A new video conferencing standard, H.264, delivers twice the video quality currently experienced in video conferencing meetings. H.264 provides a far more efficient mechanism for compressing and decompressing motion video. This mechanism or algorithm requires significantly less bandwidth to transmit a motion image than has previously been possible. For videoconferencing, H.264 requires only 50% of the previously required bandwidth to provide the same quality of image. This means that if current bandwidth is maintained, substantially higher video quality will be achieved or we can cut our telecommunications costs in half or by two thirds and maintain our current level of quality!
If you are using IP (internet protocol) based video conferencing in a large campus environment then H.264 will reduce the total network traffic, freeing up bandwidth for either additional meetings or other uses.
So what does all of this mean to us … if you or your client is going to invest in video conferencing equipment make sure that the system is H.264 compliant. While conferencing systems that support H.264 will communicate to older systems you will not see the benefit of the faster algorithm until both “ends” of the conference use H.264 compatible units.