The capabilities of Microsoft Lync (IM, presence, voice, video, web conferencing, other) are such that it eliminates the need for some overlapping technologies.  With Lync I don’t (for example) need to use a separate web conferencing infrastructure like LiveMeeting / WebEx / GoToMeeting – because this capability is built right in.

When I used LiveMeeting (before Lync) I would sometimes upload videos that I would play in meetings – LiveMeeting would trickle the video down to the attendee’s PCs and issue start / stop commands and everything (sort of) worked great.   While Lync does have the ability to upload presentation content (PowerPoint files), it no longer supports uploading of videos.  You can imbed videos in your PowerPoint files, and play then that way, but this makes your PPTX files quite large.

I thought that there must be a way to feed video directly into the Lync video window (intended for web cam use).  A co-worker suggested trying one of the many “virtual” web cams, so I did, and it WORKS GREAT!  We tried a few different (unsupported) virtual web cams, but the one I liked the best was ManyCam.   Before you go off, download and install it know that it has one of those REALLY annoying install wrappers that will change your default search engine, install an unwanted tool bar, and generally mess up your browser settings.  Once it was installed, I stopped Lync, stopped ManyCam, restarted both, and then ManyCam appeared a video device for me in Lync!

Virtual Video 3

(You can see the sort of videos I have laying around on my PC – high quality stuff!)

Chris Norman thought that another great use of this sort of software the capability to merge the feeds of multiple web cams (his post is here).

-John