7 low-cost videoconferencing services: Which is best for your meeting?
A product of Brother, the company best known for its printers and multifunction devices, OmniJoin comes billed as "online meetings that don't feel like online meetings." OmniJoin isn't that radical a reinvention of online conferencing, but it works pretty well, barring a couple of hassles.
There is no free tier; the basic version is $49 per month per host, but that edition is pretty well equipped. Up to 30 attendees can join, with up to 12 of them sharing 720p camera video streams. There is no limit on the length or frequency of meetings, either. Higher tiers raise the number of allowed attendees, the number of video streams and video quality (up to 1080p).
OmniJoin currently offers Windows and OS X clients; there are, as yet, no mobile clients. OmniJoin claims to support high-end videoconferencing hardware (e.g., Sony PTZ cameras, ClearOne audio systems) for those who have access to this equipment.
The Windows client uses Office 2010's visual styles (ribbon menus, etc.). I found a number of useful features. Most prominent is the built-in ability to record meetings -- actually, the ability to record all client screen activity -- and save them to an MP4 file. Another handy feature: The ability to import a Microsoft PowerPoint document directly into the chat client and share it with the other attendees.
Other tools include a whole mini-suite of bandwidth- and network-assessment tools, which can be used to figure out if a balky chat is because of your computer, your connection or some other issue. Screen and application sharing is also available, and a shared application (or screen) is distinguished by a bright green border and a dedicated palette of tools for annotation. The quality of the visuals for the shared application can also be ramped up or down for people on faster or slower connections.
The biggest gotcha with using OmniJoin, at least in this version, is the way meetings are configured by default to use a dial-in phone bridge, not VoIP, for audio. This isn't hard to address -- you just need to edit the default settings for your meetings on OmniJoin's website -- but it was a bit perplexing, and it would have been nice to have control over such things from within the client app itself.
OmniJoin's a solid product if you're willing to live with a couple of host configuration quirks. Especially useful are the ability to record conferences locally and to share PowerPoint files without additional tools.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Desktop Apps White Papers | Webcasts