Audio Maximizes Videoconferencing ROI

While properly transmitting video during a web or videoconference is important, what is equally important is ensuring that the accompanying audio is of a high quality. Often, audio being transmitted and received via the use of open microphones or speakers in a conference setting can lead to a distracting echo when the signal is re-transmitted back to the source. This other audio is attenuated and transmitted creating a conferencing scenario that is not conducive to effective communication.

To prevent this from happening, installers consider a powerful digital signal processor to route and deliver sound with acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) capabilities. A processor with an AEC system will help eliminate distracting echoes during a conference and will help filter and reduce extra noise at any participating site.

Studies show that the human ear typically hears sound within a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz. Newer videoconferencing codecs can transmit accompanying audio with frequencies of up to 14kHz. Yet, if there is a component in the conferencing network that is not capable of receiving and transmitting wideband audio, then it severely limits the quality of audio at that particular location and decreases the intrinsic value of the entire system.

To transmit audio at the highest frequency range possible, and to take advantage of high bandwidth connections that are becoming more common (IP telephony, video codec, ISDN), it is important to specify a wideband AEC. A wideband AEC can accommodate a broader frequency response and ensure that audio is transmitted across an entire range of audio frequency, resulting in speech that sounds lifelike and natural, regardless of the application.

Newer technologies such as the AEC2w card from Biamp Systems will allow users to take full advantage of the benefits being offered by high-bandwidth connections and will relay a full spectrum of 20Hz to 20kHz audio. Biamp's AEC2w converges quickly, effectively sets up and does so without negative effects on the frequency response of the person speaking.

Incorporating a DSP with a wideband AEC system is designed to maximize the effectiveness of the entire conferencing system and ensures that audio in a web and/or videoconference is not echoing or cutting-off other audio sources within the conference. Ultimately this means that the full value of this new videoconferencing system is realized.

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