If you are anything like me, you have been on your share of WebEx conferences. During more than one of those conferences, I have been asked to stream the video from my web cam. Personally, I don’t feel that a one to two inch square of a talking head adds much to the call. It does keep people from drifting off too much because they know they are being watched, but that is about it. I find myself squinting just to see whose lips are moving so I know who is talking.
All that is about to change. Cisco has started offering a higher quality video for Webex. The video that is streamed is a much higher quality than the standard offering and the speaker displays in a larger video window than the other participants. Your video is shown as a picture-in-picture within the speakers window. When someone new starts talking, their video fills the larger video window. Other participants are seen in smaller windows below the presenter. Documents can still be seen as they normally are as the video streams are displayed on the right side of the screen.
But the real beauty of the new system is when you enter what is called “full screen.” This fills the majority of your screen with the video of the speaker and the other participants show up below. When the presenter starts to share something, it takes up the whole screen and the video stream of the speaker floats in a smaller box on top of whatever is being presented.
Cisco has a nice video overview of this product here. While you won’t see every WebEx system switch over to this high quality format over night, when you finally do use a system like this, you will never want to go back to the standard product.