Downside to Video Chats

While there are many advantages to videoconferencing, and the technology is creating opportunities for advancement all over the world, doing everything from enhancing educational opportunities to saving lives, it does have its downside.

First is Costs

The technology – hardware and software – is quite expensive. A good quality setup can easily cost in the neighborhood of $300,000.00, which is beyond the reach of many smaller business and most individuals. There are seemingly simpler and cheaper systems out there, but the reason that they are less costly is that they are less efficient, so you may not be saving yourself anything by choosing them. The issue of compatibility can be a problem as well. If your equipment is not compatible with the equipment used by another participant, you may not be able to connect at all.

Second is Quality

The sound quality may make it difficult to understand people when you have large groups on the line. The technology that eliminates echo and feedback becomes less efficient as the number of extra sounds it has to deal with increases.

Third is Internet Unknowns

The internet is not always perfect. In order to have a clear, smooth videoconference call, you need a fast, reliable internet connection. A slow connection will cause gaps and jerks in the conversation, and whole sentences can disappear into the ether, never to be retrieved.

Forth is Size

You are limited, with most systems, to a certain number of conference participants, meaning that you may not be able to include all of the people you need in one meeting.

Fifth is Security

You may not be holding as private a meeting as you intended to. Anything on the internet is vulnerable to attack by hackers, and your videoconference call is no different. If you are discussing matters that need to be kept private, it is imperative that each and every participant know exactly what steps to take to ensure that the call is kept confidential.

Sixth is your Participants

People are a problem. The vast majority of us are self-conscious when put in front of a camera, and that self-consciousness can prevent some participants from giving the meeting their full attention or presenting themselves at their best. Others may not know how to use the equipment properly, thus compromising security, and still others may not understand the protocols that must be followed in order to give everyone a chance to speak and be understood – interrupting and talking over others can make the call completely unintelligible. “Meeting” with no personal contact can be a disconcerting experience for many people, as well.