Video Conferencing A-Z:
Terminology

A list of some commonly used video conferencing solution terminology.


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720p/60

1280 x 720 pixels at 60 frames per second. This is the minimum resolution to qualify as high definition.

1080p/60

1920 x 1080 pixels at 60 frames per second. This is the resolution for full high definition.

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A

advanced audio coding (AAC)

A high-quality, mid-bandwidth audio compression algorithm used in video conferencing; popularized by Apple® iTunes®.

application programming interface (API)

Refers to a set of documented functions that can be accessed to render a specific service on one or more devices. API hooks to third-party applications such as AMX, Crestron, etc.

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B

bridge/bridging

A device or application allowing multiple locations to connect in a single call. For example, if you want more than two locations to be able to dial in to a single video call, you will need to use a bridge to connect the calls. These can be hardware devices, software applications or integrated endpoint devices. See also multipoint control unit (MCU).

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

A term to explain when people use their own technology (i.e., laptops, smartphones and/or tablets) for work purposes, instead of a company-owned device.

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C

capacity

In video conferencing, this can refer to one of the following: number of recording ports, bridge ports, transit traversals, gatekeeper registrations or management ports.

cascading

A technique for connecting bridge devices together so that multiple locations can join the same meeting.

client

End-user video conferencing software downloaded to a device.

cloud computing/solutions

Delivering computing services over the Internet. This is typically a service provided by hosting providers.

codec

The compression/decompression engine of a video system.

content sharing

The ability to show data over a video conference call. See also data sharing.

continuous presence

The ability to see multiple participants on a video conference simultaneously.

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D

dual streaming

The ability for a video conferencing service to display video participants separately from a presentation while maximizing individual streams.

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E

embedded MCU

A bridge that is built into an endpoint.

encryption

Mathematical computation designed to thwart unauthorized access.

endpoint

A video conferencing device.

end user

A person who is the user of a product. In video conferencing, it would be the person making or receiving a video call.

Ethernet

The most widely used physical internet connection.

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F

failover

The process or capability of seamlessly switching over to a functioning equivalent device.

firewall

A network node set up as a boundary to prevent traffic from crossing over from one segment to another.

firewall traversal

Technology that allows traffic between an organization’s internal network and the internet.

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G

gatekeeper

A device that manages video conference call control; typically used to manage call bandwidth, dialing strings and other network settings related to video conferencing.

gateway

A device or application that translates protocols.

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H

H.264

Mid-2000s video compression standard; also referred to as MPEG4.

H.265

High-efficiency video compression algorithm with substantially improved video quality; also referred to as MPEG-H.

H.320

Communication protocol used in video conferencing over ISDN networks.

H.323

Communication protocol used in video conferencing over ISDN networks.

H.324

Communication protocol used in video conferencing over POTS networks.

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I

infrastructure

A centralized suite of services—for example, streaming, recording, firewall traversal, bridging and mobile support. Infrastructure can be either on premise (hardware or virtualized) or hosted in the cloud.

interoperability

The ability of systems from different manufacturers to work together.

internet protocol (IP)

A communications protocol for computers connected to a network, especially the internet, specifying the format for addresses and units of transmitted data.

integrated services digital network (ISDN)

A digital telephone line used extensively in video conferencing before internet connectivity was widely available.

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M

meeting recording software

A program or feature that allows end users and admins to record their meetings via virtual meeting room.

multiparty/multipoint

Multiple locations connecting to a single call.

multiple video chat

A virtual meeting space with multiple attendees on a single call.

multiple video conference

A video call that allows multiple attendees to join a single virtual meeting room.

multipoint control unit (MCU)

A device or application allowing multiple locations to connect in a single call. These can be hardware devices, software applications or integrated endpoint devices. See also bridge.

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O

on-demand call

A program or feature that allows end users and admins to record their meetings via virtual meeting room.

on-premise

The term for hosting and maintaining your video conferencing technology on your own servers.

one-time conference call

A video conference call that appears when the user sends a meeting invite and then disappears from the call history as well as your call directory once the call ends.

Opus

Audio format with low-latency for real-time interactive communication.

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P

point-to-point

When two locations connect on a call.

presentation sharing

The ability to show data over a video conference call. See also content sharing.

PTZ camera

A camera that has the ability to mechanically or digitally pan, tilt and zoom.

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R

recording

The ability to record a video conference call.

recurring conference call

A conference call that happens more than once; can be scheduled to occur daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, bimonthly or annually at a specific time.

redundancy

The duplication of critical components or functions of a system with the intention of increasing reliability of the system, usually in the case of a backup or fail-safe.

remote screen sharing

The ability to share your screen from outside of the conference room.

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S

scalability

The ability of a system, network or process to be increased to accommodate growth.

share my PC

Sharing your computer screen in a video-enabled meeting space through your video conferencing solution.

scheduled calls or scheduling

The act of reserving time and/or location for a future video conference call.

standard internet protocol (SIP)

A communication protocol used in telephony and video conferencing over IP networks.

streaming

The ability to convert a video image and send a video stream, while on a video call, to a specific webpage. On that webpage, other people can view the video call in real time or watch the recording after the call is over.

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T

telepresence

A high-quality, multidisplay, immersive video conferencing experience known for high costs and low scalability.

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U

Unified Communications (UC)

The tight integration of multiple communication methods, including IM, telephony and video conferencing.

uniform resource indicator (URI)

A SIP naming convention; effectively an email address for dialing into a video conference.

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V

VC

A shorthand form of video conferencing.

video share software

Software that allows users to share media in a video call.

virtual conference software

A solution that lets you conduct conference calls in a virtual meeting room.

VP8

An open and royalty free video compression format owned by Google and created by On2 Technologies as a successor to VP7.

VP9

The successor to VP8 to compete mainly with MPEG's High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265).

virtual meeting room

A reserved space on a bridge allowing multiple participants to meet.

voice activated switching (VAS)

A method by which the active speaker in a video conference call is given a prioritized view for all participants.

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W

WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication)

The free, open-source project that provides web browsers and mobile applications with real-time communication (RTC) via simple application programming interfaces (APIs).

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