For now, Skype is offering 10-way video calling as a free trial, but it's likely to become a premium feature in the future. Skype competitor, ooVoo, also had multi-party video chat for up to 6 callers as a free service before moving to paid plans with tiered rates from 3 up to 6-way calls, and free a plan for 2-way calls only. Other premium features ooVoo has include video recording, screen sharing and 480p video quality and high quality audio which ooVoo says gives it an edge over Skype. Read this ooVoo review post for more on ooVoo.
public Internet where there's no QoS (Quality of Service.) In the videoconferencing world, you need a MCU (Multi-point Control Unit) to bridge all your video connections and dedicated network resources to support IP video calls.
My guess is that for Skype to work for 10-way calls you need to have at least a 3-5 MBps Internet connection and a PC with a Dual Core processor and at least 4 GB of RAM to handle that amount of live streaming data. Skype has been positioning itself for the enterprise and this new offering is really more of a business play than for consumers. Better to be behind a corporate firewall where you have more control at managing network traffic.
Life hacker recorded this demo and Whitson Gordon who wrote the accompanying blog post said to not expect great things.
Gordon shared the following in his post:
"We took the beta for a test run, to see if we could get more than five people running in a video chat. Once we got past about three of us, most everyone stopped outputting video, and the audio got pretty choppy. Overall, it wasn't the best...if everyone in the group has a powerful computer and a fast connection, you might be able to get it to work—as always, your mileage may vary, and it is still in beta—but it doesn't look like this is going to work very well for everyone. Check out the video above to see how it went for us."There's still no word on Linux or Mac versions, although when Skype announced the five-way calling it said 'later this year' for a Mac version. But if you want Skype 5.0 for Windows download it now.
- Skype - Business blog - Hold 10-way video conferences with the new beta version of Skype for Windows
- Skype Introduces 10-Way Video Calling
- Skype Video Calls for 10 Follow Gmail Calling - VOIP and Telephony from eWeek
- Skype 5.0 beta brings 10-way video calling to the world -- Engadget
- Skype 5.0 Windows Beta Has 10-Way Video Calling!
- YouTube - Lifehacker Test Drives the Skype 5.0 Beta
- Skype to Add Five-Way Video Calling
- Skype Targets SMBs With 5.0 Beta - InternetNews.com
- Skype Dials Up Group Video Calling - www.smallbusinesscomputing.com
- Why there's no Internet QoS and likely never will be - Communications