The Van and Video Conferencing

I have no new news on the van yet. I will be checking in with the dealer on Friday to see if they have found a solution to my ignition problem.


Tonight I have been working on getting a Polycom Via Video II PC based video conferencing unit working from behind my NAT’d network. It seems to be working well now and is ready to be used for a video conference tomorrow morning.


I have been promoting/using several products for PC – IP based video conferencing where I work. There are many levels of video conferencing products available. They range from the high cost/high quality room units to the lower cost/lower quality PC style units. The other aspects to review are proprietary vs. standards based video conferencing solutions. Both areas have their strengths and weaknesses, your decision for a product must be based on what your needs are.


In my organization, for most situations we need interoperability. The PC based video conferencing products I use are the Polycom Via Video II and the VCON Vigo series units. They both come with cameras, specialized software from the vendors and are both H.323 standards compliant. The standardization enables users of one product to connect to users of other products. The strengths of these products that make them better than some of the free products like Netmeeting are their easy to use interfaces, set of different tools and the camera that is included usually offers better quality than some of the lower cost web cam/free software solutions.


Recently, Polycom made a change with their PC based product. Not only are they offering the Via Video II solution with camera included, they have created another product called the Polycom PVX.  This new software will now interoperate with many USB web style cameras eliminating the need for the camera that comes with the Via Video II. The software also offers other features as well. It will be interesting to see how the PVX software holds up to previous products.


The pictures shown below from left to right are the Polycom Via Video II and the VCON Vigo.

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