There are many different types of teleconference equipment currently on the market. This are traditionally broken down into three categories, audio, video, and web-based. This distinction, however, is not rigid. For example, a video-based system can also incorporate audio, while a web-based system may feature both audio and video. These distinctions basically refer to the principal form of media that is used to realize the conference, like telephones, televisions, or the Internet.
Teleconference equipment allows two or more parties to communicate from separate locations. It is a popular way to conduct business meetings, academic seminars, and political functions, since it enables a more practical and efficient way for important information to be exchanged. Many business experts note that the overall costs of a teleconference are less than those of a physical meeting. Teleconferences are also sometimes referred to as teleseminars.
An audio teleconference, also known as a conference call, generally uses telephone wires and a public communications network to allow parties to communicate. The main party typically calls the other parties, allowing them all to hear and participate in the conversation. Other versions of the conference call require members to dial a special number in order to take part. There are also specially designed phones that are specifically intended for audio teleconferences.
Video teleconferencing generally incorporates different interactive communication technologies to allow parties to interact via two-way audio and video transmissions. Older versions of video teleconferencing used televisions that received direct signals. This type of teleconference equipment originated in the 1960s and was used in important work, such as in the Russian space program.
Due to the ubiquity of the Internet, web-based conferencing has become the most popular form of teleconferencing. The advent of digital telephone technology in the 1980s allowed audio and video transmissions to be more easily compressed, and paved the way for the web-based model. with such advancements, the quantity of required teleconference equipment, in most cases, was also greatly reduced.
Internet telephony is the web-based version of teleconferencing, which transmits communication online. Some of the advantages of this type of system, also known as Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), are the wide availability of Internet access and reduced costs. Voice, voice facsimile, and voice messages are often used in this type of conferencing, along with video. High-speed connections allow for these conferences to be carried out in an efficient manner, preventing or radically diminishing, most glitches, delays, and other problems common to communication technology.