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.