Since Google now offers the ability to have IM/Presence/Voice/Video within a web browser, I thought I would compare the bandwidth usage of a video call against Microsoft Office Communicator.

Test 1 – Google Video Chat

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I immediately noticed the contrast was off and yet there is no way to correct it using Google’s settings menu. I could hardly see the person I was chatting with! Strike 1.
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I used Netspeed Monitor to capture bandwidth usage.

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Wow – 662 kbit/s up, 628 kbit/s down?? That’s a lot of bandwidth! Strike 2.

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Test 2 – Microsoft Office Communicator (MOC) 2007 R2 Video Chat

The  The MOC Client auto-corrected the contrast and the picture quality is much better than Google.

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I also have the ability to tune the video quality within the MOC Client.

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  Google MOC
Upload 662 kbit/s 324 kbit/s
Download 628 kbit/s 203 kbit/s

 

Google video consumes twice the upload bandwidth as MOC and three times the download bandwidth! This shows that just because an application runs in a web browser does not necessarily mean it is more efficient for your network traffic.

Conclusion

MOC wins over Google Video in picture quality and bandwidth.

Tests were performed using Dell Latitude E6510 Laptops (8GB) with integrated webcam.