Survey: Video chatting, what are you finding?

We’re something like 59 days into Nashville’s lockdown for parents, and 55 for the rest of the city. Since then we’ve been conducting meetings and hanging out with friends on Zoom, Google Hangouts, Messenger video, Duo, Facetime, WebEx, Skype, and a couple of others.

What I’ve found is that Duo and Facetime work really well to talk to someone. Once you introduce more than two people the lag time tends to creep on up so people start talking over other people.

This looks to me like it leads to weird Zoom video signalling that people are going to talk, or people just being quiet and listening in. That extra fifth of a second or so that 3+ video parties take screw with the dynamics.

Also Google Hangouts video chat is either terrible, or the one person my kid talks to on it has the world’s worst internet/camera/processor. I’m not entirely sure. Google Hangouts also likes to crash on iOS which is the tablet my oldest uses to talk to her friend.

My guess is most two people chats are going more or less directly from person A to B where groups are a every person going to a central server and then processed and out at varying bandwidths to the destination. Just something in the social signaling doesn’t work particularly well from what I’ve experienced with that minor lag.

What’re you finding? What works best one to one? What’s less trippy in group chats? What needs to be avoided? Any tips for the world?

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts