Web conferencing and video conferencing are often confused with each other. However, they are fundamentally different technologies. In this blog, we shall talk about the differences between web conferencing and video conferencing in greater detail.

First, we need to establish why businesses would be interested in both of these technologies to begin with. One of the leading drivers is to upgrade traditional voice-only calls and conferences. Both web and video conferencing solutions attempt to create a more engaging and productive experience through multiway communication.

However, web conferencing is designed as an upgraded audio bridge with pictures. Web conferencing is about disseminating a large amount of data to a large group of people. With web conferencing, you can share presentations with audio participants located around the globe. However, with web conferencing you typically do not receive feedback or do not figure out whether the participants have understood what you have said.

Its features like recording and presenter video make it perfect for dissemination from few to many. You can still use web conferencing for smaller meetings, but it isn’t meant for this, as it lacks the features that today’s savvy user has come to expect with collaboration tools. In it’s simplest form, the presentation via web conferencing is not interactive. Participants can see what’s on the screen but cannot make changes.

Video conferencing on the other hand, is all about the human connection. It is about understanding that the person you care communicating with is truly understanding what you have to say to them. So, a video conference is where cameras are used to enable participants in a virtual conference to see the presenter and, sometimes, the other participants.

It gives everyone a seat and a face at the meeting and is intentionally designed around collaboration. The best video conferencing solutions focus on enabling communication in all of the different ways people meet. This includes direct, instant, and scheduled, on any device and in multiple languages.

Conference rooms and huddle rooms can be set up with video systems that can connect to other conference rooms and to remote users on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Participants can share their screens with the group and can dial in via an audio bridge, if video isn’t convenient to them at this time.

Points to keep in mind when comparing web conferencing and video conferencing:

There are certain points to keep in mind when comparing web conferencing and video conferencing. These are:

1) Equipment: Even a two-person video conference requires a webcam for each location involved in the meeting, as well as an Internet connection with enough bandwidth for video. Web conferencing, however, requires everyone to have access to a computer. Also, all computers should have the same conferencing software.

2) Costs: Web conferencing usually costs less than video conferencing. This is because it requires less equipment and also does not necessarily need a dedicated room as participants can log in from their computers. Video conferencing, on the other hand, needs a dedicated room. Also, if you need high-definition video images, the costs increase proportionally.

3) Sight: When it comes to video conferencing, participants can make eye contact, and can watch and interpret each other’s body language, rather than work with only voice or online messages. With video conferencing, you will feel as if all participants are in the same room. With web conferencing, participants can only see those in the camera range and may not be see all the other participants.

4) Meeting in person: While both web and video conferencing save travel time and costs, meetings are often more than just about sharing data. Using video conferencing to meet face-to-face using the latest software, often boosts productivity and motivates employees. Many companies are making the best of both worlds and are adopting a hybrid model. So, they are sharing documents and presentations beforehand using web conferencing, and then scheduling a video conference for detailed discussions.

So, now you know more about the differences between web conferencing and video conferencing. Both are useful and necessary in their own ways. So, do choose either one or both, depending on your need. Here’s to seamless, cost-effective, and efficient collaboration!

For more information on how you can set up a video conferencing solution for your business, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at contact@actis.co.in.

(Content and images courtesy: www.lifesize.com)

AV Solutions, Audio Visual Consultants at Actis Technologies India