I had a request the other day from someone who wanted to do a three-way video debate with people in different parts of the country. Normally, I’m a fan of Skype for video chatting. It allows for audio and video chat plus file and screen sharing. But it only allows for two people to chat at once and this is the drawback. Once I started looking for a solution I realized there are only a few options. So I decided to test a bunch out and try to make a matrix that would help others make a decision on what was right for them. I tested TokBox, MeBeam, and Learn Central (a.k.a. Elluminate Live vRoom). I checked out Yuuguu as well but found that it only allows for voice, no video.
My requirements for evaluation were that the application be free and cross-platform (both Mac and Windows compatable). I also needed it to allow more than two people to participate in the video chat. Before you read further I’ll tell you that for the debate application my favorite was TokBox. It was easy to use and I loved how you can change the interface to make some participant’s image larger than others. The other features I liked were the sharing components. There was a great Google Docs-like app that allowed for real-time collaboration while chatting. The other two apps had some great features but this is the one I think will work best for me.
The matrix is too wide to fit in the blog so to see it you’ll need to go to my tutorials section – http://benignim.pbworks.com/Three-Way+Video+Chat
If you have any other video conference apps for me to try let me know either via the comments section here or on the matrix.