Web cam use - quality & product guidance needed

  Homeuser 11:52 04 Jan 03
Locked
  Homeuser 11:52 04 Jan 03

I'm considering purchasing webcams primarily to enable me to video conference with my family. I am on broadband (Telewest cable) and expect to be able to receive high quality real time moving images from those with whom I am talking. However, if the 'other end' only has dial-up internet access (not broadband), what quality can I expect at each end? Will this be just a collection of stills, or can both ends expect streaming video?
I am considering buying the Logitech Quickcam Pro 3000 - I want reasonable quality pics and a built-in microphone. Is this likely to be the right camera for me?
Is a built-in microphone the way to go?
Any help would be much appreciated.

  recap 12:12 04 Jan 03

Homeuser, to my understanding the Dial-up side would have a slower respone rate than the BroadBand one. Quality might be less with the Dial-up also but nothing to severe.

We (the work we)have used the Philips To-cam for a while and don't have any problems with it. Before the Christmas break we had users using them to wish relative xmas cheer, one of the systems we linked up to was a laptop in Asia somewhere, no problems.

  tran1 12:19 04 Jan 03

Hi,

I think the quality of picture depends mainly on the resolution of the webcam capture. A slower internet connection will affect the frame rate the pictures will be streamed at. The person with 56K connection will experience more pauses and judder (almost like stills if the connection is bad) while someone with broadband will see video more smoothly.

A built in microphone the only option if you don't already have a microphone. However I think a separate microphone is better for clarity if the webcam is at a fair distance from you.

  anchor 12:27 04 Jan 03

Over Xmas, I had a video link with a friend in Crete. He is on 56k dial-up, and I have broadband.

However, it seems that the quality was governed by the weakest link, i.e. his slow speed. I received a succesion of still images, changing about every 3 to 4 seconds.

The Logitech camera you are considering is excellent, although the model 3000 has been replaced by the 4000. The built in USB microphone is excellent.

  Homeuser 14:27 04 Jan 03

Thanks for advice so far. I'm unsure about what web cams to go for. I don't mind paying more if I'm going to get higher quality pictures - is this likely to be the case?
The price range is large - for reasonable quality for home use, in what region should I pay?
Any views on makes? is Logitech ok with Windows XP?
There seems to be differing opinions on whether or not to have a built-in or freestanding microphone. Any further thoughts on this one?
Any advice much appreciated.

  graham 14:34 04 Jan 03

Check your monitor doesn't have a microphone before you buy another!

  Homeuser 17:11 04 Jan 03

Thanks Graham - good thought. I've checked and my monitor doesn't have a built-in microphone.

Guidance still required folks - see my earlier messages!!

  crx16 17:27 04 Jan 03

during a 2way conversation,if you can hear the other person thru your speakers,the chances are that the webcam/monitor microphone will also.(most annoying,ever heard a dj ask a caller to turn the radio down)

much better to use a headset,you can get a discreet one that has only 1 earpiece and a skinny little microphone arm.

it seems all the best cams have a microphone and it still would have a use for creating video clips,but i always disable for chat.

as your friend has 56k download,he probably has 33k upload,so in theory he will get better image than you.

  Homeuser 18:35 04 Jan 03

Thanks '16 - good point. If I don't want to use a headset, would a desktop microphone be better than one on a web cam - particularly in terms of feedback? With a headset, can sound still be channelled through speakers if desired?

  Homeuser 18:36 04 Jan 03

Thanks '16 - good point. If I don't want to use a headset, would a desktop microphone be better than one on a web cam - particularly in terms of feedback? With a headset, can sound still be channelled through speakers if desired?

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