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#208521 - 05/19/08 12:01 PM Video chat help requested
samandnoah Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 320
Loc: Austin, TX
No, probably not what you're thinking.... \:\/

Long story short: my 13 and 15 year old boys are moving to California with my ex-wife while I stay in Austin. I want to be able to do video calls/chat with them once they move so we can see each other, and so that their 4 year old sister can interact with them.

I know nothing about video chat.

The own Apple macbooks, and I'm strictly Dell. So Apples and Windows. They'll have high speed internet access as do I. I actually own a logitech camera that hasn't really gotten used in the 2+ years we've owned it. Their macbooks have a camera built in.

So... looking for advice, both hardware (if necessary, the existing camera may be obsolete for all I know) and software, applications, services, etc. Advice from anyone with experience on this would be most appreciated.

Thanks!
Rich

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#208523 - 05/19/08 12:05 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: samandnoah]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4788
Loc: western canada
Any webcam will do. The newer ones have fancier features like head tracking which can be interesting, aggravating and with buggy software downright impossible.
I've found the simplest cams the best. Newer cams tend to have better resolutions though, higher capture rates.

We use Skype for videoconferencing with family members. Have for years now.
Free, decent audio and video. Software works right through firewalls, no issues with XP SP2. I have a router and run Zonealarm as well.

http://www.skype.com/


Edited by chesseroo (05/19/08 12:06 PM)
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#208526 - 05/19/08 01:04 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: chesseroo]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6380
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Sorry to hear about the pending move, but here's hoping the videoconferencing makes 'em seem like they're right there with you...

You're right, I was somewhat disappointed to find out the true content of this thread... ;\)
_________________________
"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#208532 - 05/19/08 02:25 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: medic8r]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Ray had some experience using a PS3 for this that I thought was interesting.

Good approach, Rich. You'll be in my thoughts.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#208538 - 05/19/08 03:48 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: tomtuttle]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Long story short: my 13 and 15 year old boys are moving to California with my ex-wife while I stay in Austin
\:\( \:\( \:\(

I'm no help on the videoconferencing, but my heart goes out to you. I am lucky that way. My ex is a hombody and is extremely unlikely to ever move.

I hope the video conferencing works out.
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#208545 - 05/19/08 04:58 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: samandnoah]
anthony11 Offline
local

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 267
Loc: Seattle WA
iChat on OSX is perhaps the simplest way to do video chat, though if Skype works too you wouldn't have to upgrade your Dell to an MBP, though of course I'd still recommend that.

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#208559 - 05/19/08 08:50 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: anthony11]
samandnoah Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 320
Loc: Austin, TX
Fred, medic8r, and all--

Thanks for your kind thoughts. I didn't mean to make it melodramatic, and perhaps I should have omitted the personal details. But this forum feels like family, so I was just sharing.

I've been divorced for 9 years now, and we have had a perfectly fine working relationship. We've always made a point of working together in the best interests of the boys. The ex is a professor, and I always knew that this kind of a move was a possibility. It sucks, and I'm not happy about it, but all I can really do is make the best of the situation -- and not put the boys in the middle of this.

And Anthony11, let me give you a hint about why Dell systems: I live in Austin, I work for a computer HW company, the company's name has 4 letters, and it starts with a "D". ;\)

So I appreciate all of the advice. We'll have to start the testing immediately while they're still local. Gotta go ping Ray about the PS3 thing. Sounds interesting!

Rich

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#208578 - 05/20/08 01:18 AM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: samandnoah]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I gave my mom a Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 that I was barely using, and she uses it with Skype. She seems fairly happy with it.

In the past I've used the Xbox 360 with its webcam to share Christmas with my sister and her family, as they also had the 360 w/ webcam. It's kind of cool for that, since then you're sharing living rooms and not computer rooms.

That's the whole of my experience.
_________________________
SuperGrand UltraDeluxe (Plus Extra More)

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#208581 - 05/20/08 02:49 AM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: anthony11]
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
 Originally Posted By: anthony11
upgrade your Dell to an MBP
This article does not conform to Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy.

Bren R.

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#208582 - 05/20/08 04:08 AM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: BrenR]
anthony11 Offline
local

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 267
Loc: Seattle WA
 Originally Posted By: BrenR
 Originally Posted By: anthony11
upgrade your Dell to an MBP
This article does not conform to Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy.

Lucky por moi that we're not on Wikipedia here

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#208586 - 05/20/08 07:47 AM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: anthony11]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: PEI, Canada
Skype works very well. Never used it with a Mac user on the other side though. I suspect their pony tale would constantly be whipping around knocking the latte smeared lens of the camera off angle anyways.

snicker.....
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#208596 - 05/20/08 09:25 AM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: anthony11]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Ça plane pour moi...
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#208630 - 05/20/08 01:11 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: Murph]
anthony11 Offline
local

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 267
Loc: Seattle WA
 Originally Posted By: Murph
Skype works very well. Never used it with a Mac user on the other side though. I suspect their pony tale would constantly be whipping around knocking the latte smeared lens of the camera off angle anyways.

snicker.....

The Mac user would spell better, though :p

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#208666 - 05/20/08 05:19 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: anthony11]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
I resemble that remark. Although my Macbook is merely coffee stained, not latte stained.
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#208675 - 05/20/08 05:37 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: anthony11]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I'm a Skyper, too. In fact my obnoxious raspberry photo was taken with my Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000. It's a very good camera, with built in microphone, and I feel comfortable recommending it. There is another, the Logitech QuickCam Ultra Vision SE Webcam which looks pretty good and may be superior to the 9000.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#208699 - 05/20/08 09:29 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: pmbuko]
samandnoah Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 320
Loc: Austin, TX
 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Ça plane pour moi...


Wow, Plastic Bertrand. That's a blast from the past! And I'm still not sure I've ever heard 2 people agree on what it really means.

Rich

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#208717 - 05/20/08 11:49 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: Ajax]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4788
Loc: western canada
I bought the Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000 and 5000 (before the moving orb version) for the grandparents.
They've worked well.
I got my Creative Labs PCcam 600 about 8 years ago on eBay for $40. Still works fine.
The motion software works great. I caught our old cat eating my office plants with it and figured out whyre all the cat litter rolled dung logs were disappearing.
Silly dogs.

I have video.
Maybe i'll post it later.


Edited by chesseroo (05/20/08 11:50 PM)
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#208723 - 05/21/08 12:03 AM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: chesseroo]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
Just tried Skype when I couldn't get iChat to work for video from my hotel. Worked like a charm, no real configuration needed. I understand that I could get much better quality with some tweaks, but it let me see my son tonight, which makes me happy.
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#208746 - 05/21/08 07:43 AM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: Ken.C]
samandnoah Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 320
Loc: Austin, TX
Great info as always from this board. Thanks everybody. Got a starting point, and we'll test it out this weekend.

Thanks again, this one really means a lot to me.

Rich

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#208934 - 05/21/08 10:21 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: Ken.C]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4788
Loc: western canada
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Just tried Skype when I couldn't get iChat to work for video from my hotel. Worked like a charm, no real configuration needed. I understand that I could get much better quality with some tweaks, but it let me see my son tonight, which makes me happy.

You out of town Ken?

The grandparents get to see the kids almost every other week via Skype. It has been fantastic. Unfortunately my father lives in a land of no high speed, dial up only so he's limited to viewing when on hiatus down in Texas over winter.
Ironically enough during the remainder of the year he's about 45 minutes from the Axiom factory though so i have another reason, besides the spa, to hit the area sometime in the future.


Edited by chesseroo (05/21/08 10:22 PM)
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#208939 - 05/21/08 10:32 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: chesseroo]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
Yeah, I'm in Dallas. Leaving tomorrow morning.
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#208945 - 05/21/08 10:35 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: Ken.C]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4788
Loc: western canada
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Yeah, I'm in Dallas. Leaving tomorrow morning.

Did you get to meet Debbie?
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#208947 - 05/21/08 10:36 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: chesseroo]
anthony11 Offline
local

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 267
Loc: Seattle WA
Hey .. I was in Dallas last week for a few days.

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#208949 - 05/21/08 10:37 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: anthony11]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
Err... no.

Wouldn't she be, like, 60 or something now?
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#208950 - 05/21/08 10:37 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: Ken.C]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
If you go back again, I have a restaurant for you.
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

Top
#208952 - 05/21/08 10:38 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: chesseroo]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7395
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
 Originally Posted By: chesseroo
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Yeah, I'm in Dallas. Leaving tomorrow morning.

Did you get to meet Debbie?


That calls for a "ba domp pssht"!

Good one, Chess.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#208955 - 05/21/08 10:39 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: St_PatGuy]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4788
Loc: western canada
 Originally Posted By: St_PatGuy
 Originally Posted By: chesseroo
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Yeah, I'm in Dallas. Leaving tomorrow morning.

Did you get to meet Debbie?


That calls for a "ba domp pssht"!

Good one, Chess.

It's that damn Bravo channel.
All these late night shows.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#208957 - 05/21/08 10:40 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: chesseroo]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
I think you get a different Bravo channel than I do...
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#208962 - 05/21/08 11:00 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: Ken.C]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
You sure it wasn't the Tette e Culi channel?
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#209081 - 05/22/08 08:05 PM Re: Video chat help requested [Re: pmbuko]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4788
Loc: western canada
 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
You sure it wasn't the Tette e Culi channel?

No but it really should be renamed the T&A channel.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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