Audio/visual conferencing (meetinghouse) benefits
All content on this page is moving to LDS Help Center under the Meetinghouse Technology topic. This page was supposed to be deleted at the end of October 2012.
Interactive communication technologies facilitate virtual meetings, or meetings where not everyone is in the same location, and allow the meeting to occur as if everyone were physically together. These are technologies such as telephone audio conferencing, computer web conferencing, and video conferencing. There are a variety of other communications technologies that are not interactive, such as satellite and webcast, that are covered elsewhere. As travel and time costs for members and leaders increase, technology can provide opportunities to reduce or limit these costs. There are also areas of the world where it is not possible for leaders to gather due to safety or legal restrictions. These interactive communications technologies allow leaders to continue to minister and administer in these various situations.
The table below shows some current options available to replace face-to-face meetings.
|Audio (Telephone) Conference||Web Conference||Video Conference|
|Description||Leaders are connected to each other through an audio bridge.||Leaders communicate with each other over the Internet. Each participant is able to see a copy of an application running on the leader's computer.||Leaders see and hear each other over the Internet using either a computer and Web camera or video conferencing equipment.|
|Prerequisites||Phone service and a conference bridge account||Internet connectivity at each endpoint and a Web conferencing account. Phone service may be required if using a separate audio bridge.||Broadband Internet connectivity at each endpoint with minimum upload speed of 128K. Video conferencing hardware: either a computer and Web camera or dedicated approved video conferencing equipment.|
|Strengths||Easy to use and can accommodate many participants||Allows participants to see the same computer screen content. It can be recorded for those who are unable to attend.||More like a face to face meeting because you can see each other. Computer based video conferencing is very flexible.|
|Limitations||Potentially high cost relative to cost of transportation in some regions. May require purchase of speaker telephone.||The Internet is generally less reliable than a phone network. Quality may suffer if Internet bandwidth is inadequate. Generally higher cost than an audio bridge.||Quality will suffer in Internet bandwidth is inadequate.|
Audio conferencing basics
Audio conferencing is a service that allows many people from different locations to interact by telephone through an audio conference bridge. This is also often called a conference call, teleconference, or bridge call. There is a telephone number that connects directly to the service. A pass code is required to join the correct meeting. If more than one person is at any of the locations joining the audio conference, a speaker telephone will make it easier for those in the same location to all participate in the meeting.
Web conferencing basics
Web conferencing is a service that allows many people from different locations to share documents, make presentations, and collaborate using a computer with a Web browser over a network or Internet connection. It is an excellent choice for a virtual training meeting. It also allows participants to use voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) through the computer to talk in a meeting instead of using a standard telephone call. The quality of the VoIP service can vary based on the quality of the Internet service, so an audio conference may also be required to provide optimal voice quality.
Video conferencing basics
Video conferencing is a service that allows many people from different locations to hold a virtual meeting as if they were in the same location. They connect to a video conference bridge using special video conferencing equipment when there are more than two parties in the conference. Quality of service varies depending on the quality and speed of the Internet connection.