What Are the Different Types of Video Conferencing Technology?

G. Wiesen

Most video conferencing technology can be organized into different types of hardware needed for video conferencing and software used to establish a connection between participants. Standard hardware begins with the audio and video equipment needed for these types of communications, including cameras, microphones, and speakers. Other hardware needs are more general, and include computers and monitors, connection devices or equipment for networks, as well as any specialized input devices that may be needed. Video conferencing technology also includes the software used for these types of conferences, usually including programs for establishing connections between users and video or audio editing software.

Video conferencing may help reduce a business's travel expenses.
Video conferencing may help reduce a business's travel expenses.

Video conferencing technology usually refers to the hardware and software required of users who are a part of a video conference. One of the most important components of this type of technology is the equipment used to capture audio and video. This typically includes one or more cameras, as well as at least one microphone, and these are often set up in different ways depending on the number of speakers at a conference. If numerous individuals are using video conferencing technology to all communicate together, then each one likely needs a microphone and may need a camera or webcam as well.

Webcams are usually needed to conduct a video conference.
Webcams are usually needed to conduct a video conference.

There is also a great deal of other video conferencing technology used in such conferences, including other pieces of hardware. Each person viewing or participating in this type of conference usually requires a computer and a display monitor. Input devices such as a mouse and keyboard are typically needed as well, though some systems may use more specialized input equipment. All of this video conferencing technology is typically connected to a network to allow the user to connect to other users and receive data sent by the host.

Software is an important type of video conferencing technology. Different programs can be used to allow the individual members of a conference to connect to each other and communicate. These programs can allow a single host to provide audio and video content for other clients, or allow multiple individuals to all see and hear each other while communicating in real time.

Some video conferencing technology can also include other programs used to create video conferences. If a conference is recorded and then provided online for others, then editing software may be used to create the final conference file. Other programs can also be used to add animations or informative graphics to a video presentation.

People who are viewing or participating in a video conference may require use of a computer mouse.
People who are viewing or participating in a video conference may require use of a computer mouse.

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Discussion Comments


@JessicaLynn - It's interesting that your boyfriend thinks the video conferencing systems aren't that difficult. I think that's probably because he's in the audio industry. For someone like myself who is technologically incompetent, services like his hotel offers would be a god send!


I heard just today that Facebook is going to include a video conferencing feature that is powered by Skype technology. Say what you will about Facebook and Skype, but this new feature is sure to introduce video conferencing to millions of new users. It is already a popular technology, but now that it will be integrated and easier than ever, tons of new people are sure to start using it. We are probably at the start of a whole new era in video conferencing.


My boyfriend works as an audio technician at a hotel. Part of his job involves video conferencing services. Businesses pay to come use the hotels video conference room and the technicians assist them in operating the equipment.

Most of the equipment isn't that hard to operate but then again most business people don't want to have to worry about it. That's why they pay people like my boyfriend to do the job for them so all they have to worry about is the actual conference!

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