Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

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Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby TAViX » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:35 am

So my company ask me to find the best professional video conferencing software there is on the market right now, and I'm not talking about payed garbage like Skype or...whatever, I'm talking about software that runs only on broadband, can take advantage of HD cameras, and can output both sides HD quality video @30fps with sound @44.1Khz. Also needs to support video-conferencing.

P.S. And NOT to cost more than a car....

Anyone knows some tips?
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Hammer_Time » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:22 pm

http://www.liquidsilver.org/2011/08/got ... ferencing/

GoToMeeting HD faces

AUG15
2011 WRITTEN BY MAULDOR

Citrix made a great move announcing HD Faces™, a high-definition video conferencing technology, for its products GoToMeeting®, GoToWebinar® and GoToTraining®.

The technology will feature the innovative new Citrix Multistream HD™, which will let the attendants to participate in a video conferencing with up to six people.
The total maximum resolution allowed for the session is 1920p x 960p, making it the first in the market. The technology will also allow people to view video and the presenter’s shared desktop in the same screen.



The software featuring the new technology HD Faces™ was previewed at Citrix Synergy Berlin and will become commercial available for the first quarter of 2011.

“When customers say they want video capabilities combined with web conferencing, they don’t mean tiny choppy images – but that’s what they currently get with the products on the market today,” said Bernd Christiansen, vice president and chief technology office of Citrix. “What they actually want is to see the details in others’ facial expressions just like in a face-to-face meeting or training session. That’s why it was so important to us to incorporate high-resolution video into our collaboration products. I’m confident that we’re the first to combine web and video conferencing the right way and – most importantly – to make it delightful for customers to use.”

“We’ve made it so easy and natural to work on a shared document in a video conference that I can’t imagine why any businessperson would ever want to use a standalone desktop video conferencing solution again,” Christiansen added.

Below is the demo presentation of Gotomeeting with HD faces. Just click in the video to watch it.


http://www.citrix.com/English/NE/news/n ... ID=2314496

Citrix GoToMeeting with HDFaces Transforms Business Collaboration

New High-Definition Group Video Conferencing Delivers Engaging Telepresence-like Experience for Everyone

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. » 8/2/2011 »

Citrix Systems today announced that it is once again transforming the way people meet and collaborate through the general availability of Citrix® GoToMeeting® with HDFaces™, its popular, award-winning web conferencing solution, now with high-definition group video conferencing for up to six attendees.

Combining high-definition video, web and audio conferencing, GoToMeeting with HDFaces enables an amazing, telepresence-like meeting experience simply using a webcam and an Internet connection. With the general availability of GoToMeeting with HDFaces, a rich, integrated collaboration experience is now open to everyone; one click, users can quickly launch into a new world of natural, real-time face-to-face collaboration with colleagues, customers and partners, anytime from anywhere –it’s that easy. Simple to use, with no set-up required, GoToMeeting users can now choose to participate in, and experience, a high-definition, face-to-face meeting. For most people, it’s the next best thing to collaborating in person. This innovative capability completely transforms virtual meetings, supporting new ways of working across distributed workgroups and organizations.

“GoToMeeting with HDFaces changes the definition of face-to-face meetings from ‘a place you go’ to ‘a thing you do,’ said Brett Caine, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Citrix Online Services Division. “That is the essence of our integrated collaboration vision and the promise of our unique HD experience. Once again, we are changing the rules in the market, and customers everywhere will win as a result.”

Customers Agree – See Tremendous Value
“Our virtual organization depends on GoToMeeting with HDFaces video conferencing to maintain the company culture and promote teamwork. We get tremendous value from video conferencing when we’re demonstrating a new product to our staff because the reactions – positive or negative – are right there on people’s faces. HDFaces has also made it very affordable to incorporate high definition video to any meeting as it’s included in GoToMeeting subscriptions at no additional cost.” Mike Huska, Chief Technology Officer, Incential Software


GoToMeeting with HDFaces: Telepresence for businesses of all sizes

“High definition video conferencing has traditionally been out of the reach of most small and medium businesses while the need for companies to cut travel costs has increased. A $10,000 to $30,000 telepresence system is not a fit for a small or medium business looking to cut costs and HDFaces for GoToMeeting provides a high quality SaaS alternative in the fast growing video conferencing market. HDFaces with GoToMeeting looks to be an attractive option for businesses of all sizes that need a high-definition video conferencing experience without breaking the bank.” Roopam Jain, principal analyst, Frost & Sullivan’s North America Information & Communications Technologies Practice

What Is New

Easiest way to organize or join a high-definition video conference: Real-time collaboration with web, video and audio conferencing is enabled in just two simple clicks.
Telepresence-like experience for everyone: All existing GoToMeeting customers and trial users can now use HDFaces at no additional cost. Existing customers can simply login to their accounts and click a link to upgrade to HDFaces. A 30-day free online trial of GoToMeeting with HDFaces is available at http://www.gotomeeting.com.
No specific or proprietary hardware configuration needed or dedicated room required: Users just need a PC or Mac computer, webcam, Internet access and GoToMeeting. It is designed for the way everyday businesses operate – enabling impromptu real-time collaboration with its “Meet Now” feature from anywhere, without the need of expensive and complex room-based solutions.
Multistream HD™ technology: The highest resolution video conferencing quality available on the market among web conferencing providers: up to six streams at a resolution of 640p x 480p each, for a total maximum resolution of 1920p x 960p.
Screen sharing and high-quality video: The video conferencing streams are integrated into the content screen so attendees can collaborate on shared content and see each other at the same time without the need to switch between the two. The high-definition video experience combined with user adjustable zooming and resizing makes the experience easy to use and very compelling for quick conversations and all day meetings. Now as individuals present ideas or solicit feedback from their team they can interact as if they were actually sitting across the table.
Video optimization: Adjusts automatically to fit the hardware and network each participant is using when video, audio or screen sharing are in use.
Resizable viewer and layouts: Easily adapts to numerous monitor and projection configurations.


Pricing and Availability

HDFaces is included at no additional charge in all GoToMeeting subscriptions. GoToMeeting subscriptions start as low as $39 per month. For more information about GoToMeeting, visit http://www.gotomeeting.com.


There is a 30 day free trial for all gotomeeting products on their website above! 8)

The timing of your question is perfect, since Citrix just released this on Aug. 2nd!!! 8)
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Fuzz » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:19 am

I'm in the same boat as you. A few weeks ago we had a demo from Lifesize (company now owned by logitech) who do more affordable conferencing solutions. They use physical hardware (though there are software client versions) to run a server in the boardroom. Ideally you have 2 units, one in each boardroom. Prices range from $4000 to $12 000. The $12 000 also allows up 4 for clients to connect (software or hardware). The cameras are awesome, pan tilty, face following, the mics are top end too. Its all HD, allows for screen sharing etc. We connected to Houston and the quality was great. You will need to have access to firewalls to open some ports, but other than that it is easy to connect to.

The other option, that we will probably go with for now, is the Citrix one. I just tested it yesturday, and it works very well. I've got a trial account setup, and using an HD Logitech cam. Hardware wise, you can use pretty much anything you want. The benefit of the Citrix system is you can have a lot more users connect, and don't need to invest in the dedicated hardware box Lifesize has. Drawback is the system isn't as integrated as the lifesize box, you need to bring your own gear.
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Tiggerz » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:37 pm

Often telco's do videoconferencing solutions. But for a non-telco solution take a look at Microsoft Lync.
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Fuzz » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:22 am

We tried the Microsoft one because we already have BPOS accounts(Office 360 now) and figured it would be easy since we already had the accounts. It was OK, but I don't think it was as good as Citrix. The users had a bit of trouble with it, so it isn't as simple. Quality wasn't as good either, and it had issues with multiple monitors. But the real deal killer was that Microsoft was not licensed for audio in Germany! We spent forever trying to figure out why sound wasn't working, and finally found that out. What use is video conferencing without audio? Lip reading? Sign language? Microsoft never ceases to amaze me.
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:27 am

Microsoft Lync Standard Edition does NOT support video conferencing, only voice.

You have to have the Lync Enterprise Edition ( $4000 !! ) that supports HD video conferencing plus a CAL ( Client Access License ) that costs $107 for every workstation you want this to run on ... very expensive!!

http://lync.microsoft.com/en-ca/HowToBu ... nsing.aspx

Pricing

NOTE: If you are outside of the United States and Canada, you can get pricing information from your local Microsoft office. Find contact information for your local Microsoft office on the Microsoft Worldwide Information site. All prices reflect pricing for purchases within the United States and are in U.S. dollars. The prices listed are estimates; reseller pricing can vary.
Server license offerings Estimated price
Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition $699
Lync Server 2010 Enterprise Edition $3,999
CAL offerings Estimated price
Lync Server 2010 Standard CAL $31
Lync Server 2010 Enterprise CAL $107
Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL $107


Ouch!! gotomeeting HD Faces is waaaay cheaper, and probably better ( not dependent on your own server, just on your internet bandwidth! )
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:29 am

Fuzz wrote:We tried the Microsoft one because we already have BPOS accounts(Office 360 now) and figured it would be easy since we already had the accounts. It was OK, but I don't think it was as good as Citrix. The users had a bit of trouble with it, so it isn't as simple. Quality wasn't as good either, and it had issues with multiple monitors. But the real deal killer was that Microsoft was not licensed for audio in Germany! We spent forever trying to figure out why sound wasn't working, and finally found that out. What use is video conferencing without audio? Lip reading? Sign language? Microsoft never ceases to amaze me.


Ah, you were posting this while I was typing my post above... I figured MS Lync would suck, and I was right!! :lol: Go M$!! :roll:
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Fuzz » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:39 am

HT, you were looking at actually getting a server, if you go with their cloud solution it is cheaper and does video.
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:42 am

Ah, yes, the cloud version called "Lync Online" ( I wasn't aware of it since Tiggerz only mentioned "Microsoft Lync" in his post), thanks for the info though!

http://www.allcloudallthetime.com/lync/

Office 365: What happens to the Live Meeting Service?

With the introduction of Office 365, we are introduced to the new Lync Online service. Lync Online is a single interface that unites voice, instant messaging (IM), audio, video, and web conferencing. New customers who buy Office 365 will be given Lync Online instead of Live Meeting since Lync Online provides the same capabilities as Live Meeting and more.

Existing BPOS customers, Live Meeting will still be available in Office 365 for transition purposes. It will coexist along side Lync Online, with access to new meetings scheduled in Lync Online and already existing meetings scheduled in Live Meeting.


As you say, the Citrix version ( HD Faces ) is easier to use and better overall...
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:13 am

But the real deal killer was that Microsoft was not licensed for audio in Germany! We spent forever trying to figure out why sound wasn't working, and finally found that out. What use is video conferencing without audio? Lip reading? Sign language? Microsoft never ceases to amaze me.

THAT is freakin HILARIOUS!!! :lol:
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Sauron_Daz » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:12 am

Indeed!! :lol:
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby TAViX » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:22 am

Guys thanks.

However, does this software works on internal LAN or leased WAN lines, or do wee need a permanent connection to the "grid"??
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Fuzz » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:33 am

You would need a real internet connection with Citirx. With the Lifesize system, I am pretty sure you could run it internally.
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:15 pm

TAViX wrote:Guys thanks.

However, does this software works on internal LAN or leased WAN lines, or do wee need a permanent connection to the "grid"??


I will requote from my previous post:

No specific or proprietary hardware configuration needed or dedicated room required: Users just need a PC or Mac computer, webcam, Internet access and GoToMeeting. It is designed for the way everyday businesses operate – enabling impromptu real-time collaboration with its “Meet Now” feature from anywhere, without the need of expensive and complex room-based solutions.
Multistream HD™ technology: The highest resolution video conferencing quality available on the market among web conferencing providers: up to six streams at a resolution of 640p x 480p each, for a total maximum resolution of 1920p x 960p.
Screen sharing and high-quality video: The video conferencing streams are integrated into the content screen so attendees can collaborate on shared content and see each other at the same time without the need to switch between the two. The high-definition video experience combined with user adjustable zooming and resizing makes the experience easy to use and very compelling for quick conversations and all day meetings. Now as individuals present ideas or solicit feedback from their team they can interact as if they were actually sitting across the table.
Video optimization: Adjusts automatically to fit the hardware and network each participant is using when video, audio or screen sharing are in use.
Resizable viewer and layouts: Easily adapts to numerous monitor and projection configurations.


Everyone just needs a "hispeed" internet connection with a webcam, that is all!! Same as gotomeeting...its all done over the intertubes! :wink: :D
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby TAViX » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:42 am

The thing is, only the server is connected to external, others PC are using only the internal WAN, which have also leased lines, and only some of them can connect to Internet through proxy....
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Fuzz » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:30 am

I suspect Citrix would give you problems then.
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Hammer_Time » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:04 am

How come only some workstations can connect to internet ( via proxy server ) ? Is this because management does not wish certain workstations to have internet access ( only internal LAN access ) , thus preventing workers from wasting time "surfing the net" or something like that? Or are you talking about "near-LAN" off site domains that talk to your corporate LAN over leased lines?

Could you not create special "gotomeeting hd faces" user accounts that only qualified users could use to login with and have proxy server/internet access privileges granted? Or some sort of VPN to the internet server there over the leased lines??

Mebbe these are dumb questions, just asking here... mebbe Fuzz can give some better direction as he has more experience here?
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby TAViX » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:34 pm

Hammer_Time wrote:How come only some workstations can connect to internet ( via proxy server ) ? Is this because management does not wish certain workstations to have internet access ( only internal LAN access ) , thus preventing workers from wasting time "surfing the net" or something like that? Or are you talking about "near-LAN" off site domains that talk to your corporate LAN over leased lines?


Something like that.

The thing is ALL PC can run Internet, no problem, but are limited through firewall and server to access only mail servers, http, and default ports only. Also, the Internet speed is limited to 256Kbps, except for the servers and PC of the management. The internal LAN + WAN (some fiber that connects all departments) are all 1Gbps. The video conferencing is required ONLY for WAN/LAN lines inside the company to talk between different departments (the distance is more that 500m between them, so....). We have some old Japanese software already but is kinda crappy, outputs only 800x600 but at 15fps. Sound is crap also.
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby Fuzz » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:17 pm

I'm 90% sure Citrix piggyback's on http. I'm not sure if it requires a route for communication through the web, or just for establishing a session. Honestly the best thing to do would be to get a couple trial licenses and try it out. Then contact a sales guy and they could get you answers to your technical questions. The guy I talked to was very helpful, and gave us a good discount.
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Re: Best Professional Video Conferencing Software

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:50 pm

I have a feeling that in the end the solution will have to be that a correct port is added to the allowed ones in the firewall.

Dont think it´s going to work regardless what else you do otherwise.
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