Open Source H323 Software

This summer I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with a few H323 open source packages with a few colleagues. In general we had comparatively good luck with these tools. They connected great to my Tandberg MCU too! The only challenge was echo cancellation, but that probably could have been solved with a bit more effort and testing. Each of these worked great with a webcam.

So if you’re looking for a low-end solution, this might work for you! Please share any comments on your own experiments & testing with these tools.

June 16, 2009 Update: OpenPhone seems to no longer exist. Updated link to XMeeting.

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About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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7 Responses to Open Source H323 Software

  1. Pingback: MACUL Conference Blog » Getting Started with Videoconferencing

  2. Thomas V says:

    OpenH323 is a defunct site. Go to http://www.h323plus.org for an up to date version of the project

  3. Carlos Ochoa says:

    hi, I’d like to know if someone knows of a MCU open source software, I am looking for a Multipoint Control Unit for multiple video conferencing. Thanks for any post that you might provide.

    Regards,
    Carlos

  4. Janine Lim says:

    As far as I know there is no open source MCU software. There’s a reason MCU software is so expensive – it’s hard to make!!

  5. Shayne says:

    GnuGK is a perfectly fine Multi point gateway.

  6. peter says:

    GnuGK is not a Gateway, it is an H.323 Gatekeeper, there is a big difference

    These two terms are used frequently in the field of videoconferencing. Each represents a type of hardware and a specific video conference service. They are very different from one another, but the phonetic similarity can lead to confusion. It is not uncommon for writers of documentation (and even engineers) to inadvertently use the wrong term as a slip of the tongue. In retrospect, having two such similar terms was a bad idea, but it’s too late now to change the vocabulary!

    GATEKEEPER
    Gatekeeper: a network device that provides addressing service for H.323 (Internet-based) video conference clients. It may also be configured to impose network bandwidth restrictions, but this is not a necessity. Registration by the video conference client usually takes place when the client is started; the address of the gatekeeper is put into the client’s configuration. Use of a gatekeeper allows a video conference device to “dial” another device using the video conference address rather than an IP address (which could easily change due to DHCP). A gatekeeper can be peered with other national and international gatekeepers, allowing the use of the Global Dialling Scheme (GDS) .

    GNU Gatekeeper is free and open source
    http://www.gnugk.org/h323-faq.html

    GATEWAY
    Gateway: a network device that allows an H.323 (Internet-based) video conference device to connect to an H.320 (ISDN) video conference device. It is essentially an adapter to allow dissimilar network devices to exchange information. The hardware gateway accepts both Ethernet and ISDN connections. The number of ISDN cables determines the total bandwidth of a video conference that can be accommodated.

    A good paper on the subject you can view here :

    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.65.2118&rank=1

  7. Tony says:

    Thanks for the great information Peter!

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