It's not telepresence, but

photo of a telepresence room with a bunch of dollar signs superimposed

The impact of a telepresence conference is startlingly real with participant images appearing life size and apparently looking you in the eye. But the details to create this illusion is very expensive - up to $200,000 per room. Upgrades to standard videoconferencing gear can approximate telepresence for much less, according to Wainhouse Research.

Image of a grammaphone with an X through it next to a sleek looking sound system

Upgrading the sound system that came with the videoconferencing equipment can make a dramatic difference in the quality of a conference - even more than the video image, Wainhouse says.

Image of an small old TV with rabbit ears Xed out next to a huge color monitor with an attractive pe

Replacing video screens with larger, high-definition screens boosts the image size of remote participants and makes them seem more immediate.

Image of a flatscreen monitor with a camera mounted on top pointed at a person or two seated at a co

By placing cameras just above videoconferencing screens and limiting the number of participants, businesses can help create the impression that each person in the conference is looking directly at those in remote locations.

Image of a guy in a storage looking room for usable furniture.

Telepresence rooms are appointed with identical furniture, but using nicely appointed tables and chairs from existing on-site inventory will serve adequately.

Image of a note pad with the word TIPS at the top.

Please pass along further tips you might have for tweaking videoconference gear so it can generate more realistic interactions among remote sites.