There’s no doubt that video is becoming more pervasive in business. It’s no wonder: humans are visually oriented. We’ve been reading people’s faces since we were newborns, so it’s natural for us to use visual cues as we build stronger relationships and better organizations.
As video makes deeper inroads in enterprises large and small, I keep hearing the concept of “good enough” video. So what does “good enough” really mean? Is there a specific number of pixels, or frame rates, or a certain standard that makes video “good enough”? How can you define “good enough” for your organization?
WebEx is a great tool for conducting a web cam video conference.
The WebEx Active Talker feature pushes the video image of the person speaking so you can actually follow the conversation via web cam. This means the person talking is the one you see featured and this works especially well in Theatre Mode [watch video]
In Part 1 of this post, I described how Cisco IT addresses the first key question—about reporting on voice service availability. In this Part 2, we’ll cover the second question: How does the call sound to all of the connected parties?
Cisco IT Metrics for Measuring Call Quality
Although it seems counter-intuitive, the best source of information about voice quality may not be the people who were on the call. Of course, user trouble tickets about problems such as static and echo can be important indicators of bigger issues in a voice system. But we often find that users don’t report voice quality issues, so additional tools are needed.
Higher quality in video is obtained by using higher resolutions, more colors (increased bits per pixel), spatial audio (multiple audio channels and higher sampling rates), and multiple displays. All of these parameters increase demand for bandwidth — in turn increasing the sensitivity to degraded network conditions.
With video, when the impairments become apparent, the experience of the session deteriorates very quickly. Users are easily disturbed by poor video quality — and the bandwidth burden of video means that even slight deterioration of services within the network can significantly affect the video experience. Similarly, with video, the accompanying audio experience must be satisfactory and synchronization with the video must be consistent — and even more stringent requirement.