Blue Jeans Network: H.323 & Skype Video Conferencing

A couple of weeks ago I started to play with a new service called Blue Jeans Network. This startup offers a cloud-based video conferencing service, effectively a cloud-based MCU. The service is presently free as it’s in a limited beta program. The beta program, originally set to expire this month, was just extended until June 15th.

At present their service supports connectivity via H.323, Skype and the PSTN. Of course,the PSTN dial-up means voice conferencing only…and thus only G.711. Clients connected via Skype get VGA resolution video and nice SILK-encoded audio.

More traditional H.323 based clients can do even better! For example, the LifeSize Passport device that I have here connects at 720p resolution and with G.722 encoded audio.

My initial experiment with the service involved simply calling in from Skype on my desktop. It worked well enough that I asked a couple of fellow voip-geeks to join me.

These sample images were taken be shooting a small Sony HDTV using my DSLR.

Tim was eager to try connecting using Skype from an iPhone and/or iPad. The image in the upper left corner of that first picture is a representation of participant when dialed in using a voice-only Skype call.

The service doesn’t have any direct SIP connectivity as yet, but I’m told that it’s in the works. For the moment I’m told that SIP devices that are registered to a SIP/H.323 gateway can connect using the H.323 method.

Blue Jeans Network is certainly worth a look.

  • Great article. This looks really interesting. I definitely will be trying Blue Jeans Network out. I guess there is no indication of pricing when it comes out…

  • Andrew TD

    We are just trying out Blue Jeans here at work.
    Impressed that it bridges our Polycom HDX (H.323) in with skype and google video clients
    Managed to get skype on my android tablet working in a call too (took multiple attempts to get the call connected though)
    Pricing is out now, and looks reasonable.
    now to test with a dozen or so clients …