[teknoids] Consumerization of Video Conferencing

Gary P. Moore Gary.P.Moore at hofstra.edu
Thu Aug 18 13:11:29 EDT 2011

David, Michael

What I recommend to faculty/administration here when they have Skype meetings/conferences/remote classes is that they should at all possible ALWAYS use a wired not wireless connection.  We have seen a noticeable difference in the quality of Skype videoconferences when using a dedicated Ethernet wired connection as opposed to shared wireless.   And I also recommend that faculty test the connections with us ahead of time (if at all possible)

That being said, the average professional H.323 videoconference will always be the most ideal solution. However, as Michael notes, many faculty on remote sites often don't have the luxury of using a professional H323 connection.  

David, I was curious.  Since you are proponent of Google + (like me), have you tried the Google Hangouts with one on one or multiple users?  If so, what do you think of it?  That might be an alternate solution.


Gary Moore, PMP |Assistant Dean for Information Systems| Hofstra Law School
121 Hofstra University, Room 221 |Gary.P.Moore at hofstra.edu |Phone: (516) 463-6067

-----Original Message-----
From: teknoids-bounces at ruckus.law.cornell.edu [mailto:teknoids-bounces at ruckus.law.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Sparks, Michael
Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:51 PM
To: Teknoids
Subject: Re: [teknoids] Consumerization of Video Conferencing

Isn't a quality experience in this case primarily a function of the care taken and not the technology involved? Making test calls ahead of time, having a fast reliable internet connection, using adequate equipment and preferably having IT support on both ends seem to make Skype as reliable as the average H.323 connection. That said, I certainly agree that a professionally implemented enterprise product from end to end guarantees the highest quality and reliability and is the only way to go when stakes are high.

With realistic user expectations, is Skype really a liability? This may just be a user education issue. We've had at least one (very) short notice H.323 connection with technical issues resulting in a missed meeting. It was a good reminder to all involved that test calls and planning ahead really are necessary.

What about for casual use at the desktop? Is there value for the average faculty member sitting in their office to be able to video conference with a remote colleague instead of using a telephone? If so, does a Cisco-type solution meet this need best or is connecting with someone at another institution too cumbersome? Does the near-universality of Skype make it a more practical choice for a general desktop deployment? It is certainly useful in recruiting and similar student interactions, since they all have it and know it and use it. 

On Aug 17, 2011, at 5:50 PM, David Dickens wrote:

> I would love to switch to Skype, but during the last few days I've been reminded why I don't do that. We've had to accept a few interviews over Skype for various reasons and frankly it doesn't cut it. The quality isn't good enough, the connection not reliable enough and the hardware variance at the "uncontrolled end" (the user on the far side) is just too high.
> It is great, when it's great, but with often nothing more than a few minutes before an "important" call to work out the technical problems, it's a liability.
> This from a fan of Skype.
> What we really need is someone to write an open source implementation of the codexes and controls for these systems so we can use something compatible in a "pinch".
> On Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 2:59 PM, Sparks, Michael <Michael.Sparks at law.lsu.edu> wrote:
> 'Noids,
> A recent conversation about video conferencing has brought up the question of the relevance of the consumerization of video conferencing. Is it folly to spend big bucks on Cisco (or other) desktop video conferencing systems when Skype is free, has excellent quality and has a massive user base? For very small conference/interview rooms, is consumer video conferencing sufficient, or even preferable given its ease of use and proliferation? What is the future for enterprise (Cisco/Polycom/LifeSize) video conferencing at law schools?
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