Choosing The Optimum Video Conferencing: Videostreaming, Podcasts, Webconferencing, and Video Conferencing

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There are so many conferencing choices; Webinar, Videoconference, Podcast, Streaming, how can you decipher what they mean and determine which best suits your needs? Today we are pressed with too much work, too little time, shrinking budgets, higher demands for productivity and the need to be in a hundred places at once. To help in this crushing endeavor, technology has been developed across multiple platforms for use in conferencing sessions. For many users, the differences between the types of conferencing technologies are very vague. This can cause the mere mention of one type of technology to create expectations in the users based off understanding from a different technology altogether. Part of this confusion is caused by the fact that all these technologies have the same goal in mind; Allowing you to interact with others without actually physically being present. Another part of this confusion is caused by the blurring of lines or by using the same word to describe different features. Having an audio component is not necessarily VoIP (Voice over IP) enabled and having a video component is not necessarily videoconferencing. This document will try to identify the differences and give you some simple guidelines to help determine what technology is best for your session.

One of the major issues in dealing with this topic is the ambiguity of the terms and technologies associated with communication. In this document we are limiting the types to four major categories Videostreaming, Podcasting, Webconferencing and Videoconferencing. We are also not including the social media forms of conferencing (Facebook, Instant Messaging, Chat, etc.) as these further muddy the waters and are generally not used as a primary means fo...

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...resolution (nearing true computer image quality) it is still just an image being sent to the remote locations. I may be able to show you a PowerPoint slide but you cannot manipulate or interact with it in any way.

Within each technology there are additional features and limitations that are specific to the version. A feature you need in a Cisco version may not be available in the Adobe version. Likewise someone with only Windows Media Player could not watch a Flash stream. Identifying what you want to present and how you want it received is the first step. Then talk with the professionals that manage the systems to describe their specific features. Knowing the capabilities of the methods available to you combined with how you want it presented and received will ensure you chose the right technology with the best chance of providing a successful session.

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