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The focus of this category is on videoconferencing and videotelephony software. Although hardware is also used, this category is about the software that powers the hardware.

Videoconferencing refers to a technology that allows users in remote locations to hold face-to-face meetings, which is convenient for businesses and organizations with people in different cities or countries, as it saves time and saves on travel expenses. It is also used for job interviews, business negotiations, and other purposes. Videoconferencing technology may also be used for training purposes, with the instructor teaching a remote class from anywhere. Schools may use the technology to an instructor with students in remote locations.

When videoconferencing technology is used for informal purposes, or to connect only a couple of people, it might be referred to as a video call or a video chat

The advantage of videoconferencing over teleconferencing is that participants can see one another.

A videoconference can be arranged between individuals with web cameras connected to their desktop, laptop, or tablet computers. Smartphone cameras may also be used. Typically, a software platform is used to transmit the conference over Internet protocols. However, the stability and quality of the videoconference might vary with the reliability and speed of the participants' connections.

Businesses that regularly utilize video conferencing may have dedicated rooms equipped with high-grade cameras and screens to minimize technical faults. Hotel conference centers are often equipped with videoconferencing equipment.

There are two main videoconferencing modes: point-to-point video calls and multipoint video conferencing. A point-to-point video call is one between two users, while a multipoint (group) video conference involves more than two participants.

Videoconferencing might also be known as online video conferencing or PC video conferencing.

A symmetric video conference is a full-duplex video meeting that involves more than two participants who can see and hear one another simultaneously. In that type of a conference, all participants have equal rights.

With voice-activated switching, participants can see and hear only the active speaker. There are different ways in which this is achieved, but the idea is that a server monitors the voice activity of the participants in the meeting, and immediately switches the focus to the speaker. Disadvantages may involve false activation due to coughing, clearing of the throat, or mobile calls.

A role-based video conference involves active speakers and passive listeners. A listener can become a speaker only with permission from the conference administrator, who can add new participants, give the floor to any listener, or remove a speaker's rights.

When used for training or distance learning, generally, there is a video lesson in which the speaker (instructor) can see and hear all of the students, while the students can see and hear only the speaker. This limits distraction from the lesson.

Streaming is a video in which the speaker is broadcast to a wide audience without seeing or hearing the listeners, who can see and hear only the speaker. Feedback is often available through text chat.

Videotelephony refers to the technology that allows for the transmission and reception of audio-visual signals by users at different locations. It may use a videophone, which is a telephone with a video display. Videotelephony may be used in videoconferencing.

Topics listed in this category relate to the software clients that powers videotelephony or videoconferencing.



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