Additionally, video conferencing services tend to offer more than just face-to-face interactions. Best-in-class video conferencing services let users share their screens, remotely access one another's desktops, chat via text, exchange files, communicate via digital whiteboards, and even broadcast conferences to large groups of passive viewers. Some are part of business-geared voice over IP (VoIP) packages, which allows for dynamically changing voice calls to video calls and shared meetings at the touch of a button without establishing new connections.
One caveat to all this is for business users, and that's because working with any video streaming service can be tricky over a corporate network. While basic setup is enough to get one session running, be sure to work with your IT staffers to test what happens when multiple streams are open. You're looking for artifacts or excessive buffering that disrupts the stream which can happen if the video stresses the bandwidth limits of your network or your Internet connection. Also, if you have remote users that connect to the Internet using a virtual private network (VPN), be aware that these services often also cause bandwidth problems that can affect video streaming performance.
OPlayer Lite is currently one of the best video players for iPad. It has excellent support for almost all formats (the latest update includes MKV support too). There’s an AC3 issue with the current version though — still, a far better player than many others out there. The decoding can be particularly tricky with other apps, but Oplayer appears to handle it quite well.
Michael Muchmore is PC Magazine's lead analyst for software and web applications. A native New Yorker, he has at various times headed up PC Magazine's coverage of Web development, enterprise software, and display technologies. Michael cowrote one of the first overviews of web services for a general audience. Before that he worked on PC Magazine's S... See Full Bio
Support for 4K video source content has become pretty standard in video editing software, but the support varies among the products. For example, some but not all of the applications can import Sony XAVC and XAVC-S formats, which are used by Sony's popular DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, camcorders, and professional video cameras. The same holds true for the H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. Most of the applications here now can import and export HEVC, though there are still a few holdouts.
Google Duo is essentially Google's answer to FaceTime. It's also one of the most simple video chat apps available. You simply log in, verify your number, and you're good to go. You can video call other Google Duo users like you're making a normal phone call. It also includes a feature called Knock Knock that lets you see what someone is up to before you answer the video call. The app is cross-platform. That means it works between iOS and Android. Rumor is that a web version is coming for computer support eventually. This is about as easy as it gets for video calling apps. It's really very good.