Nefsis Delivers HD Videoconferencing to the Desktop - Page 3

Nefsis Professional, the latest offering from a videoconferencing pioneer, promises HD quality in multipoint conferences.

 By Gerry Blackwell
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This may sound damning, but isn't necessarily all the fault of the Nefsis technology. Many factors come into play: the quality of each participant's Internet service, distance from servers and traffic conditions on each leg of the network route at the time of the conference.

Nefsis, like other desktop videoconferencing service providers, has developed sophisticated technology for selecting best routes and adjusting audio and video streams to accommodate quality of the connection. And it makes adjustments on the fly, throughout the conference.

It's essential, however, that you test any service of this kind at the locations where you plan to use it, on a few different occasions. It's the only way to get a measure of the quality you can expect if you subscribe.

On the plus side for Nefsis, the interface is generally very good, and intuitive.

Hosts can download a memory-resident app that gives access to configuration settings and conference scheduling from a small control panel window, and lets them enter the virtual conference room, a full-screen browser-like interface. Or they can configure the service and enter the room all from within a browser.

Participants follow a link in an e-mailed invitation that takes them to a website where they click a button to download and install a temporary app that lets them join a scheduled conference or enter an always-on conference room.

The interface mimics the familiar Microsoft Office 2007 ribbon interface, right down to the large circular icon in the top left corner providing access to basic menu items. It includes tabbed ribbon menus across the top for Share, Video, Audio, (screen) Layout and Help.

The host and participant interfaces look very much the same, but the host controls things like video quality, the layout of the video windows in the interface -- there are several options, including videoconference only -- and who controls the sharing window, the main working area on the right-hand side of the screen.

When nothing is being shared, the sharing window is filled (on the host's screen) with animated buttons for accessing often-used functions such as share options, contacts and emails and turning on participants' video and audio.

This article was originally published on May 7, 2011
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