to have some fun? Try video
is a wide variety of video conferencing gear on the market.
At the low-end you use your pc and the Internet.
At the high-end, say for a conference room setting, proprietary
equipment from Polycom, PictureTel, or VCON can cost thousands of
dollars and be used with a dedicated ISDN-PRI circuit.
But let’s say you just want to see a family member that lives
in California while you are talking to them?
Here’s what you need to get started.
off your pc needs to have a sound card, speakers, and a microphone since
conferencing software permits voice conversation.
It is best to use a headset with a noise canceling microphone.
you need a computer camera. There
are lots of cameras on the market and cost is a function of resolution,
speed (frames per second), number of colors (e.g. 24 bit), and other
functions. Here are some to investigate.
The Logitech QuickCam Pro offers 640x480 resolution and 30 fps
for about $100. Logitech
has almost a dozen models available with varying features and price
levels and is probably the vendor you should spend the most time
investigating for hardware. Many
cameras offer cross functionality and can serve as a digital still
camera. Another popular
vendor to check out is Creative Labs.
final piece to the puzzle is the software that runs on your Windows PC
to make a video call. The
most popular software for Windows 95 and 98 is NetMeeting which can be
downloaded from Microsoft’s web site.
With the introduction of Windows XP, Microsoft has replaced
NetMeeting with Windows Messenger.
Some others to consider are ICUII (I see you too), FocusFocus,
TeamView, The Internet Com Suite from Smith Micro, and iVisit.
this is great in concept, you should be prepared. You will not get
fantastic video or voice quality with a low cost solution.
The video and voice can be slow and choppy and is heavily
dependent on what else is happening on the Internet at the time.
For best results you and your video chat partner should have a
broadband connection using DSL or a cable modem.