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Video Conferencing Product Recommendation

Posted on 2013-01-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Hi,
 
I am looking for video conferencing product that we can use between three or more parties - US, China and SriLanka .. etc.

Can you recommend some products? FYI Google talk does not work in China.
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Question by:sglee
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bedind earned 128 total points
ID: 38812717
Skype should work, although one of you would need a premium account - but they're quite cheap, and it's widely used so has integration into a number of other chat protocols (Facebook, msn, etc)
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 38812800
@bedind
I have not used Skype video between two people.
My user tells me that when 4 parties were video chatting last night, things did not work well.
Video feed was slow, people could not hear what they were saying to each other ...
That is the reason I posted this question to if there is a better solutions out there...
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by:Anthony Russo
Anthony Russo earned 127 total points
ID: 38819163
What bandwidth and connection speeds are your participants connecting to the video conference with? If their connections are poor, then it doesn't matter what system you use, the results are going to be poor.

What you want is a system that is going to either let you adjust the amount of bandwidth being used (setting windows to be smaller or lower framerate to use less bandwidth) or it will do this for you automatically. Skype is actually one of the better ones at doing this automatically so if Skype was spotty, I don't think you will be able to get good results with another service.

Perhaps you could use a teleconference bridge for the audio. While the video might remain slow or stutter, that is usually forgivable to most people up to a point. Audio on the other hand is not forgivable if it is not clear, or dropping out words. A Teleconference number for everyone to dial into would be much better quality than doing the audio over the Internet and also free up some bandwidth for better video.

The drawback is since you are doing this internationally, teleconferencing can be expensive. The only other alternative though is to upgrade the connections of your participants if possible in their areas.

As an additional thing to check, are the participants doing other things as well, such as screen sharing, sending emails or even downloads in the background? You want all available bandwidth for the video conference so stopping all other tasks can increase performance.

Good luck.
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Expert Comment

by:ArneLovius
ID: 38819863
are you looking for software to run on computers, or hardware to have in a meeting room or on a trolley ?
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Expert Comment

by:JRSCGI
ID: 38825255
Check out Vidyo - they have a licensing arrangement to sell into China as well.
http://www.vidyo.com/
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 38827424
@AnthonyRusso
Thanks for the information. You are correct in that if China or any other party has insufficient bandwidth, it won't matter what we use. Here in US, we have 30down / 4 up   mbps  speed, but I am so sure what overseas offices do have. I will need to find that out.

@ArneLovius:
" are you looking for software to run on computers, or hardware  ..."  ---->  Yes we are looking for desktop solutions where we have to add additional / 3rd party hardware or use existing

@ JRSCGI
Thanks for the link. I will check into the bandwidth first and recommend this product to my customer.
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Expert Comment

by:ArneLovius
ID: 38827633
If you want to interoperate with existing VC hardware, I would suggest using that hardware vendors software, if you have no "legacy" requirement, the choices are wider. Do however bear in mind that with China, as well as bandwidth and latency issues, the traffic might be blocked anyway by Government operated "firewalls".
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 38831438
It turned out that when three parties (two separate locations in US and one location in China)were video chatting on Skype, it was fine.
When the 4th party joined from SriLanka (with very weak bandwidth), things started getting ugly.
So apparently Skype is just fine and we need to wait until SriLanka bumps up their Internet speed.

Thanks. for your help.
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