Nefsis Delivers HD Videoconferencing to the Desktop - Page 4

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

 By Gerry Blackwell
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This is one of the strong features of the Nefsis technology: A host can selectively turn on and off video and audio from a participant (or turn all on at the same time), or "expel" participants, as well as dictating the layout of the Nefsis screen that participants see.

A host or a participant designated by the host can share an application, a region of their screen, a browser window, a document (which can be marked up online), a multimedia file or a PowerPoint slideshow. There is a also a whiteboard function for brainstorming.

Media files and PowerPoint slideshows are transcoded on the fly to optimize quality and speed of display. PowerPoint slideshows were very responsive in our testing -- participants saw slide changes as soon as the host made them and image quality was good. Video file sharing, as noted, was another matter.

One quibble about the interface is that when sharing some content -- applications, for example -- the shared content does not appear in the sharing window on the host's screen (but does on participants'). This means hosts have to rearrange their desktop or flip back and forth between the Nefsis interface and the shared application.

We had a few other quibbles as well. Our attempts to automatically generate email invitations succeeded on one occasion but failed on another, for reasons we're still not clear on. It's easy enough to manually send out email invitations, though.

Another annoyance: when you first start sharing a document or PowerPoint or application, it appears in the sharing window, by default, at its full size, rather than scaled to fit the window, so it's often partly obscured because outside the bounds of the window. There is a button at the top of the screen for 'Fit in view.' Why not make this the default view?

But these are quibbles. The Nefsis interface is excellent and the level and specificity of control it gives hosts is as powerful as any we've seen.

Is Nefsis worth a try-out? Absolutely. Based on our limited testing, it can be anywhere from very good to just barely passable.

But you must test these services in your own locations to get any sure idea of how well -- or not -- they will perform for you. Nefsis makes this easy with its 14-day free trial.

This article was originally published on May 7, 2011
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