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Is anybody out there using their webcam?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by NRA_guy, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. NRA_guy

    NRA_guy Unreconstructed

    Jun 20, 2004
    Mississippi, CSA
    Has anyone ever found any use for a webcam on top of their PC?

    I have an expensive setup at work and we do videoteleconferences (VTCs) but that takes 2 dedicated phone lines, and a $2,000 camera and board.

    At home I have a $100 Logitec USB that I have never found a use for.

    I had visions of connecting up with my children other towns, but everything I have seen and read says that the image is too small and the refresh rates on the order of seconds.

    Nor have I figured out how to link the two PCs. I have read about both PCs logging into some site at the same time and seeking each other, but never figured it all out.

    More appealing is the idea of going directly from my PC to the other PC, but as I understand, our web addresses vary everytime we log in and that makes this difficult.

    Is anybody out there regularly using their cheap webcam?

    If so, for what?

    And how?


  2. Anon1


    Aug 17, 2000
    Yes. We use the cheap Logitech cams to do long-distance video conferencing so that the grandparents can see their grandkids regularly. It works good but I spent hours testing and tweaking to get it all to work seamlessly.

    The video is surprisingly smooth and clear with DSL connections at each end. The size of the video will be limited by the capabilities of your hardware but ours is a nice 1/4 screen size with about an 1/8 screen size preview of our outbound shot. You need to tweak settings to get a good configuration.

    We use Netmeeting and you are right about that so-called middleman server (directory) to connect you two together, it sucks and we never got it to work correctly. However, there are alternate methods of still using Netmeeting even with a dynamic IP address that might not always be the same. I use a personal website and some software running on the local PC that will automagically post your current address to a protected area on the web at a set interval. Then the other end just looks up your current address and calls you.

  3. My wife and her brother and sister all have webcams. Her brother lives in Illinois, and her sister lives in Florida. She uses webcam to "chat" over Yahoo Instant Messenger. Video is slow, snapshotty, but the get to see each other as they type. The audio is still too slow and breaks up. They like it. Better than nothing.
  4. NRA_guy

    NRA_guy Unreconstructed

    Jun 20, 2004
    Mississippi, CSA
    Thanks Anon1 and dmobrien2001.

    That helps me understand. I have Netmeeting but never figured out all the hurdles.

    Can you tell me what that software is?

    Thanks again.

  5. NetNinja

    NetNinja Always Faithful

    Oct 23, 2001
    HotLanta, GA
    The programmer in my company uses an elCheapo camera so that his parents in India can view thier grandchildren playing in thier rooms.
  6. CARman


    Apr 26, 2004
    I use a cheap Veo Stingray camera I picked up from Walmart for $20.00. It works fine with Yahoo Messenger and Net Meeting, to talk to my brother in law who is stationed in Korea.

    I have DSL and he has dial up. Picture qualilty is surprisingly good. The voice transmisions are sometime slower than the picture, but work well also.
  7. Anon1


    Aug 17, 2000

    We use iPost which can be found here:
  8. Bronson7


    May 19, 2002
    I use my little cheap logitech quickcam express with my fiance and kids/grandkids/friends who are four states away. I use either netmeet or msn messenger. I've got XP, my fiance has W98, so we use netmeet. My friend has XP so we use messenger (teleconference)which seems to work better. I tried yahoo, the picture is clearer but frame rate is slower. Picture clarity is dependent on so many things, ie connection speed, frame rate, processor speed, the cam, any little glitch along the way. If both parties have highspeed then it really works well. Dial-up is ok, but sudden movements lead to momentary distortion. I really enjoy using it for keeping in touch. The only software needed is for the cam and msn messenger or yahoo (both free) and there may well be other free ones. With msn messemger, both parties must be on each others contact list. I think Yahoo is the same. Yahoo is more tolerant to different Windows versions. My Cam's software had to be upgraded twice since I bought it, once for XP and again for SP1 which is a free service by the mfg's website.
  9. Toyman


    May 6, 2003
    West Michigan
    The best video cam software is ICUII -

    It has the best video and audio compression of them all.