Video Conferencing 101: Standard Definition Vs High Definition Video Conferencing

High definition (HD) video conferencing is the next big thing in the video collaboration industry – and it’s likely to prevail as the pre-eminent video communication technology for Singaporean companies that want to and cut costs. Is this new technology worth the investment? Should your organization invest in it?

A Comparison of “Standard Definition” and “High Definition”

Standard definition (also called “traditional”) video conferencing has been available in Singapore for the last 10 over years. While it has provided many organizations with a cost-effective technology to meet face to face despite distance, it failed in many technical aspects. The quality of interaction provided by standard definition video was tolerable at best, but hardly as productive as meeting in person. This led many organizations to stop using the technology altogether. Those that do continue to use this old video standard often describe the experience as being less than ideal.

Here are just some of the problems with traditional video conferencing systems operating on standard definition video:

  • Pixelated images
  • Blurry resolution
  • Low motion handling

Meanwhile, high definition video conferencing offers solutions to these problems. By using this newer video standard, your organization can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Wider 16×9 format: You will be able to see more people (not just one or two) when using a high definition screen. The difference in the aspect ratio provided by standard versus high definition is critical. Standard definition video conferencing uses an aspect ratio of 4×3, so when it is applied to HD display, the image tends to stretch across the full screen. With high definition video, you get 40% more viewing area, leveraging the full, native 16×9 display.
  • Clearer resolution: High definition video conferencing allows you to see the other party in 1280 x 720 pixels, which is 10 times the resolution provided by standard video conference. This means that you can see even the littlest movements, such as critical nonverbal cues that make real face-to-face interaction more productive. Higher resolution also allows you to appreciate presentation materials (such as charts and graphs) being presented by the other party.
  • High visual acuity: High definition video makes the people at the other end of the conversation appear true-to-life. They will look as though they are just at the end of the table. The viewing distance required by the older videoconferencing system (running on standard video) was long – about 20 to 30 feet- whereas when you use high definition, you can sit within 8 feet (or less) without discerning any loss in resolution. The people you are conversing with therefore appear to be right-size, making the two-way dialogue more natural and engaging.

Why you Should Switch to High Definition?

If you plan to use video conferencing solely for business meetings and want to experience higher quality calls, then HD may not be necessary. A typical video call at standard definition is delivered at between 256kbps to 768kbps, and HD requires bandwidth of at least 1.0 Mbps. However, if you decide to future-proof your investment by getting a HD system, you can still enjoy video calls at standard definition video data rates.

When you purchase HD video systems you still get improved call quality, even if you choose not to invest in the bandwidth required for HD. The camera and codec are much more powerful, so that the overall effect is enhanced video quality even without the additional bandwidth.

As HD video conferencing systems become more prevalent and more manufacturers enter the industry, the cost per system is actually brought down. The price difference between a HD and standard definition video system is narrowing and it could be less than 20% difference. As such it makes economical sense to get a HD system at such affordable cost and at the same time enjoy all the benefits that comes with it.

Here in SG Videoconferencing, we offer a suite of the best high-definition video conferencing systems that have been tested to improve user experience. Enjoy true-to-life quality that is crucial to team collaboration and rich interaction. Our different systems are designed for meeting rooms of any size, and are all fully interoperable with other manufacturer’s standards-based video systems.