Learn the Lingo!

OK… It’s Monday after a very short weekend, and I feel like I need another extra couple of days just to recover from the weekend! Do you ever feel like that? Probably so…!

The phone rings and on the other end is a “savvy” client who starts inquiring about these technical services for an upcoming event, but honestly, I have no idea what is she talking about. Should I call my IT guy? If I’m lucky, I’ll get a response before noon and it will be loaded with more technical-speak. Soon, I feel like I’m watching a ping-pong match with all these e-mails going back and forth, full of technical jargon…

What ever happened to just using simple whiteboards or flipcharts in the meeting rooms? Well, not any more! Oh no, no, no… “I need to know the bandwidth capacity in your facilities” says the client, and I’m thinking… What???

But never fear, some handy definitions are here. Keep these terms in your back pocket. They may come in handy whenever you least expect it!

BANDWIDTH
The amount of data a connection can carry or transmit, usually measured in bit per second, such as Megabits per second or MBS. Higher bandwidth means faster data transmission, and usually higher costs.

BONDED CONNECTION
Slower internet connections, often T-1 lines, that have been electronically linked, or bonded, to provide greater bandwidth.

CAT-6 CABLE
Category 6, currently the highest capacity commercial network cable. Cat-6 cable is standard for gigabit Ethernet. Many older networks use Cat-5, standard for 100 megabit Ethernet.

HIGH DEFINITION
Also know as “high-def” or HD, any video format offering high resolution, clarity and crispness over the standard broadcast-type video. The most common HD formats are 720p (pixels) (1280×720, entry level), 1080i (1920×1080, standard) and 1080p (1920×1080, highest resolution currently available).

IDF
Intermediate Distribution Frame. A device that connects individual cables from different meeting rooms to a larger internal network and then to the Internet. Fewer connections on an IDF usually mean greater bandwidth for each connection.

REAR PROJECTION
The image projector sits behind the screen rather that in front of the screen. Equipment is hidden from the audience and the presenter can walk in front of the screen without blocking the projection. Just be careful on the size of the room this format will eat into part of the square footage of a room.

T-1 LINE
An Internet connection that can carry 1.544 Mbs. Although this technology is a bit older, many conference and meeting facilities often bond T-1 lines to provide a greater bandwidth.

TELEPRESENCE
A combination of technologies that gives the sense that someone seen on a video screen is actually present in the room.

VIDEO CONFERENCING

A meeting that uses both video and audio to link attendees in multiple locations. Bandwidth and technology constraints can produce lags and lapses in sound or visual communication.

Here is the good and/or bad news… All this information will probably be obsolete next year. Welcome to the “technology revolution” and good luck on this super fast information highway!

Written by:
Armando Escobar, CMP
For additional comments write to…
jescobar@ha.ucla.edu

Bibliography:
http://www.ncalmeetingsmag.com

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