WebCam

Hello all,

I just put in a computer at my father's house and he wants us to be able to use WebCams to "see" each other. I don't know the first thing about what to get. I looked and they range $21 to $150 and on up. What do I need. Is there more to it than just purchasing the web cam and plugging it into your USB port. I mean I am sure there is some software but is there anything else I need to be aware of?


Thanks!
tmcgheeAsked:
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f-kingConnect With a Mentor IT support technicianCommented:
Hi
first you should decide on the quality of the web cam do you want a quick and smooth playback?
If the answer is yes then look for FPS(frames per second the higher they are the quicker  the video presentation will be)
Another important feature to look out for is the resolution of the camera cheap ones start from 100k ,the higher this value is the better the picture will look.

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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
It's that simple ... just buy two web cams, install them in the USB ports on the computers ... and it's then simply a software issue (and there are many options -- most web cams will come with a basic package; and almost all instant messaging applications these days support web cams).
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... for example, Yahoo® Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, MSN® Messenger, and Windows® Messenger all support web cams => if you simply install one, they'll "see" it and offer to use it.
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phototropicConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Most messenger-type programs have a "video link" or "enable video" tab. The difference in the price of the hardware reflects the difference in quality of the end product.  You get what you pay for...
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tmcgheeAuthor Commented:
I don't know the first thing about what to get. I looked and they range $21 to $150 and on up. What do I need.
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IsaiahSarjuConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Tmcghee,

Here is what I would recommend for you. First off I would recommend only purchasing Logitech products from newegg.com; Logitech being a very reputable brand for peripheral devises, and newegg being the only store that I’d trust all my tech needs with. The following all have built in mics.

For the lower end of good quality cameras I'd recommend the Logitech 961410-0403 Quick Cam. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16830108128

For a great quality cam I’d recommend the Logitech 961419-0403 Quick Cam. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16830108131.

The best you can get right now is this the Logitech 961403-0403. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16830108129.

When setting up any of these I’d recommend that you turn off “automatic noise cancellation” as it can cause playback problems.

As for programs to use I would recommend NOT using AOL IM as it slows down your machine and is said to be more susceptible to opening up your computer to spy ware. I would recommend using windows messenger. http://windowsmessenger.com/. With the new windows messenger you can chat with people using AIM w/o having to use AOL’s program.

After installing the cams (using the cds that come with them or downloading the installers off the net) you will want to go into windows messenger go to tools > “audio and video setup” and it will walk you through everything. After that you can go to tools > webcam settings to adjust the brightness, etc.

Hope this was helpful

Sincerely,
Isaiah
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Tmcghee => As I noted, this is VERY simple.  Just buy ANY webcam and it's virtually automatic.

I agree that Logitech makes excellent, reasonably priced webcams.   They're not the "best you can get right now" (that would be one of the many digital cameras that can serve as webcams -- with MUCH higher resolution than the web cams;  but also they are both more expensive and much better than you need) ... but they are excellent for what you need.

This one for $28.99 (after a current rebate) would be perfect:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16826104021
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Visual3DMayaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you'd also like just one way watching, you should think at an AXIS 206 Network Camera that don't need a running PC to work, just one for watching.
http://www.axis.com/products/cam_206/index.htm

If not a network camera, a capture card linked camera would give the best quality.
http://gadget.brando.com.hk/prod_detail.php?prod_id=00132&cat_id=024&dept_id=001

If you wand something cheaper, A4 Tech Model: PK-935 USB camera is ok, very light sensitive.
http://www.a4tech.com/en/product2.asp?CID=77&SCID=89&MNO=PK-935
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