rule of thumb is the bigger the room, the bigger the display. The Lifesize Icon 700 supports dual displays, giving you the ability to display video attendees on one screen while dedicating a second display for 4K presentation sharing.

How to set up your 4K video conference in 3 simple steps

Check out our complete unboxing and setup tutorial to learn how you can get up and running, making 4K video calls in minutes using these three simple steps:

  • 1. Connect the video system to your room display(s)
  • 2. Pair the video system to your Lifesize account
  • 3. Make your first 4K video call

4K video conferencing for call centers

4K video conferencing isn’t just for business meetings. Customer service call centers have been adopting video conferencing capabilities so they can rapidly initiate video-based conversations from any support channel — including phone, email, chat, SMS and social media. With screen sharing capabilities, seamless integration and an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, CXEngage Video is the clear leader. To learn more about video conferencing for call centers, visit this page.

Ready to set up your 4K video conferencing system?

People no longer buy 720p or even 1080p TVs for their homes. They are buying 4K TVs because they’re the best, they’re future proof and the prices can’t be beaten. Similarly, 4K video conferencing technology will be a future-proof solution for anyone who wants the absolute best quality communication for years to come. Schedule a demo with a Lifesize video conferencing expert or set up a free account to see 4K video conferencing in action.