introduction

Anonymous
As has been previously mentioned, a CODEC is necessary to enable the sound and vision signals to be converted and then transmitted from the local site. Another CODEC is also required at the remote site to convert the digital signals back into sound and vision signals for the audience. The method of transmission for IP and ISDN are different and so require different CODECs.
Anonymous
Before the Internet achieved its present ubiquitous state and reached every school the telephone network offered its own digital communication via telephone lines. Termed ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), this uses the existing telephone infrastructure to carry digital signals. Offered by telecommunications providers it is available in many parts of the world. The service is accessed through dial up in the same way as a telephone, so the network does not have to be dedicated between the videoconference centres.
Anonymous
All schools now have access to the World Wide Web via the Internet. This technology uses a common method of transmitting and receiving data called IP or Internet Protocol standard to ensure information passes flawlessly between networks. The success of the WWW could not have been achieved without this single ubiquitous standard. A disadvantage of IP transmission is that because all data traffic e.g. e-mails, WWW downloads or videoconferencing has to share the same pipes, they all have to compete for the available space or bandwidth.
Anonymous
The CODEC has two components: the COder and the DECoder. The COder takes the local sound and vision signals and converts them into a form that can be transmitted over a digital network. The DECoder performs the reverse function i.e. it takes the remote site’s digital signals from the network and converts or decodes them into a form that enables the picture monitor to display images and the loudspeaker to radiate sound from the remote site. A CODEC is thus required at each end of the link for a videoconference.
Anonymous
A microphone converts sound energy into an electrical signal to enable it to be recorded or transmitted to a remote location. It has already been mentioned that microphones also pick up unwanted sounds together with the participants’ voices. If these unwanted sounds are significant they will interfere or even completely obscure the desired parts of the sound. The correct choice of microphone and its position in the room are vital to achieve high quality sound.
Anonymous
Television camera sensitivity depends on two factors: the efficiency of the light sensitive area (Charge Coupled Device or CCD) that converts light energy into an electrical signal; and the amount of light that the lens transmits from the scene. As the CCD sensitivity is fixed, the only method of altering the camera’s response to varying scene illumination is to adjust the amount of light entering the lens. This is achieved by means of an iris-diaphragm in the light path.
Anonymous
In its most basic form, a videoconference involves transmission of the images and the voices of the participants to a remote site. Optional sources include still images and/or moving sequences from a video recorder, DVD or a PC. The basic conference requires: A television camera to capture images of the participants A microphone to pick up their speech A means of transferring this sound and vision information to the remote location
Anonymous
School rooms that are effective for conventional teaching and face-to-face meetings may not be suitable for videoconferencing, but music rooms may provide a good starting point for a conferencing room as they could already possess some of the desirable characteristics. The provision of an effective environment for videoconferencing requires particular attention to the room’s characteristics; this is true both for sophisticated teaching sessions and simple desktop conferencing from a PC with plug in cards.
Anonymous
Advantages Convenience. Cost savings for travel, accommodation and staff time. Ability to link several sites simultaneously. Access to remotely located experts. In child abuse or other court proceedings, victims’ evidence provided via videoconferencing can reduce the potential of intimidation. Having a set time for the meeting encourages more control and less time wasted on non-agenda items. Disadvantages
Anonymous
Meetings: this is probably the most popular application. The cost savings can be appreciable especially for international conferences where not only the travel costs are saved but also the significant time spent travelling to destinations. A company with branches in Europe, the United States and the Far East can use videoconferencing to effectively communicate and run its business.
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