Basic Computing

What is a video call and how does it work? Details

Do you know what a video call is ? In this article, we will explain it to you in the simplest and easiest way possible and also; to give you multiple options to carry out this form of communication and do not lose contact with your loved ones. What is a video call

What is a video call ? 

It is very safe that you have heard this term and above all, in these times, where for our own safety and health, we must be locked up. This will be one of the best ways you can communicate with your loved ones and see each other; share with each other and interact, regardless of the distance in which each one is.

Video calls, as their name indicates: they are a video conference mode where users, in addition to talking to each other in real time, can also see each other at the same time; In this form of communication, 2 people can participate and the maximum will depend on the platform that the sponsor is using.

The participants will be able to interact with each other in any way and in addition, they will be able to exchange files, audios, videos, documents; share their desktops (that is, they can see someone else’s PC, but not control it) and if they wish, exchange text messages.

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A little of you history What is a video call

Believe it or not, video calling is not something that exists today; in reality, this service has been provided since the 19th century, specifically in 1936, being the Germans, the inventors of this great form.

Of course, they had to go through multiple and very hard processes to be able to reach the video calls that we know today; from large devices and payment services, to being able to perform them on mobile devices or computers, with services that do not require an application, but in the same cloud and free.

After the start of the Second World War, in 1939; a year later, unfortunately the project of the services of the video calls had to be suspended. Years later, in 1964, Toshiba again took up this project and presented the new device; This consisted of a large enough box, with a small screen, to transmit the video of the other user.

Later, the famous AT&T company, continued with the project and developing video calls; One of his greatest inventions, which were the next step in the evolution of this form of communication, was the Picture phone, a device that is kept in museums today.

The cost of video calls was $ 17 USD per minute, which made it a very expensive service and therefore not accessible to all audiences. Little by little, different companies were developing their own devices and the quality would improve, even so, it was not the best; When the devices began to be commercialized, so that people could acquire it, they had a cost of 20,000USD; Due to this price, many people could not have one in their homes.

Nowadays What is a video call

Currently, this is one of the forms of communication most used by users, both for work activities, school and university conferences or simply to communicate.

There are multiple applications for your  smartphones  or computers; even specialized web pages with this function. Many times, people want to make a video call, since it is usually much less expensive than a normal phone call.

How does a video call work? c

Now that you know what is a video call ? We will proceed to explain to you, in a simple way, how this popular form of communication works.

The main thing you should know for this to work is that both participants must be connected to an internet network; It does not matter if it is the same network or not and it is through here where all the information, both audio and video, of the people involved present will be sent. In all this, a server will be a participant in the video call, being able to be present directly or indirectly; the latter will depend a lot, if those involved manage to connect directly through a local network or the internet.

Local network

What is a video call
What is a video call

In the case of a direct connection by users, through a local network; the server will not partition much, being rather a kind of watchdog to help users connect with each other and transmitting little information. With respect to the rest transmitted (audio and video), these will be transmitted taking the shortest possible route and that is, avoiding the server; and at the same time it is possible to do so, when users connect and make the video call through the same local network.

Internet What is a video call

If users connect through the Internet, that is, they will not share the same local network, the server will now do a greater job, gaining more prominence; since now it will be in charge of transmitting all the information of the video call, including audio and video, since there is no longer a “shortcut” through which the data can pass and all this will be passing through the server.

It usually happens that many participants in the same video conference will cause the server to crash; since obviously it would not be the information of two people, but of many more. Of course, this is going to depend on how good it is, to be able to withstand the maximum load it can and offer good performance.

Some caveats.

In the case of local video calls, since additional information and configuration are required; It is possible to put people’s safety at risk, since it would expose data such as the IP address, which is so important and that you must carefully take care of. This method is recommended to be used, within the same place, such as in the same company; in this case, each video conference has a different address, which provides greater security.

Currently, the technology used by most applications and programs (both desktop and in the cloud); They use Web RTC technology (a free and open source project) to make video calls, this technology was created even for that specific purpose. Previously, ” Flash ” was used , but as time went by, back in 2017, it was no longer used and, furthermore, it is no longer compatible with the main web browsers.

Specialized software for video calls

What is a video call
What is a video call

There are multiple alternatives that we can choose to make our video calls, corporate or personal. Corporate video calls are for the exclusive use of companies, within their own networks; the second (personal video calls) are intended for individual use, by each person and to communicate with their family and friends, in which they are connected through the internet.

At present, we can find multiple options to be able to make our video calls and those alternatives can be multiplatform or exclusive; We know that the main operating systems that dominate the market today are Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux (these three for desktop devices or laptops); in the case of mobiles (smartphones or tablets), there are iOS and Android.

This gives us the possibility (as long as we have the same application) to communicate with other users of other devices and OS; It is not necessary that if a client makes a video call from his computer, the sender has to be from a computer as well, more important still is the platform.

Among the great variety of options we have, the most famous and used by people to make their video calls are: WhatsApp, Telegram (thanks to a recent update), Google Met (this can be in an application for mobile devices, or through from the same computer), Facebook’s Messenger chat, Instagram’s live streams (in this case it’s just a transmission), Zoom (specialized in video conferencing). What is a video call

Types of video calls

You know what is a video call  and what does it work for? It is important that you know, that depending on the interaction of the people involved, there are the following types:

  • Symmetric video conferencing, if everyone can hear and see each other.
  • Role video conferencing, where everyone can see and hear multiple speakers.
  • Video conference meeting, everyone sees and hears the speaker, but they cannot interact with each other.
  • The transmission, where everyone can see and hear the speaker, but he can neither hear nor see his receivers; there is also no communication between the participants themselves.
  • And finally, the voice activated connection, everyone can see and hear the various speakers present.

Normally, the applications mentioned before, have the multiple options to be able to classify a video call; the sponsor can, if he wishes, turn off the microphones and / or the cameras of the spectators so that he alone can participate.

In the following video attached below, you will be shown 5 more options, so that you can make your video calls and each one explained in detail; well, so you know how they work.

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