Thursday, March 6, 2008

Video Conferencing Options: OoVoo, SightSpeed, and Yurma

Hello everyone,

I know that videolive conferences isn't the only company available for video conferencing.

And thanks to improving Web applications and faster broadband, video conferencing is no longer exclusively for big firms.

Here are three good, free (or inexpensive), easy-to-use options:

OoVoo: OoVoo has the most robust video capabilities in this group.
OoVoo supports six-way videoconferencing with very good picture quality over our fast (5 megabits per second) DSL connection. The video's size scales down as the number of users goes up, so it won't hog all of your bandwidth. And you can still surf and upload files while conferencing.

Installing the desktop client and setting up an account take just a couple of minutes. Once OoVoo is installed, you will see a contact-list window similar to those in instant messaging programs like AIM or Trillian; so it's a snap to learn.

OoVoo's audio was fairly good, though there was some vocal jitter and delay here and there. Users have the option of communicating via text chat (privately or to the whole group), recording 1-minute video messages to send to co-workers, (this is something we're working on offering as well) and transferring files to other contacts.

OoVoo lacks the business collaboration features such as scheduling, whiteboarding, desktop sharing, and powerpoint presentation capabilities.

OoVoo is free (and ad-free) now, but it may add pay services in the future.

SightSpeed BusinessSightSpeed Business is a business-friendly version of the company's consumer offering. The Business service's main upgrade is that it can display up to four talking heads on screen during a call.

The service is easy to install and simple to navigate. To begin videoconferencing, your contacts must first install the basic SightSpeed client. So you build your contact list by adding names of other SightSpeed users; the app tells you when they're available.

To initiate a call, you select your contact's name, hover your pointer over one of four icons - for video, telephone, video message recorder, or text message - and click the medium of your choice.

You can easily record calls, share files, adjust video controls, and mute the audio. The well-organized administrative console lets you manage users, view call logs, and buy conferencing time; moving from one task to another is a simple matter as well.

Sightspeed's video quality was somewhat inconsistent. During one test, a face on the screen was sharp but the background seemed washed out; the next time, the whole video looked a tad fuzzy.

Whether we were using VoIP to connect with other PCs or calling out to land-line or cell phones, the audio generally sounded loud and clear, though we detected occasional stuttering. As is the case with all these applications, the amount of available bandwidth directly affects video and audio quality.

Yugma Skype EditionIf your business uses Skype, adding Yugma tools can boost your videoconferencing productivity at very low cost.

Yugma's video is limited to two-person conferencing - but it's simple to use, and the basic service is free for up to ten users.

If you tap into Skype's proven peer-to-peer voice and video technology and send out a meeting invitation via e-mail, attendees receive a number that they can enter along with their user ID to join the conference at an appointed time.

Control of a meeting can be passed between participants, and you can set up an always-on project collaboration and conferencing space where people can come and go as needed.

However, since Skype video is limited to two-way conferencing, the service switches into audio-only mode when more than two people have joined the conference.

That limitation is counterbalanced to some extent by Yugma Skype's impressive collaboration tools, which include desktop sharing (where other participants can view your desktop and even take control of your mouse and keyboard), document sharing, and session recording - a rare and valuable feature.

OoVoo Rating: 92, SuperiorThis free program makes multi-user videoconferencing seem as easy as instant messaging.

SightSpeed Rating: 88, Very GoodThis $20/month (per seat) videoconferencing tool isn't perfect, but it's dependable and decidedly cost-effective.

Yugma Skype Edition Rating: 85, Very GoodYugma uses Skype voice and video well, but it's limited to two-way conferencing. Free for 10 users.

Happy conferencing!


1 comment:

seojyo said...

With the Video Conferencing Support small business made their interaction easy and flexible.with reasonable cost and can save their time in traveling.