The technology required to allow video conferencing participants to see and hear each other include the codec software plus a program that connects the parties together, which also manages the exchange of voice and video between participants.
Video meetings are either point-to-point or multi-point. In point-to-point a single person or group is connected to another, often via webcams and microphones integrated into computers, or it may be via a dedicated room-based hardware solution. In multi-point conferencing, three or more locations are connected via “video bridges” or multi-point control units (MCU), linking virtual meeting rooms on a single data stream of voice and video. The video bridge must be able to create and manage multiple simultaneous virtual video rooms, allocate a portion of the screen to each member of the meeting and send back a collective stream of real-time audio and video.
A further complexity is added when different locations are connected over a mixed environment of digital and analogue devices, streaming at different speeds and using different data transport protocols. In this case the MCU must be able to translate or “transcode”
When an MCU is well designed, integrates multiple vendors and allows users to call at the best rate available, the result is an easy, seamless experience, which allows people to focus on their meeting, not the technology.
Working with technologies from Cisco Systems, Unifi Communications (http://www.unificomms.com/
Additionally, Cisco Business Edition 6000 (http://unificomms.com/