Types of Video Conferencing Solutions

Read about the different host and join options from conference rooms, desktops, or mobile devices.

Categories of Video Conferencing

Although ‘video conferencing’ generally describes virtual meetings between two or more parties, there are several variations. Mobile vs. desktop vs. browser-based vs. room system video conferencing all come with additional value for end users and administrators. Here are the video conferencing options for users in a fixed location or on the move.

Desktop Applications 

Often used by internal members of an organization, the best video conferencing vendors support desktop applications for all major operating systems. Once downloaded, meeting participants can access the latest product releases and feature sets, including:  
 
  • Scheduling, hosting, and joining  
  • Collaborating with HD video and audio 
  • Screen share, application share, and uploaded video share 
  • Chat and Annotation  

Browser-Based 

Rather than downloading a desktop app, participants join these video conferences through common web browsers. Supported by the open WebRTC (Real-Time Communications) standard, these types of meetings are ideal for those joining from outside your organization. Since many organizations prevent employees from downloading applications, inviting these meeting attendees with a URL link allows all collaboration to happen through a web browser. For example, most sales organizations prefer this invitation method to reduce confusion and friction when inviting external prospects and customers to a video conference.  When evaluating video conferencing solutions, it is important to ask if they offer full WebRTC based options, enabling 2-way video, audio and content sharing through the browser with zero downloads required. 
 

Mobile 

Mobile video conferencing is a massive advantage for those connecting on the move.  Meeting attendees can join via a vendor’s proprietary mobile app or they can leverage WebRTC and participate within a smartphone’s browser. For complete access to all video conferencing features it’s typically recommended that attendees download the meeting app on their device. Mobile video conferencing allows users to join anywhere with a Wi-Fi signal or by connecting via the data plan provided by a cellular carrier.  The higher-rated mobile apps also offer a variety of toll-free and local phone number choices for dial-in and call me-back service  in low-bandwidth scenarios. These applications are commonly supported on Android and iOS devices.      
 

Meeting Room Systems 

No matter the type of spaces you’re trying to outfit with video conferencing equipment — small offices, huddle rooms, or executive boardrooms — cloud-based collaboration helps you make the best of your workplace facilities. As long as these spaces are hardwired or enabled with WiFi, large or small groups can successfully host video conferences. Here’s the hardware you need to get started.
 
Video Meeting Display 
 
Seeing all meeting participants on a large video monitor is mission critical for a productive conference. Additionally, when an attendee shares their screen the content is more easily consumed when the entire in-room group can look at the same display. In larger spaces, make sure to install a larger monitor whose contents are still visible even for those sitting at the back of the room. Most video conferencing solutions also offer multiple displays where one monitor is devoted to content sharing and the other to video participants.  
 
Video Conferencing Unit 
 
High-definition cameras and codecs send and receive video from within the conferencing unit. For all who attend via meeting room system, the encrypted video is decoded and displayed on the monitor. The video camera and codec can typically be set up independently or as a unified system, depending on the admin’s needs. Learn about the video conference equipment supported by BlueJeans.
 
Conference Phone 
 
Deploying a touchscreen conference phone puts any user in complete control. An integrated solution offers advanced functionality such as adjusting the camera’s pan, tilt, and zoom. Also, users can quickly reference what conferences are planned in that meeting room when calender scheduling features are enabled. The most advanced conference phones feature high-quality audio with intelligent noise reduction and spatial differentiation. Learn about BlueJeans Rooms with Dolby Voice
 

Variations on the Traditional Video Conferencing Room 

You may hear the phrase “software-based” meeting room.  These are rooms or huddle spaces set up with USB-accessible equipment including a camera, speaker (often combined), and monitor.  You simply enter the room, plug in your laptop and use the video conferencing app on your laptop to drive the meeting. The benefit of this approach is DIY flexibility, however the rooms may be more challenging to manage and monitor centrally by IT, which is made more complex when organizations have multiple offices and rooms.
 

Mobile Video Conferencing Rooms 

Recently Samsung and BlueJeans pioneered a “video conference room in your pocket” or mobile meeting hub where you can use a smart phone with wide-angle lens as your conference room system. Simply rest the device into a docking station connected to a monitor and use the mobile video conferencing app on the smartphone to host your meeting.  Who said hosting great video conferences had to be expensive?