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F/OSS Multi-Point Video-Conferencing 127

Posted by Soulskill on Sunday May 18, 2008 @12:19PM from the and-what-about-those-flying-cars dept. DarkSarin writes "Given that solutions like iChat can seamlessly video-conference for multiple parties on the Mac, and that others are semi-commercial, like Oovoo (which recently left beta and is no longer free for more than 3-way calls), what do you recommend in terms of a F/OSS solution to a need for moderate-sized video-conferencing? Ideally, it would be something which does not use a web-page and does not require hours of configuration. iChat is insanely easy to use. Mebeam.com is also quite simple to operate, but requires so much screen real estate that it can't easily be used in conjunction with any other software. Referring to other documents while in the middle of the conference is nice, but it's important to have the reactions of the other participants — and not everyone has multiple monitors. I am aware of projects like vmukti and services like ustream.tv, but I am thinking more in terms of a stand-alone application that is F/OSS (Ekiga/GnomeMeeting comes to mind, but it does not do multi-point video chat unless one also has access to an H.323 gateway, which is apparently non-trivial to implement). With the prevalence of broadband connections, I am surprised that a solid effort is missing for making easy, painless multi-point video-conferencing for more than 3 or 4 connections (which seems to be the most that a lot of 'free' solutions offer, or even the low-cost ones). So, my question is two-fold: First, why isn't there a better effort at medium to large video-conferencing that pretty much anyone can set up? Second, do you know of any F/OSS applications which work well and support a minimum of 6 to 8 connected parties?"

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