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Posted on 2004-04-22
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Where can I find decent free video conferencing software.  Preferably I'd like to run it internally without needing access to the internet and have it display the video feed in a large window or full screen.
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Question by:AndrewBa
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sftweng earned 64 total points
ID: 10895738
Both NetMeeting and Messenger are bundled with MS Windows. The drawback is that neither supports multi-user video, just bilateral (two at a time).

Are you looking for multi-user conferencing (more than 2)?
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by:rage_886
rage_886 earned 62 total points
ID: 10948304
go this site

http://www.free-software-downloads.org/conferencing-software/video.htm

you will find the free video conferencing software,
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by:tommybkool
tommybkool earned 62 total points
ID: 11071453
I just found a great piece of software called Unreal Media.  It allows connections of multiple sources, and can be used to stream media files as well as live camera feeds.  I placed links on a web page and those links connect directly to my PC.  Or you can use their streaming media player for the same thing, without using internet explorer for a direct  connection.  It supports audio and video so a camcorder connected via a firewire looked excellent, sounded excellent.  I also experimented with a PCI capture card and a USB video input source.  All work great.  It also supports a variety of video formats for the media files.  As a test I opened up 4 windows on 3 different PCs on my LAN and the software maintained 10fps. (Which for web video is pretty good, I think).
This fps is determined by my DSL upload of 128kbps capabity.  
It is Windows only (sorry Macs) and requires Internet Explorer to watch via a browser window (sorry Mozilla).  Clients are able to see video full screen, but I noticed my CPU % usage went up more when that was done.  As a matter of fact, when I added my MiniDV camcorder as a source, it offered a full-screen broadcast option.  Most video sources were limited to 320X240 though, with the zoom option of 200%, or full screen.

http://umediaserver.net/download.html

The software is really 3 in 1.  A media server, a live server, and streaming player.  It does take a little technical knowledge to set it up.
Now I am able to invite a friend or relative to access my website, click on a link, and watch any .wmv, mpg., .avi, or any of my live camera video sources.  Dialup won't work, but I'm sure it can be set up in a LAN to work just fine if that's all you want it for..

AND IT'S TOTALLY FREE!

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by:sftweng
ID: 11071713
tommybkool, can it support more than two concurrent users, each on a webcam? You mentioned different video sources so I think the answer is yes, but I wonder whether you actually have tried it. If it works, GREAT!
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by:sciwriter
sciwriter earned 62 total points
ID: 11131952
Net meeting and messenger are real losers in this arena (MS has only woken up to this about a week ago).  Any IP-based VC software will work within a domain, as it will across the net.  Look at CuSeeMe and others like it -- except the "chat session" software dedicated to net chat sessions.  Find one that can call a direct IP address, and you've got it.
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by:tommybkool
ID: 11133686
RE: tommybkool, can it support more than two concurrent users, each on a webcam? You mentioned different video sources so I think the answer is yes, but I wonder whether you actually have tried it. If it works, GREAT!

When you set up the software, you assign the video sources into the live streaming part of the program. Using this software I "was" able to view all 3 sources at the same time.  Note each source used a different input - USB, PCI composite, and firewire.

I have never tried to connect two miniDV cameras to the firewire card at once.  I don't know if it would work or not.  If it did, it would be super.  But my guess is it would not.  Also, I am not sure whether you can add multiple PCI capture cards, or use  a multiport capture card like Winnov.  I think that has major possibilities of working.  But don't take my word for it.

One thing I found impressive was how little load it put on my CPU.

Go for it.
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