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MS Live Meeting vs Macromedia Breeze vs WebEx Meeting Centre

Hi guys,

I'm trying to evaluate the above packages for conferencing between 6 offices for seminar/presentation usages. All are connected via 1.5Mbps/256k ADSL (and I'm in Australia) and running the normal array of applications etc, so full bandwidth is of course never going to happen. There is very little in the way of QoS implemented at the moment so it will be a concern in the implementation I'm thinking. Not looking for a high cost solution so I've got a tradeoff in cost & quality. Dedicated server hardware/software for it is out of the question due to cost - I'm mainly looking at the hosted options of the above software at the moment.

A couple of thing's I'd like to get feedback on;

I'd like to be able to have one office presenting to the other 5 video only (audio will be via a normal phone conference, see next point) with the presenting office receiving video feedback from the 5 offices, so the presenting office will have 5 tunnels open, but the other five will only have 1 tunnel open. I'm guessing bandwidth from all 6 to each other would be prohibitive as well as reasonably unnecessary (but kinda cool :) )

I'd also like to be able to record the presentation for playback later; so I'll need audio to be recorded via a USB microphone, this audio won't get piped to anywhere in the live demo. (There are pro's and con's to this I guess - any people used a similar technique and have feedback?).

For cam's I can't really seem to find anything other than entry level web cams, surveillance cams and the really expensive video conf cams (> $10k). Has anyone used a brand and would recommend them? At the moment I'm looking at the Logitech Globes for testing purposes with a USB mic.

Has anyone got any useability feedback on the above software itself - they all seem to do much the same thing.

I'm going to sign up for all the free trials of them but would like any horror/success stories if people have got them.

Many thanks,
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gorlaz
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gorlaz
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1 Solution
 
phileocaCommented:
greetings,

let's start with microsoft Live meeting.  If you can afford the licenses and the server, then it may be great, but be aware of the major issues they've been having with it.   It even made the EE newsletter:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/10/ms_messenger_paradox/

macromedia, I haven't used it, can't really comment on it.

webex... this is gaining major popularity right now.  Why? well, it's user friendly and it's not a microsoft product.

things you need to get going:
1)bandwidth
2)QoS.  If your video packets aren't getting priority of your bandwidth, then you might as well just take screen shots with a digital camera and FTP them over.
3) USB audio is GREAT, however, a camera that can record voice too is ideal fo video conferencing.

sorry I can't tell you anything about the macromedia software. but I hope this helps get you started.
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gorlazAuthor Commented:
Gday Phileoca,

1) Bandwidth - are there certain kb guidelines for certain resolution video feed?

2) QoS - I knew it :( What sort of format does video traffic generally take the form of - Would it be compressed jpg or H323 (or whatever that is - I've seen it in a few posts)

3) Cool :)
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phileocaCommented:
1) 384k outgoing and incoming.  for live data/voice.
2) h323 is most common
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gorlazAuthor Commented:
Thanks Phileoca,

Re the bandwidth - that would be for one video stream wouldn't it - so if I wanted to have 6 streams at the one time I'd need 6 * 384k?

Cheers,
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phileocaCommented:
not necessarily.
When you're streaming, you're pushing out 384k *6.  it might be slightly higher, but everybody fishs from the same stream.
but if you're pushing PTP, then yes it's 384*6.  streaming is a software feature. I don't know if you can force video to stream from the router.  I think it's done at either the application or switch level.
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gorlazAuthor Commented:
Cheers phileoca
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phileocaCommented:
cheers!
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