Interpreters need to hear and see proceedings at a meeting clearly to be able to interpret. The quality of sound and image transmission has improved so much that it is now possible to provide simultaneous interpretation at videoconferences.
It is said that interpreters do not like to interpret videoconferences, and you may wonder why. Well, the main reason is, or was, that the sound and images transmitted through a videolink into the conference room were often poor and faulty, e.g. the sound fades or drops away completely for a few seconds, or the image is not synchronised with the sound. All this makes it even harder for interpreters to do an already difficult job.
An early experiment was carried out by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in 1992 with the cooperation of the AIIC Technical and Health Committee.