tiero - Fotolia
In a scene from the NBC sitcom The Office, office administrator Pam keeps her boss distracted by telling him that corporate needs him to find the differences between two pictures. The joke is that they are both the same picture.
That's essentially how web conferencing and video conferencing are today. If you compare the products feature by feature, they are virtually indistinguishable. All serious web conferencing offerings now include video, and all video conferencing offerings include screen sharing.
The only real difference between web conferencing and video conferencing products is their origins. In the early days of the internet, video conferencing simply wasn't viable over IP. Video required more bandwidth than the typical internet connection provided, as well as more computing power than the typical PC offered. As a result, early video conferencing was run over a separate network and used specialized computing hardware.
Sharing content on early video conferencing devices was not always available, and its early implementations were difficult. Today, we run our video apps on the same PCs, laptops and other devices on which we keep our content. Sharing a screen from a desktop while using a desktop video app is the norm. In meeting rooms, the current generation of IP-connected video devices can easily connect to personal devices and share content via USB connections or Wi-Fi.
Early web conferencing was designed to efficiently use as little bandwidth and PC resources as possible. Typical web conferencing attendees would dial into a phone conference line for audio while watching the presentation on their computer. Even simple audio over IP was a lot to ask for in those days. As bandwidth and processing power have increased over the decades, these platforms added audio and video as a response to market pressure and customer requests.
Today, the terms web conferencing and video conferencing are basically interchangeable. There was a general feeling for some time that the video in web conferencing offerings was weak, whether it was lower resolution, less error resiliency or even issues like lip sync being off.
Today, most offerings have ironed these issues out, and traditional web conferencing platforms are now putting video quality first. Perhaps it's time to retire the term web conferencing and just call everything video.
Do you have a question for David Maldow or any other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! (All questions are treated anonymously.)
Dig Deeper on Video conferencing and visual collaboration
Related Q&A from David Maldow
Businesses and industries are using virtual events to reach customers. Determining ROI of these events isn't as easy as it was for physical ... Continue Reading
Zoom meeting recordings are saved and stored on your desktop or the Zoom cloud. But your organization may have security rules that restrict meeting ... Continue Reading
It may be too soon for virtual reality to play a role in how companies conduct business meetings, but it's not too early to understand its benefits. Continue Reading