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Video Conferencing Definitions

Use this compilation of the most common terms we engage with in the Meeting Solutions industry.

Glossary and Terminology

Annotation - Ability to "mark" up visual content in a presentation, a webinar, or webcast by drawing on the screen. 
Asynchronous - In communication, the relay of information with a time lag. Audio Conferencing Connecting multiple parties on a single audio conference call, with multiple lines connected through a conferencing bridge.
Automated Call Distribution (ACD) - A telephony device that answers and distributes incoming calls to a specific group of terminals or agents within an organization.  
Bitrate - The number of bits per second that can be transmitted along a digital network.  
Call routing - Call management procedure wherein a call is sent to a specific queue after being qualified by the telephony system.  
Cloud-based video conferencing - Cloud-based software that conducts a video conference— may also involve sharing documents, various presentation materials, whiteboards, and similar group presentation visual aids.  
Codec - A device or program that compresses data to enable faster transmission and decompresses received data.   
Concurrent Usage - A type of purchase or license agreement that is based on the number of simultaneous users accessing the software.  
Content Delivery Network (CDN) - A geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to provide high availability and high performance by distributing the service spatially relative to end-users.  
Dial-in - The host of the conference call essentially calls out to multiple people at the exact same time from one device. Dial-out The host of the conference call essentially calls out to multiple people at the exact same time from one device.  
Digital Signage - Usually in the form of small to large billboards composed of LCD, LED, or a similar display system. It is generally connected to a content management system or software that sends the display system the data to be displayed.
Encrypted meetings - Meetings having standards-based encryption to help avoid data leaks and video call intrusion with firewall / NAT(Network address translator) traversal and encrypted meetings - even in a multi-vendor environment.  
Endpoints - Hardware that sends and receives the video and audio required to deliver a video or audio meeting.  
Gateway - A data communication device that provides a remote network with connectivity to a host network. Gateways serve as the entry and exit point of a network; all data routed inward or outward must first pass through and communicate with the gateway in order to use routing paths.  
H.323 - H.323 is a recommendation from the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) which is an umbrella standard that provides well-defined system architecture, implementation guidelines that cover the entire call set-up, call control, and the media used in a call. The different entities that make up an H.323 network include gateways, terminals, and conferencing bridges, along with a gatekeeper.  
HD Audio - A marketing term used by high-fidelity sound reproduction equipment vendors. It refers to higher than 44.1 kHz sample rate and/or higher than 16-bit linear bit depth.  
Howling - Officially known as audio feedback, echo (also known as acoustic feedback, simply as feedback, or the Larsen effect) is a kind of positive loop gain which occurs when a sound loop exists between an audio input (for example, a microphone) and an audio output (for example, speaker).  
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) - interactive voice response (IVR) is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and Dual-tone multi-frequency signaling (DTMF) tones input via a keypad.
Interoperability - The ability to make systems and organizations work together; or in the video sense, the ability for two video conferencing systems to connect with each other. Systems that operate on the same protocol are interoperable with each other.  
IP Telephony - Internet Protocol telephony is a general term for the technologies that use the Internet Protocol’s packets switched connections to exchange voice, fax, and other forms of information, avoiding PSTN.  
Jitter - Any deviation in, or displacement of, the signal pulses in a high-frequency digital signal. The deviation can be in terms of amplitude, phase timing, or the width of the signal pulse.  
Load Balancing - Refers to efficiently distributing incoming network traffic across a group of backend servers, in a manner that maximizes speed and capacity utilization and ensures that no one server is overworked, which could degrade performance.  
MCU (Multipoint Control Unit) - A device that enables organizing group video conferences between different video conferencing endpoints. To perform that, an MCU-server connects endpoint devices that can work with different protocols, most often via H.323.  
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) - A  protocol-agnostic routing technique designed to speed up and shape traffic flows across enterprise-wide area and service provider networks, created as a more efficient alternative to traditional IP routing,  
Noise Cancellation - Also known as active noise control (ANC), active noise reduction (ANR), is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound specifically designed to cancel the first.  
Packet loss - Occurs when one or more packets of data traveling across a computer network fail to reach their destination. Packet loss is either caused by errors in data transmission, typically across wireless networks or network congestion.  
Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) - A camera that is capable of remote directional and zoom control - follows movement in the room.  
Proxy Server - A dedicated computer or a software system running on a computer that acts as an intermediary between an endpoint device, such as a computer, and another server from which a user or client is requesting a service.  
PSTN - PSTN (public switched telephone network) is the world’s collection of interconnected voice-oriented public telephone networks, both commercial and government-owned. It’s also referred to as the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS).  
Real-time Presence - An application that recognizes when a certain device or IP address is present on a network. UC takes presence technology and integrates it into the suite of tools that are merged within the platform to foster a more transparent, collaborative environment.  
Room Systems - A system that combines software and hardware to enable meetings to be conducted and attended from a conference room, meeting room, huddle room and so on.
RTC Real Time Communication - Any mode of telecommunications in which all users can exchange information instantly or with negligible latency. Live.  
Screen Sharing/Desktop Sharing - allows remote access and remote collaboration on a person’s computer desktop through a graphical terminal emulator. Can be done through Remote Login or RTC.  
SIP - A signaling protocol used for initiating, maintaining, and terminating real-time sessions that include voice, video, and messaging applications. SIP is used for signaling and controlling multimedia communication sessions in applications of Internet telephony for voice and video calls, in private IP telephone systems, in instant messaging over Internet Protocol (IP) networks as well as mobile phone calling over LTE.  
Smart Assistant Virtual assistant, digital assistant - an application program that understands natural language voice commands and completes tasks for the user.   
Soft Client Softphones - an application program that enables voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone calls from computing devices.  
Speech-to-text Transcription - The process of converting spoken words into text. This process is also often called speech recognition.  
SSL Secure Sockets Layer - a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser in an online communication.  
Synchronous Communication - The relay of information in real-time between parties, with no lag.  
Toll v. Toll Free - A toll conference call is a typical conference call by phone that allows the host to pay a rate for the service and distribute a regular phone number for attendees to access the call. A toll-free conference call is a method of phone conferencing that allows the host to provide a toll-free 1-800 number to participants, ensuring that they do not face any long-distance charges they may incur to dial in.  
Unified Communication and Collaboration (UCC) - A versatile conferencing software that takes the various methods used in conference calls such as text, audio, video, and virtual white boards and makes them available through a single interface.  
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) - Is a cloud delivery model that offers a variety of communication and collaboration applications and services.  
Video Conferencing - A live, visual connection between two or more people residing in separate locations for the purpose of communication.  
Voice Gateways - The interface between a VoIP network and the public switched telephone network (PSTN), a private branch exchange (PBX), or analog devices such as fax machines.  
VOIP - The transmission of voice and multimedia content over Internet Protocol (IP) networks.  
WebRTC Web Real Time Communications - Is an open source project that seeks to embed real-time voice, text, and video communications capabilities in Web browsers.  
Workstream Collaboration (WSC) - Brings messaging, notifications, files, bots, tools, and people together to create a private, persistent, and searchable digital workspace that teams can use.