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ConsumerWatch: Group Video Chat Has Limitations

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(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Can’t be with your family for Thanksgiving? A company called OOVOO now makes it possible to connect up to a dozen people on a video conference call, two more than SKYPE and Google+ Hangout, which both set their limit at ten.

So, we tried it.

Connecting and chatting with eleven other participants was simple enough. But, we could only see five participants at a time on our Mac. A colleague down the hall on a smart phone could only see three participants. OOVOO President Jay Samit said to get the full effect you need a P.C.

Turns out, a 12-way call is tricky business.

“There’s a lot of complicated feed going on,” says CNET’s Jessica Dolcourt. “The more people you add, the greater the complexity.”

And Dolcourt said everyone’s experience can be affected by the weakest link.

“You’re at the mercy of someone else’s technology. If one person’s feed is a bit slow then everybody else on the call is getting that delay,” Dolcourt told ConsumerWatch.

Dolcourt said the quality of a video chat depends on your type of computer, your computer’s bandwidth, and the network you use.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

 

 

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