Video Conferencing terminology clarified

As video conferencing announcements continue to generate news it can be somewhat challenging to understand the technical jargon from the user’s perspective. Nearly all of these announcements refer back to some set of technical terms that may be lauded in the announcement but aren’t fully explained. Find below some clarification.

SVC – Scalable Video Coding:
Up until now most major video conferencing manufacturers have built their solutions around AVC (Advanced Video Coding). Essentially AVC and SVC are formats of compression technology that allow high definition video to be sent across networks in an efficient manner. AVC essentially sends video at a one resolution, one frame rate with one level of quality across a network. The weakness with this approach is when there are network issues; quality suffers because the stream is unable to adapt down to different resolutions or frame rates.

SVC sends multiple layers and resolutions, while monitoring the network. When problems arise, SVC can essentially peel back layer by layer, adapting to the network environment. The result is smoother video that provides a superior user experience.

1080p30 vs. 1080p60
720 and 1080 refer to the lines of resolution of a high definition video single. If you own a HDTV at home you are generally watching 720 or 1080 content on your screen, usually at 30 frames per second. Essentially the human eye is interpreting 30 images a second to create the motion of the content on TV. Now video conferencing systems are starting to use 60 frames a second; the result is a more lifelike, fluid motion. As these frame rates go up, along with the resolution, the image becomes closer to reality.

B2B
The “holy grail” of video conferencing has been the ability to easily connect to and communicate with vendors, partners, and suppliers. Many of the roadblocks for this type of communication have been technological; either due to interoperability or network issues. The term B2B in the visual collaboration world refers to this type of cross organization connections.

H.323
Delivering video conferencing signals across networks requires a number of elements to be successful. The H.323 protocol is design to be a standard that video conferencing manufacturers use which allows their systems to speak the same language. H.323 controls the audio and video signals, the bandwidth, and call control (alerting you to incoming calls, providing alerts, etc). Major manufacturers such as Polycom, Cisco, and Lifesize offer H.323 systems that can easily communicate with each other.

SIP
Like H.323, SIP is a protocol design to enable the communication and connection of devices across networks. SIP is an older protocol that was designed more for closed systems that would ultimately connect via gateways to other closed systems. Additionally, it is not as robust for adding new features.

VaaS

Video as a Service is deployed by video conferencing service providers to customers where all the video conferencing infrastructure, complexity and management is done by the VaaS provider. That usually leaves the customer with the simple choice of which video conferencing video system to choose. VaaS is becoming the new standard of deployment of video conferencing service.

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Top 10 reasons how law firms can benefit from video conferencing

I would like to share with you ten reasons why you might want to consider
using videoconferencing in your law firm.

1. Invite lawyers, judges, etc. from across the country and around the world to
participate as guest speakers in a class seminar.
2. Participate as a guest speaker at another university or conference in the comfort
of your own office.
3. Be in two places at one time whether at one conference and speaking at another,
on vacation but available for meetings or presentations, etc. This is also a great
solution if you inadvertently double-book yourself.
4. Facilitate or participate in meetings without the hassles or costs (time and $$$)
associated with travel.
5. Collaborate on articles or other projects with individuals from other universities or
law firms.
6. Hold two conferences simultaneously and have keynote speakers present at one
location while delivering their presentations to both audiences.
7. Share courses between campuses and with other universities.
8. Solve the problem of what to do if your guest speaker is not able to travel to your
conference or meeting because of weather-related or other issues.
9. Use for tenure review meetings or preliminary interviewing of faculty candidates.
10. Stream live or record your conference for future viewing, sharing with others, or archiving
purposes.

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Dutch law firm employs Polycom® video conferencing solution to support long-distance relationship with Caribbean colleagues

Specialist Dutch law firm Meijer Advocaten has recently extended its international reach by entering into a collaborative relationship with davidkock legal, a full service law firm in the Dutch Caribbean. Recognising the need to enhance communication right from the start, Meijer has adopted a Polycom® video conferencing solution to enable inter-office collaboration and help drive the fledgling relationship forward. Thanks to the sharp, clear, lifelike high definition (HD) collaborative experience offered by the Polycom equipment, partners at the two law firms are now better able to share knowledge, coordinate legal strategies and ultimately deliver a better, more informed and consistent service to their international clientele. Read more at http://docs.polycom.com/global/documents/company/customer_success_stories/enterprise/meijer-advocaten-cs.pdf

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Tax investigation via video conferencing

The State Tax Service in Ukraine has signed an agreement on the supply of video communications systems for those of its units engaged in pre-trial investigations, the press service has said.

“The new system will reduce the costs of investigations. Specifically, the interviewing of witnesses and suspects, confrontations, the identification of excise stamps, passports, stamps and other documents can be done without having to make business trips. This will save both the time of the tax service staff and budget funds, which were spent on trips to the regions when investigating high-profile cases,” reads the report.

The tax service said that video conferencing is an important innovation for investigations into economic crimes, as in most cases criminals use the interregional networks of fictitious companies and evidence has to be collected throughout the country and abroad.

The tax service hopes that the introduction of the communications system will accelerate the process of collecting evidence. In addition, it is entailed by the requirements of the new Criminal Procedure Code, which will come into force from November 19, 2012.

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63 jails in state to have video link with courts

The state government in Uttar Pradesh (India) has decided to expand the video-conferencing link between jails and courts through the internet in order to cover all 63 prisons in the state.   Reviewing the prison department’s performance, minister for jails Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhayya said the project should be expedited as it would help in vastly improving the jail administration. It would also cut the risk of prisoners under trial escaping or being attacked in transit, instances that are quite common at present.

The use of information technology would also help in minimising expenditure and manpower. The first such video-conferencing was held in Lucknow in October 2011 when alleged mafioso Abu Salem, who is lodged in a Mumbai jail, made web appearance before a CBI court in Lucknow in fake passport case. Later, the department also conducted similar exercises in Allahabad, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Kanpur, Ghaziabad and Meerut. The central government had amended the criminal procedure code (CrPC)  in 2010 to enable the courts and jails to present the prisoners through video-conferencing.

There are nearly 89,000 prisoners in the largely overcrowded 63 jails of Uttar Pradesh which have a capacity to house only 46,000 inmates. On an average, nearly 15,000 to 20,000 prisoners are moved from various jails to the courts for appearance every day.

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