As businesses are increasingly modernizing their conference rooms and workforces with access to telepresence and video conferencing, the emphasis on high definition clarity for video and data is increasingly important for them to understand. Real-time high definition video at 1080p is the preferred choice for telepresence, highlighting every detail and color of the face and body for the ultimate in non-verbal communication and placing the participants in a fully immersive life-like environment that blurs the edges of real and virtual communication. It is also important, if not critical, for businesses to have the same quality when sharing data, specifically digital images, in order for all participants to see the exact same image true to the original in color and resolution.
For example, rather than mailing physical samples, emailing large files or traveling around the world, the fashion industry has been using video conferencing and most recently telepresence to connect designers to manufacturers, models and customers around the world. While it is important to see the fashions on the live model to satisfy the designer or customer, it is also important to be able to present and see the detail including the exact color and texture in digital images. Other industries such as manufacturing, retail, marketing and education would agree.
Today’s traditional telepresence and HD video conferencing systems that use MCU based conferencing infrastructures approach real-time data sharing with H.239 dual stream technology. This enables businesses to convert data such as digital images on a computer screen to video. H.239 then broadcasts that image as video to their meeting participants in a screen sharing process. While the H.239 dual stream technology can support UXGA, WXGA and XGA resolutions for near perfect picture quality, the bandwidth necessary to support the continual dual video stream can be prohibitively high.
On its website, telepresence and video conferencing vendor, Tandberg, recommends a total call bandwidth of at least 384 kbps for a video call with H.239 dual video streams.
In a recent whitepaper, BrightCom the performance leader in integrated telepresence and video conferencing solutions discusses the limitations of H.239 data sharing.
“All endpoints [in a conference] must be enabled for H.239 and must be able to support the amount of bandwidth necessary to broadcast images with low latency and Quality of Service (QoS) via their network and an MPLS connection for optimal quality. However, all participants in the meeting may not be able to display the data stream at the same resolution with the same number of colors. The image’s aspect ratio, color and quality are at risk of being misrepresented and skewed.”
BrightCom approaches data sharing differently than H.239. Its Visual Collaboration Systems is a processor based, client/server environment that integrates data sharing with video and audio conferencing. The VCS combines meeting scheduling, administration, security, NAT/firewall traversal and a full set of web conferencing features with real-time multimedia data sharing and collaboration in a single network appliance.
Unlike H.239 dual stream technology, “the VCS server performs a one time transfer of the entire [data] file from one endpoint to all other participants. When this occurs the moderator’s VCS client uploads the file into the VCS server which then downloads the file’s graphical image to all of the participants or codecs involved in the meeting,” states BrightCom.
“Once transferred, the relevant portion of the data is rendered at each endpoint in its original quality. After the initial transfer the required bandwidth for the data sharing becomes negligible. This utilization of lower bandwidth provides a better representation of the data’s resolution and colors for each endpoint.”
Because of this, BrightCom's VCS is able to provide real-time video, audio and data sharing with real-time cooperative markup of data at an estimated 56K for total call bandwidth. This lower amount of bandwidth allows for a smoother presentation of data, greatly reducing the risk of lag, latency and image color and resolution degradation and supports a consistently clearer picture.
Additionally, the VCS provides tools for participants to cooperatively mark up images, documents, presentations and other media in real-time. Other features such as remote control of participants' screens, cooperative web browsing and cooperative white board mark up demonstrate a higher level of collaboration.
To learn more about the VCS and how it compares to other methods of data sharing in telepresence and video conferencing, download the BrightCom whitepaper: Real Time Multimedia Data Collaboration in Telepresence and Video Conferencing: BrightCom Visual Collaboration System 2.6.
BrightCom (BrightCom.com) specializes in creating flexible and affordable video and telepresence conferencing solutions. With unique integrated data and video conferencing solutions, BrightCom offers a wide range of options to connect people and content from home offices, mobile devices, desktops or conference rooms.
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