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We are currently looking for a video conferencing solution to give lectures to groups of about 20 ppl. The unique requirement, however, is that all participants have to be in view on the screen, the whole time. Most solutions show 4 participants, but we need everyone, regardless whether they are talking or not. Additionally, the solution needs to have encrypted connections and needs to be GDPR compliant. Any thoughts? Thank you!

[EDIT] Per (excellent!) request, some additional details:

  • We cannot self-host the solution. It is our preference to use an existing service, hosted by the provider.
  • We prefer to have a browser client, though local clients are possible. Most users will probably be on Windows, Mac is also preferred as supported platform.
  • Price considerations ... as cheap as possible :-) We can afford a paying option, though considering we are only a small team, full blown enterprise solutions are probably overpriced.
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    Welcome to Software Recommendations! Can you self-host the server part? Any price/license considerations? Shall the clients connect via web browser, or do you prefer "native clients" – and in the latter case, what OS(es) must be supported, plus again the license/price question? Please edit your question and add those details. Thanks!
    – Izzy
    Apr 4, 2020 at 14:25

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Best platform for lectures is likely BigBlueButton - which is speciically targeted that type of use-cases.

I can recommend the instance Senfcall which is free-of-charge.

Another alternative also oriented towards educational use is https://letsmeet.no/ - it is free-of-charge as well, and also uses Free Software. I know that the backend used for that (Mediasoup) can easily handle many many users, but I don't know if the web frontend (multiparty-meeting) limits amount of video-enabled users.

You should beware of bandwidth demands: 20 users having video enabled is a bit like watching 20 youtube videos simultaneously. Add to that the bandwidth of also sending your own video feed, and sending and receiving an audio feed as well. The conferencing service can do a few tricks to reduce somewhat, but fundamentally the challenge is at the users' end: If they use a weak web browser or system (read: a mobile device or Apple's own web browser) then they are more likely to have a lousy experience.

Apart from commercial need for differentiated price tags, a fair reason many video conferencing tools limit amount of video-enabled users is to avoid users getting a bad experience and blaming the tool (regardless that in many cases problems was at web browsers simply getting overwhelmed).

Recommend all your users to use a "real" computer and use an up-to-date version of either Chrome/Chromium or Firefox!

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