Interoperability issues hinder videoconferencing advancement

We'll be focusing on video systems and services interoperability in a couple of pieces this month, and today we start with a Webtorials TechNote covering the topic recently written by Gary Audin. Audin begins by observing that while multiple video standards and proprietary solutions are available, most are not interoperable. He asserts that in the face of growing demand for videoconferencing, interoperability issues still need to be addressed.

Among the interoperability issues, Audin points out that the vendor community needs to account for basics like call control and signaling (H.323 or SIP or ISDN H.320), bandwidth management, wireless device compatibility, and legacy endpoint support -- along with other sticking points. Fortunately, different standards bodies and multi-vendor forums like the Open Visual Communications Consortium are developing technical and commercial interoperability specifications.

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Still, challenges abound. Among the sticking points: proprietary systems, endpoints, bandwidth management, transcoding, and a wide variety of endpoints must be addressed, along with a list of other potential roadblocks that Audin discusses.

Until these issues are fully resolved, interim solutions can solve some interoperability. For example, Audin notes that "gateways can interconnect different types of media streams to create a transparent end-to-end path for voice, video and data. These gateways are also available to enterprises to support their video conferencing needs." He continues, "Earlier gateways connected an ISDN H.320 endpoint to an H.323 endpoint, but gateway products have matured to support H.323 to SIP endpoints."

Cloud-based solutions are also available to solve interoperability, and Audin discusses the alternative in his analysis. (Note: we'll cover more about cloud options in a future newsletter.)

For more on what Audin has to say on the topic, please click here for the full TechNote. Our thanks to Audin and to Webtorials for making this analysis available.

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