last ever webcam questions - help

  theDarkness 22:24 13 Jan 2010

ok, i have a dual core machine, more than capable of running this logitech webcam, according to the box. the webcam connects to the net using a wireless router.

my connection is "excellent" to the wireless router, and on a speedtest website online, i generally always get :-

Download speed
6580 Kbps
Upload speed
598 Kbps

i try a test broadcast using yahoo webchat, but i can only top 5 frames per second, and thats when I am broadcasting at a mere 160 x 120! (about the size of 4 icons joined together on screen, 2 at the top, 2 at the bottom).

does this sound about right, or should i try another webchat program - is yahoo chat generally just rubbish, or is it just trying to avoid my ugly pic? :) does anyone know what the potentially fastest webchat program might be, if the same connection was tested trying out more than one? the extremely slow output on yahoo webchat is when the fancy camera settings and lighting effects are turned off, and connection type is set as broadband or lan. i have tried the slower setting but this makes the fps worse. the broadcasting video is so small to be acceptable at 160x120 - i thought any camera would be capable of more than 5fps at this resolution? thanks for any help

  MAJ 23:26 13 Jan 2010

Have you tried GoogleChat click here or Skype click here, theDarkness? Idon't use webcams so I can't really advise, but maybe they let you do a test broadcast, or you could try it out with a friend.

  Woolwell 00:07 14 Jan 2010

I have a fairly basic Logitech webcam connected to the PC by USB and it records at 15 fps VGA. Have you tried recording a video of yourself, save it and see if the fps and reproduction in play back is ok? This should eliminate the webcam and connection to your PC.
Next is which program you are using to broadcast on. I use Skype for video chats and I don't have a problem and my broadband speed is less than yours. As far as I am aware there isn't a video test on Skype but someone else may know different. Google has chat but I haven't tried it.

  theDarkness 00:17 14 Jan 2010

yahoo chat was the easiest at first, as it let me click on "statistics" when the webcam was being broadcast, even if no one was on the receiving end of it. yahoo only has two resolutions on its video chat (160x120 and 320x240), and I could only get 3 and 5 fps, and that was when I connected using the the landline at 6.2Mbps, 5.3 download, 0.35 upload.

I think i tried both the webcams own videochat software and googlechat before, no change- but ive yet to try Skype fully. If it doesnt have the yahoo-like "view statistics" option ill only be able to try it out at the wkend anyway when i can get someone online for a real test. With a bit more searching, i found out that even in 2010 its virtually impossible to get a camera thats letting others receive your broadcast at any more than 5 fps on average, and 15 fps max (if your amazingly lucky), despite most these days stating they are capable of 30 fps-unless you are simply using it to 'record', and not 'broadcast' yourself! I will probably just have to wait another 10 yrs for a much faster home connection, and cameras that can handle it!


  theDarkness 00:23 14 Jan 2010

Woolwell - my camera is absolutely fine when recording live, as long as its not on the net! In a normal web chat, what does your recipient get when they see you at the other end? i suppose it would be hard for them to guess they are getting a 10-15 fps broadcast from you, but i would imagine its alot less if they receive a less than smooth video

if anyone has yahoo messenger installed, could they click on "broadcast" when their webcam is on, and then on webcam > statistics, to check their fps, and state it here? thanks if so

  oldbeefer2 10:52 14 Jan 2010

I use Skype, and have no idea of the frame rate, but people who I webcam with report smooth video. Feel free to PM me if you want to do a test to my PC.

  Woolwell 11:02 14 Jan 2010

I receive and send smooth video over Skype. I don't know what the fps is on Skype. I actually did a test between my laptop and desktop using different Skype accounts and different webcams (one Logitech, one built-in) and picture at both ends were watchable and smooth.
The only time that I have had problems is when there was a rather poor wireless connection at the recipients end overseas.

  theDarkness 03:02 15 Jan 2010

thanks for the replies- i have now installed skype, i havent done a "real" test as of yet, but I have managed to connect 2 computers in the house here to the net, using the same wireless router to "skype" one another. i would assume it might count as a proper test since they are both sending out video over the net? i know 2 pcs on the same router might still cause slowdown, but at least if its faster than yahoo in a test ill know that there is definately a problem with yahoo chat.

result- despite being connected to the same router in this house, both using skype, the quality was far better than yahoo. if this test is acceptable, i think yahoo may have a severe limit with fps. yahoo chat only has 3 internet speed settings in its preference menu : 56k gives me a 3 fps output, dsl 5 fps, and lan at 5 fps. on skype im now getting (as a guess) around 20 fps. i will try a proper test (to a real person, not in this house) by the weekend to a relative, if its dead slow again as with yahoo video ill know my router test was not a good idea. if i cant get a relation to try Skype out then i might take oldbeefer up on the skype test!

i have one last question, about Skype- i noticed on both computer i tested, with each monitor i could see 2 windows. myself showing at the bottom, and the one i was chatting to showing at the top. perhaps this was an issue with the 2 computers connecting to the net to chat to one another via the same router, but although the 'received video' looked good on both systems (skype webchat top window), the one showing myself would be very slow (skypes bottom window).
i was wondering if they would normally be of a similar framerate whilst chatting, or if its standard for both users to switch off the window showing themselves at the bottom? I also wondered if that might speed up the chat broadcasting fps of myself, since the only window i need to see is really of the one i am chatting to?

  oldbeefer2 09:29 15 Jan 2010

I only use the small one of me at the bottom to make sure I'm in frame, therefore the slow response is not really important. Switching off doesn't change the uploaded speed.

  theDarkness 11:04 15 Jan 2010

your chatter was definately getting a smooth enough video when you were both using a webcam, and u also got the slow frame rate for the window showing yourself! that makes me feel better, lol-but perhaps there is something in the skype faq that mentions intentional lower fps for that window.. either that or we both need much faster computers :(

i sent a message over at the skype forum similar to the above, and i got a reply from someone relating to the skype team stating my camera should be getting 30 fps, although googling around there seemed to be alot of unhappy users of google video chat and yahoo chat also stating they were also only getting 5 fps-that was the main reason i was slightly confused at what my computer/net should be capable of. my cam is a low budget logitech, i thought that might have been the original reason it wasnt working well with yahoo. i think ill only use skype from now on if it keeps working as it did yesterday-on a very low budget logitech


  oldbeefer2 11:22 15 Jan 2010

The only times I've had problems with Skype (mainly a freezing of the picture) has been when the person I've been webcamming with has had a slow upload speed. This has usually been those using a mobile dongle. Other than that, it's been great since I started using it 2 years ago.

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