GoToMeeting works great–until you add video conferencing

I have been a loyal customer of GoToMeeting for years.  I love the cost, flexibility, screen sharing, and audio quality.  It works very well.

In 2013, I’ve started using the video conferencing feature much more heavily – meaning, I’m using it.  At Clear Measure, we have teams in Austin, Dallas, Toronto, and New York.  On top of that, our clients like to connect to us from wherever they are.  The phone conference dialing is very useful, and the smartphone app is great as well. 

The issue I have found is that the video conferencing takes a remarkable amount of CPU time.  Many team members have difficulty using video conferencing when other process are running on their computers.  Webex, on the other hand, appears to degrade video quality in that case.  GoToMeeting seems to require full video quality and audio quality at all times.  And when the CPU can’t keep up, audio and video just cut out and stop working (dropped packets/words/sentences).

Here is GoToMeeting running without video (call with 5 people – my webcam is off, other 4 webcams are streaming)

GoToMeeting without video

And here is GoToMeeting running with my webcam turned on.

GoToMeeting with video

If I could have my way, when faced with constrained CPU cycles, video quality would degrade first.  Then screen sharing quality, then audio quality, The current behavior has me shopping for other solutions.  I’d be interested knowing other experiences.


Trackbacks

Solution to GoToMeeting video conferencing quality Posted on 8.26.2013 at 9:09 AM

In a previous post , I spoke about a problem with GoToMeeting when video feeds are enabled.  The problem manifests as audio AND video degrading to the point of unusability.  Throughout this time, we as a company evaluated many other options

Comments

Jason Watts said on 7.26.2013 at 2:25 PM

We have a team of 9 developers, 4 of whom work remotely on any given day. We have a daily 9am standup and pair program/code review frequently throughout the day. We used GotoMeeting and constantly experienced the horrendous CPU usage you are seeing. Six moths ago we moved to Fuze and have been mostly satisfied.

Babak Salimi said on 7.27.2013 at 6:00 PM

Would be great to have your feedback on Saba Meeting. We have optimized our solution with the prioritization you mention (i.e. audio, content, video)...

Rocky said on 7.28.2013 at 8:38 PM

We are using zoom.us largely because of the high video quality and ease of use. We use it mostly for desktop and mobile. They recently added sip support though we haven't try it yet. We are please with zoom.

Dan said on 7.29.2013 at 4:56 AM

Hello Jeffrey

I've read your article about your issues with GoToMeeting and CPU.

Why won't you try anymeeting.com. This is a similar service that I've used and offers the same features as Go To Meeting. I didn't had any issues while I was using it and the video quality is pretty damn good.

I hope that my advice it helps

Mike said on 7.29.2013 at 8:21 AM

30% CPU is pretty high but what is the problem again? Are people doing something else with the other 70% of CPU while they are supposed to be at their meeting? Coding/compiling, running tests etc? 30% sounds high until you flip it and say 70% unused.

Jeffrey Palermo said on 7.29.2013 at 10:07 AM

@mike,

The CPU isn't really the issue, but when windows does anything else, the audio and video cut out. Then, the other parties can't be seen or heard clearly

bob said on 7.30.2013 at 9:50 AM

Priorities probably should be audio, screenshare, then video. Try simple experiment. Try conference with Audio only, then try with video only. Compare information content of each. If you are like me, audio is esstential.

Cheryl said on 8.21.2013 at 3:16 PM

Hi Jeffrey,

Check out Magor - you've got to see how Aerus works. Bet you didn't know you could do all these things... very innovative technology. Optimized for the user. Contact me or visit our website for more info.

David Guan said on 8.22.2013 at 5:45 AM

I would recommend RHUB web video conferencing appliances for conducting web conferences. It occupies less bandwidth and hence provides better speed.