I tried something new the other day that ended up being pretty cool. We had been looking for a simple way to get video between two offices for our company meetings. At one point, I had looked at the enterprise video conferencing equipment that our board members had suggested for our quarterly board meetings. But with the advent of Skype, Cisco Webex, Citrix Gotomeeting, Adobe Connect, Brother’s OmniJoin, Google+ Hangouts, and Microsoft Lync, I just couldn’t see sinking the thousands of dollars into a system that may be used only once a quarter; particularly when these other options all were quite well priced and easier to use. I will likely choose one of those options for our board meetings in then end. The content sharing features are great and these options will simplify getting people from all over together. But what I was looking to do is to be able to ring people up in another office by dialing their extension and being able to see and get to know each other without having to learn everybody’s skype account. This article will show you how to Use a Softphone for Video Conferencing.
Make Your Computer a Telephone
We had tried out softphone clients with our phone system PBX for our call floor and they worked pretty good and there were many free options. The last time I download the free softphone X-Lite client from Counterpath’s website, I looked at their Bria 3 video softphone. I looked at it and realized all that I needed to do was to verify it supported at least one of the video codecs that my PBX did. I knew that there were physical phones that would do this, but I guess I hadn’t considered a softphone. Anyway, I download the Bria 3 client and typed in an extension and the phone password and I was making video calls.
Here’s how simple it was to connect the softphone to my PBX.
Step #1 – Setup the Extension to Support Video Codecs.
The H264 codec is the Codec that we used.
Step #2 – Install the Video Softphone
The Bria 3 softphone has options for Linux, Windows and Mac OSX.
Step #3 – Configure the Video Softphone
I just added the extension I had made above, put in the PBX’s address or hostname and then the phone password.
If you don’t have a PBX, you can get an agreement with a cloud VOIP provider. They can give you a phone number and you can use your laptop as your phone.
Step #4 – Start Dialing
I dialed one of my buddies extensions, chose video call, and he picked up.
Step #5 – Enjoy the Video Call
Other requirements, obviously, you need a mic, speaker, a webcam, and somebody to call.