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Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

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Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

I recently tried out video conferencing using MS Messenger and it was a real disappointment. The image was freezing for 10-30 secs and then suddenly going in fast forward to catch up all the missing frames. After a couple of minutes of this the call just cut out completely.

I am on Plusnet 2Mb and the other party are on BT Openworld 1Mb connections. I was expecting a reasonably good experience but as it turned out it's even worse than when I tried it out a few years ago on a 56Kbps modem !!!

Has anyone had any positive expierences or is this still a pipe dream without a dedicated network ?

Cheers,

Andy.
11 REPLIES
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Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

I am on 1mbs broadband with bulldog comunications but will be on 2mbs on plusnet soon, but i have never had any problems using msn messanger video conferencing version 7. I have a Logitech 4000 pro webcam which works ok, i did have problems to start with when i first installed it and started to use video conferencing, but i updated the driver and software from logitech and made certain it was connected to a fast usb port. I know you have probbally been told this before but make certain you have no spyware on your system and that you have the latest updates for your hardware, like video card and sound drivers including webcam software. Sometimes the problem can be that your webcam is very old or settings for your system are causing problems. Defrag your system and clean any unwanted or temp files, make certain the system is in tiptop shape before giving the msn messanger a go.
hope this helps....... :?

Edit:- As johnessex said below it does make a difference what type of system you have, most of the people i connect too have fast systems with alot of memory and alot of space. My own system is AMD Athlon 2800+'s and a 3200 with over 1024 memory installed with 256mb video card in both, so yes that is helping the conection via msn as well...... :lol:
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

It works fine for me on MSN using webcams at each end.
I think a lot has to do with the capability of the PC's you are using.
IN my case they are both AMD Athlon 2800+'s with plenty of memory.

I have found that using an earlier Athlon 1000 causes the webcam to freeze and the sound to break up.
On checking the cpu usage on this slower machine it can be seen to get to 100% and stay there for several seconds which is when the freezing occurs.

The faster machine never uses more than 60% of the cpu processes and only freezes very breifly if something like the virus scanner boots up to do it's routine scan.
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Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

Thanks for the replies guys. The PCs are both well specced P4s with Windows XP SP2 + anti spyware so I don't think it's a resource problem. However I've never updated the drivers for the webcams so that's worth doing whatever.

Using the creative PC-cam software I can see myself on the camera and the refresh rate is fine. I am doing to get the other person to check the performance of their broadband in case there's a bottleneck there.

If I make any progress I will post an update.

Cheers,

Andy.
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Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?



Would this possibly be of any help to you? It's fully compatable with msn and easy to set up.
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

I've never experienced any problems with Webcam'ing using MSN. My girlfriend and I often spend all night doing it. It's not a huge user up of bandwidth either, I find. As she was on BB Lite 2Mb (3Gb) - so I had to watch it.

Find it is very smooth, very good quality. I often have a few video conversations going at once. I'm using an Athlon 3200+ / 1Gb DDR RAM, she has a Sempron 2600 with 512Mb DDR RAM.

Make sure nothing else is/was stealing your upload.
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Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

Thanks for the info guys. I might have a look at the other software as well - I hope it's not full of Spyware !

I tried again last night and I can define the problem a little more:

1. Both of us are using 2mb connections and download/upload throughput as reported by the adslguide utility for both of us is 1826/243.
2. The remote user can view me fairly smoothly
3. I see them freezing and then speeding through the frames
4. They can see themselves in the picture in picture moving smoothly.

This seems to suggest that both webcams are working OK. He is getting a decent feed from me but not vice-versa. It seems to suggest an upload problem on his side or a download problem on my side.

I wonder if the MTU tweak on his side would yeald any benefits ?

Cheers,

Andy.
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Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

Quote
Thanks for the info guys. I might have a look at the other software as well - I hope it's not full of Spyware !


Andy

I think, with all honesty, that I can assure you eyeball isn't full of Spy ware. I have been using it to keep in touch with my son in Australia for over two years with no hint of Spyware. I do use Adaware and Spybot regularly.

I also think that others on this forum would testify to this also.
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Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

Hi John,

I installed the eyeball software last night and it looks really great. No spyware and a decent interface. I hope to give it a bash tonight once the other side have installed it. There seem to be more options for tweaking quality/speed and upload/download bias as well so I'm hopefull this could be the answer.

Also, I've read several reviews on the download sites with people saying this worked where others like Messenger failed so fingers crossed !

Cheers,

Andy.
the_norris
Grafter
Posts: 463
Registered: 02-08-2007

Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

Can anyone recommends a good but cheap priced webcam?

Phil
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Anyone tried video conferencing over broadband ?

Hi Phil,

I buy most of my kit from www.ebuyer.co.uk. They are about the cheapest I've seen for most things. They also have user reviews so you can get a feel for which ones are most popular.

I use a Creative Pc-cam 750 but it has now been superceded by newer models.
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Problem Solved

Eyeball chat has delivered !

I can now get a large window running with a reasonable frame rate with really decent quality. It's a really neat little program and free.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond and thanks to John for the tip.

Andy.