Document: Video Conferencing Services

Video Conferencing Services

Status

Status: proposal
Version: 1.00

Introduction

The number of video conferencing services has exploded in recent times.

Most have been designed to facilitate few-to-many communication:

  • a host (in charge)
  • a limited number of active participants
  • a much larger number of passive observers

This structure is a poor fit for creating environments with active participants and less structured sessions.

These short-comings are starting to be addressed by new services and enhancements to existing products.

Key features to facilitate active participation are:

  • shared whiteboards and other shared online documents
  • group & 1-to-1 text chat
  • allowing any participant to share the contents of their display
  • break-out rooms
    • usually host/moderator initiated and controlled
    • some services are starting to allow participants to initiate their own
  • co-presenters (and/or moderators)
    • advanced: a private (video) channel for presenters to communicate during the session

Over 15 services were reviewed and measured against this list of desirable features.

Note: the reviews were mostly based on product descriptions, google searches, and word-of-mouth. We didn’t have the capacity to have a team of testers to try all the services.

The recommended services for this project are listed below.

Recommended Services

Hosted

Zoom

Veertly

Unhangout

Video Facilitator

BlueJeans

Adobe Connect

Possibly (Information not clear on website)

GoToTraining

WebexTraining

Self Hosted

BigBlueButton

Unhangout

To Watch

Jitsi

Honourable Mention

Google Meet & Hangouts