IP videoconferencing toolbox
A well-equipped IP videoconferencing system requires a handful of key components, including:
Bandwidth. A switched network architecture that delivers 384 kilobits/sec of bandwidth to each videoconferencing terminal provides for a high-quality videoconference. However, systems running the relatively new H.264 compression algorithms operate effectively with less
IP router with quality-of-service support. Quality-of-service tools let technology administrators configure routers to give priority to video packets. Although a standard feature for most routers, quality of service may not be a default setting.
Audio/video bridge. Such bridges allow for combined IP, ISDN and traditional telephone connections. They range in price from $25,000 to $150,000 depending on the number of ports supported.
Endpoints. The variety of terminals used by videoconference participants include desktop PC monitors that do double duty for conferencing and large-screen room monitors for group presentations.
Alan Joch is a freelance writer based in New Hampshire.