VoIP with Video
The past couple of days, I’ve had an opporunity to play with a videophone made by Leadtek. While they do manufacture the videophones that Packet 8 sells (they also manufacture other equipment that Packet 8 provides), we were playing with the generic unlocked versions specifically (i.e. can be configured to use any provider).
One of the videophones is down in the Voxilla office in San Francisco on the T1, the other is up in my office in the Seattle area on my DSL link. Initially, we tried using the phones with Asterisk, but ran into some compatibility issues, which Leadtek is working to address. We ended up setting the phones up to use Free World Dialup on Static IPs to eliminate any NAT or proxy issues.
The phones support video using as little as 32k in each direction, though at that bitrate, the video is a bit blocky and pixelated. 128k in each direction gave a good balance of picture quality and bandwidth usage. 256k and 512k were superb, giving at least 15fps if not more. Audio quality was pretty good.
We’ll probably have to send these phones back to Leadtek since they are evaluation units, but it’s fun to have played with one. I know what I’m missing, or not. It’s kind of weird talking to someone “face to face” by staring at a screen, but I know how insanely useful this can be. There’s also a certain coolness factor to using a videophone…