Toolkits

Desktop Video Applications - Product Comparison

The variety of product cut sheets, websites, and online descriptions can make it hard to figure out exactly how products stack up against each other. Below are two comparisons, one for standards-based and one for consumer-grade applications, with the main products within each category stacked up against a variety of measures.

 

Consumer-Grade Desktop Videoconferencing Applications

The following table looks at the basic features and functions of the desktop videoconferencing applications that are standards-based.

Manufacturer

Lifesize

Polycom

Polycom

Tandberg / Cisco

Vidyo

Product Name

Desktop

CMA

PVX

Movi

Desktop

Product Version

2.0

5.0

 8.0

4.0

2.0

Supported OS

Windows XP, Vista

Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OS X

Windows XP, Vista, 7

Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OS X

Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OS X

Computer Requirements

Pentium 4

2 GHz

 

Pentium M 1.8 GHz

 

Core Duo

 2 GHz

Core 2 Duo

2 GHz

Pentium 4

1.5 GHz

 

Quad Core Duo

2 GHz

PIII

1 GHz

 

Pentium 4

1.5 GHz

 

Pentium 4

2.2 GHz

Atom

1.6 GHz

 

Core Duo

1.2 GHz

Pentium 4

2 GHz

Bandwidth Requirements

128 Kbps – 1 Mbps

 128 Kbps or greater

64 Kbps or greater

24 Kbps – 8 Mbps

  128 Kbps or greater

Infrastructure Requirements

Lifesize MultiPoint (multipoint conferencing), Lifesize Transit (NAT traversal)

CMA Server, E-Box (B2B communication), S-Box (NAT Traversal)

Traditional Bridge or MCU for multi-point conference

Tandberg Management Suite, Video Communication Server, VCS Expressway (NAT Traversal)

 

VidyoRouter, VidyoProxy (NAT Traversal), VidyoGateway (communication with other systems)

SIP

X

X

X

X

X

H.323

-

X

X

X

X

H.264

X

X

X

X

X

H.264 – SVC

-

-

-

-

X

Encryption

X

X

X

X

X

Far-End Control

-

X

X

X

-

Content Sharing

-

X

X

X

X

Instant Messaging

-

-

-

-

-

File Transfer

-

-

-

-

-

Streaming Serial Data

-

-

-

-

-

Presence Detection

-

X

-

X

X

NAT / Firewall Traversal

X

X

X

X

X

Multi-Point Conferencing

X*

 

X*

X*

X

X*

Internal / External Server

None

Internal

None

Internal

Internal

High Definition

X

X

X

X

X

*Multi-point conferencing and NAT / Firewall Traversal for these applications may require an additional piece of hardware, either as an additional server or as another VTC infrastructure component.

 

Consumer-Grade Desktop Videoconferencing Applications

The following table looks at the basic features and functions of the desktop videoconferencing applications that are consumer-grade.

Manufacturer

AOL

Apple

Microsoft

Oovoo

Skype

Yahoo!

Product Name

AIM

iChat

Live Messenger

Oovoo

Skype

Messenger

Product Version

7.4

5.0

“Wave 4”

2.8

4.0

10

Supported OS

Windows 2000or higher, Mac OS X

Mac OS X

Windows Vista, 7, Mac OS X

Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OS X

Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OS X

Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OS X

Computer Requirements

PIII 200Mhz or higher

PowerPC G5

1 GHz

1.6 GHz

Pentium 4

Or

PowerPC G5

1 GHz

Pentium 4

1 GHz

 

PowerPC

G4 or G5

800 MHz

1 GHz

Bandwidth Requirements

128 Kbps

128 Kbps

128 Kbps

128 Kbps

128 Kbps

128 Kbps

Infrastructure Requirements

None

Mac Server

OS X for hosting the server; nothing if using external server

Microsoft OCS if hosting the server; nothing if using external server

None

None

 

None

SIP

-

X

X

-

X

-

H.323

-

-

-

-

-

-

H.264

-

X

-

-

-

-

H.264 – SVC

-

-

-

-

-

-

Encryption

X

X††

X†††

-

X

X

Far-End Control

-

-

-

-

-

-

Content Sharing

X

X

X

X

X

X

Instant Messaging

X

X

X

X

X

X

File Transfer

X

X

X

X

X

X

Streaming Serial Data

-

-

-

-

-

-

Presence Detection

X

X

X

X

X

X

NAT / Firewall Traversal

X

X

X

X

X

X

Multi-Point Conferencing

-

-

-

X

-

-

Internal / External Server

External

External / Internal*

External / Internal*

External

External

External

High Definition

-

-

-

-

-

-

†Only available with the AIM Pro application, which is a partnership between AOL and WebEx.

††Only available with MobileMe Accounts, or when using a internally-hosted OS X server.

††† Only available either with a third-party add-on or through hosting a Microsoft Lync server (also known as Office Communication Server) within your organization.

†††† This may only encrypt the instant message traffic; an understanding of the encryption of other traffic, including video and audio, was not clear at the time of this writing.

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