What Equipment Is Needed for Video Conferencing?

Whitney Leigh White

Many people use video conferencing as a means of communication. This type of communication technique has the added benefit of being able to see the parties taking place in the conference, which is unlike audio-only communication techniques. There are several different pieces of equipment that are needed depending on what type of video conference is taking place. In general, however, all that is needed is a webcam, a microphone, and a computer.

Video conferencing may help reduce a business's travel expenses.
Video conferencing may help reduce a business's travel expenses.

While some computer systems are video-conferencing enabled as soon as they come out of the box, others require additional equipment in order to set up the appropriate platform. The most common requirements are a microphone, speakers, and a webcam. Some people choose to purchase video conferencing software to install on their computer, but this software is not necessary. There are several different types of Internet-based video conferencing programs available that can be downloaded and used for free. Some people may choose to purchase conferencing software, however, when special features are needed.

A webcam is usually used to conduct a video conference.
A webcam is usually used to conduct a video conference.

Webcams are available in a wide range of prices and options, though, many times, the computer being used to conduct the video conference will have one built-in. When a small group of two to eight people participate in a video conference, usually only one webcam is needed. There are times, however, when each individual taking part in a video conference will prefer to have his or her own webcam. When this occurs, the video conferencing software being used to facilitate the meeting, whether it is self-purchased or web-based, must support more than one camera.

A good microphone is an essential part of the video conference. In order for the participants to more effectively communicate with one another, each may want to have his or her own microphone, as a single microphone may not have the range to pick up voices throughout the room. There are many different types of microphones available on the market that can be used to help facilitate a video conference. These microphones range from headsets to handheld mics, from omni-directional to multi-directional, and more.

In addition to a computer monitor, some people choose to use supplementary monitors during a video conference. This especially occurs when the video conference taking place involves a large number of people. When more than 20 people are taking part in a video conference, a projection screen is usually the best type of monitor to use, as this allows for all attendees to clearly see what is taking place. Multiple speakers should also be set up when a large number of people take part in a video conference so that the audio can be clearly heard throughout the location.

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