Group Meetings

Large group meetings that span several cities or countries require careful coordination. In each location, suitable space, layout and the available technology at the facility must be arranged and/or coordinated so that the meeting is a success.

Meeting Locations

Meeting locations can be divided into two distinct groups:

  • Presenting Locations
  • Attending Locations

One Presenting Location is always at the center of a Group/Multi-Site meeting. The Presenting Location from which the meeting originates is typically called the "Host Site" and from this location, video and audio are transmitted to all other locations. Additional presenting locations may also be part of the meeting (for individual sessions) however, the Host Site typically moderates and coordinates all agenda items in the meeting from its location.

Attending Locations are locations where groups of attendees congregate to participate in a meeting either by viewing and listening only or by taking a limited role in the interaction of the meeting. Attendees are primarily viewers much like viewers of a television program. The attendees are the audience for the group meeting - the target of the message.

Each location, regardless of whether it is a Presenting or an Attending Location, must be coordinated and set up based on the expected interaction both with the Host Site and within the site itself. Typically, in a large meeting or conference, the Host Site manages the meeting agenda and delivers the important address or keynote. This site will usually be central to the broadcast or video conference and, as such, special attention must be given to the audio and video signals both to and from this location.

Satellite Broadcasting Technology

Satellite broadcasts are the choice quality is paramount. High bandwidth satellite transmission can provide TV-quality images to far-away locations. If the requirements of a meeting suggest the transmission medium should be satellite broadcasting technology, a host location will typically be the broadcast location.

When your organization needs an extended reach to communicate a message simultaneously around the globe, you need TKO. - Johnny Rendon, Field Engineer

Broadcasting the signal from one site to other sites costs more than receiving a signal. This is true in the same way that receiving a television signal at home costs less than transmitting it from a television station.

A broadcast satellite signal is "uplinked" to a satellite for redistribution and transmission to multiple "downlinks." An uplink can be fixed or mobile. It is usually only required for the Host Site. The uplink transmits the audio and video from this location to all the other locations through one or more satellites.

To reach a remote location, a broadcast signal must also be "downlinked" from the satellite to a fixed or portable satellite dish, tuner and monitoring system. From these systems, the video and audio signals must then be routed to displays and speakers. Downlinks can be fixed or mobile.

Video Conferencing Technology

Video Conferencing meetings enable a high degree of interaction between sites and they are ideal when more than one location will be a Presenting Location. If the requirements of a meeting suggest the transmission medium should be video conferencing technology, there is no uplink and there are no downlinks. Instead, each location requires a video conferencing system to participate in the meeting.

video conferencing

Additionally, a multipoint system (MCU) is required to distribute the video signal from a Host Site to multiple remote locations. This is called a Multipoint Video Conference. The remote locations are not downlinks sites (as they are in a satellite broadcast) but instead they are endpoints that are connected to digital telephone lines. Video conferencing codecs are used along with display systems to present the video images and audio to participants at each remote endpoint.

Conclusions

Both satellite broadcasting and video conferencing technology offer the ability to communicate in business meetings over great distances. For satellite broadcasts, the host location is critically important because it is typically the exclusive source for audio signals and video images that are presented to all other sites. In video conferencing meetings, depending on their configuration, each site can see one or more of the other Attending Locations and so all locations become important sources of audio and video signals.

TKO Video Communications

Services include video and audio conferencing, Multi-Site meeting management and broadcasts via satellite and video conferencing. TKO Video Communications is an industry leader, providing high-quality and reliable video communications solutions for education, government, business and worldwide organizations.

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