Classification of Video Conferencing Systems:
There can be two broad classifications of video conferencing equipment:
1. Standalone dedicated systems.
2. Desktop Systems.
Standalone Dedicated Systems: These are devices specially made for the sole purpose of video conferencing with every necessary component packaged into a single board or console which is connected to a high quality camera, wired or wireless. These cameras are often called PTZ cameras for their ability of Panning, Tilting and Zooming. Omni-directional microphones are used to gather sound from all directions. Traditionally, conference was believed to be between many people simultaneously. But, as the technology penetrated deeper into the market, variants offering different levels of conversations have cropped up. The consoles offering capabilities for large groups are usually non-portable and very expensive. They are suited for large rooms like auditoriums. Smaller variants of the same technology are also available for conference rooms. Small videoconferencing devices are usually portable and intended for use by individuals. The camera and audio equipment is fixed, like in the case of smart phones.
Desktop Systems: Web-cameras and microphones can be connected to desktop systems and software built for the purpose of videoconferencing installed on it to use a normal desktop system for video conferencing. The codec need to be installed as a part of the software to support the transmission and reception of the data.