New Stuff: VSee For iPad

VSee-For-Ipad-LogoYou may recall that some time ago Milton Chen, CEO of VSee made a guest appearance on a VUC call. I was impressed by the service, which at the time supported Mac and Windows. Recently VSee announced the availability of VSee For iPad.

Normally, products announcements for the iPad don’t even register on my radar. However, as I recently purchased a third generation iPad with the Retina display I thought this a fine opportunity to revisit VSee.

Not long after their VUC appearance I spent some time trying to get it to work with video sources other than a webcam. In particular, I tried to use an older Black Magic Design Decklink SDI capture card in place of the more typical webcam. While I have my own reasons for this, the basic idea is that I’d like to use a better quality video source that a consumer webcam.

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VSee showed some flexibility in allowing the use of alternative sources. They rely upon the Windows Direct Show framework which lead me to believe that it might not be too difficult to achieve my goal using the VSee & Decklink pairing.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. The Decklink card had to be initialized by the application. Vsee didn’t do that, nor did it seem it possible to easily hack a way around it.

Nonetheless, I remain impressed by VSee. The app allows free video calls, including multi-way video. It features good compression and military grade encryption. It also has all the conveniences you might expect, like drag & drop file exchange and simple screen sharing.

There’s a lot to like in the free service. Further, the paid versions don’t seem unduly expensive. I could see an SMB, like my employer, adopting VSee as private, yet hardware non-specific video conference solution. The fact that they now support the iPad has to be another step in the right direction, bringing mobility to a significant segment of users.

  • Dear Michael, thanks for the review. We tried to support Black Magic but it was giving us a lot of headaches (blue screen, etc). So we added support to AVerMedia Game Broadcaster HD C127 for HD HDMI capture. This setup was used in a lot of telemedicine: http://vsee.com/telemedicine deployments. In the future – we will look into adding support for Black Magic. thanks! 🙂

    • mjgraves

      It’s worth a look at goings on at the NAB2013 conference, which happened this week in Las Vegas. BMD, once a small player in the broadcast world, has become a powerhouse of disruptive technology. They now offer a diverse array of products that are finding their way into all corners of the business. They go beyond “Pro-sumer” to both ends of the realm.