Tuesday, September 9, 2008

From Robin Good's Sharewood Guide - Best Video Conferencing Tools That Anyone Can Use

Robin Good has published another round up of videoconferencing tools available for PC and Mac users titled, Best Video Conferencing Tools That Anyone Can Use - Sharewood Guide - Robin Good's Latest News, and if you look closely at the image from the guide which I've included here you'll see I've been syndicated as part of banner graphic.

I've used many of these videoconferencing and webconferencing tools and I'm hearing about a few of them for the first time. As Robin says, "Video conferencing tools often integrate some complementary features beyond video, audio/VoIP and text chat, such as a file transfer facility or an audio/ video recording feature." He added that the quality of the tools vary and that it's mainly influence by the quality of your web cam and your internet connection.

If you're familiar video compression you know that motion degrades video quality and that a still image will look much clearer in comparison. The size of your bandwidth pipe affects how much data you can send and receive and some of the videoconferencing tools are optimized to work well at low data rates while others have expanded features available at higher data rates. One evolving feature available at higher data rates is HD video quality at 720p with H.264 encoding which you'll be hearing more about as broadband connections become the norm. While most of these videoconferencing solutions operate well on low bandwidth you may sometimes a fair amount of motion artifacts, tiling and freezing in the video. - Update 9/10/08

However, that's not covered in the Sharewood Guide and it focuses on the following key videoconferencing features:
  • Streaming feeds number (or number of participants)
  • Text-chat
  • File transfer
  • Session Recording
  • Web-based
Here's the list and you can read more about each tool in the Sharewood Guide:
  1. Oovoo
    Software client. Free up to 3 and subscription-based up to 6 with recording.

  2. Adobe Connect Now
    Free after registration.

  3. VSee
    Free for unlimited number of participants.

  4. SightSpeed
    Free for two people, or $9.95/month for 4 people and unlimited video storage.

  5. PalBee.com

  6. MeBeam
    Free web-based with up to 16 participants, has had problems with nudity.

  7. Vidivic
    Free with up to 9 particpants.

  8. FlashMeeting
    Need a registered user invite.

  9. MegaMeeting
    Up to 16 participants.

  10. WengoMeeting
    Register and add up to 5 users. Free.

  11. EkkoTV
    Free and web-based, no downloads.

  12. Vawkr
    Free and web-based, no downloads.

Video Calling

  1. Skype
    Free, the ubiquitous peer-to-peer software client.

  2. Tokbox
    Free, web-based, can record video messages.

  3. SnapYap
    Free, peer-to-peer calls, need a registered user.

Best Video Conferencing And Video Calling Services - Comparison Table

go to the table!

* Values intended for paid versions only.

This content was originally published as Best Video Conferencing Tools That Anyone Can Use - Sharewood Guide - Robin Good's Latest News by Robin Good on September 8, 2008 for Master New Media.

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