Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Host a Web Conference

New and Developing Web Conferencing Technology
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones are being used increasingly for Web conferencing.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones are being used increasingly for Web conferencing.
©Photographer: Pavel Kapish | Agency: Dreamstime

Web conferencing has changed how companies do business, and with new and developing Web conferencing technology, even more change may lie ahead. Two of these additions to Web conferencing technology are VoIP audio and HD conferencing.

VoIP, or Voice over Internet protocol, is a developing Web conferencing technology. VoIP converts analog audio signals into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet. Web conferences relied initially on phone lines to connect participants and host so they could interact in real time. Now, however, some companies are using VoIP so that audio communication is simply between computers and without phones.

Other than VoIP software, all you need for computer-to-computer audio are a microphone, speakers, a sound card and a fast Internet connection.

HD conferencing is a new Web conferencing technology that may not be for everyone. The HD refers to "high definition," as in HDTV. HD provides a picture of sharper resolution because of an increased number of progressive scan lines across the screen. Usually, HD refers to 720 progressive scan lines or better across the screen at 60 seconds.­

Applied to Web conferencing, HD provides clearer, sharper images for the conference. But at this point, the technology has its limitations. For one thing, you need a Webcam with HD capabilities, limited at this point to a handful including the Logitech Quickcam. Added to that, HD requires much more bandwidth than standard video conferencing, limiting its use across the Internet.

But Web conferencing companies are exploring the technology. WiredRed Software's e/pop video and Web conferencing software, for example, can incorporate an HD Webcam. As HD technology advances, it may find more of a home in Web conferencing.

For more information about Web conferencing and related topics, check out the links on the next page.