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What's Best WebCam To Use For Video Conference

My company has Microsoft LiveMeeting 2007 and we are about to begin using this program but was wondering what is the best Webcam out to use for this purpose.  I dont care about the cost, i want the best quality out there that will hook up to my computer.  I want to have a camera that i can hook up in our conference room and will publish everyone in the room(5 people) while still using LiveMeeting so the attendees can see everyone in the room and hear everyone talk instead of just one person.  All i am seeing is very small webcams that you hook up to a laptop that seems to be for just one person.  Any advise would really help.

Thanks,
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dabrams28
Asked:
dabrams28
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1 Solution
 
Anthony RussoCommented:
Most WebConferencing packages will run any Video Camera that is fed into the computer. There are Hi Def Digital Cameras that you can purchase and have a great image on the screen. You then need to make sure your Video Stream is maximized to at least 800k to have the full resolution of that type of camera broadcast into your meeting.

Another concern then would be what kind of Internet connection you are using to connect to your Conference Server. It would require at least a T1 to have a consistent stream of a high quality Video Camera broadcast out. the end users experience would vary depending on their connection as well. If they are on a slow DSL connection, they will be receiving jerky motion in the stream as packets of that size will be lost coming to them. If you were running at a decent 400k stream out to them, the image will be smaller or slightly blurrier, but the motion would come smoother.

What Internet connection do you have?

What stream is your Video set to run off of in the LiveMeeting?

What would most of your attendees likely be connecting at? Corporate is usually T1 or better. Consumers DSL or Cable, or some dial-up.

Anthony
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dabrams28Author Commented:
We are here in the office and we are using DSL i believe, i just tested our connection and we are at
Download = 1448 kb/s and Upload = 1382 kb/s...iinternet connection to me here is pretty fast.  Only downfall and i know its not going to be great is our folks outside the office are all on Sprint Broadband Air Cards, internet connection for them all are different depending on the signal of course.  Not sure what stream we are running off of but we tested the live meeting here inthe office and it worked great but of course all of us have the same connection speed.  Just want to get a good camera that i could set up to a laptop in our big room that can get everyone instead of everyone having to connect individually.

Thanks So Much
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AskRickCommented:
The short answer to your question would be logitech's newest webcam.  They made the best webcam available today.

However, depend on the size of your room, you still may not be happen with the result.  

It is possible to build a PC that can received up to HD signal from high quality PTZ cameras used for professional video conferencing systems (Tandberg, Polycom, Cisco... etc)  But, LiveMeeting only support low resolution video (I believe is CIF only).  

Try the webcam option first (it will only cost you $100 to try it out).  ;-)

BTW, I am assuming you server is OCS 2007.  Is that correct?





I am assuming you are hosting live meeting
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dabrams28Author Commented:
No we are not hosting Live Meeting...we are using Microsoft Servers to host our meetings.  The conference room is a small room that will only have about 5 people max in there when we have meetings.  Just want camera to be clear and be able to capture all 5 people at once.  I was looking at a Polycom camera to get but if you thihnk logitech can get the job done thats cool...
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Anthony RussoCommented:
Screen sharing can use about 200k of your bandwidth and then the Video at 800k leaves you with about 300-400k for the rest of your office to be using. If it is a decent sized office, you can figure that will get used up pretty fast. If it is just a small group and you can make sure nobody else is doing anything intensive over your internet connection, then you should be alright. Over that you will be maxing out your bandwidth so I would reccomend a 400k stream for a good balance of quality/speed for your image.

I can demonstrate a Logitech Fusion webcam at 200k 400k and 800k stream to you if you would want. Just contact me from my profile information. If you go with a digital video camera you are going to have to have an 800k stream or better as it would be a waste of its abilities to try to stream it lower then that.

Good luck,

Anthony
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AskRickCommented:
You will need to consider lighting and mic requirement if you are working with a room...
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dabrams28Author Commented:
So i need to go into my settings and change the stream to 400k somehow....is that possible to do that?  And the Logitech Fusion webcam is the camera to get?  Can i get this at a officemax or staples or do i have to just order off internet pretty much.  I am just so beginner level when you talk bandwidth and stream size....i wish i had a better understanding.  When these conferences are going on nothing major is going on at all, pretty much the office computers are being used just for exchange email and of course some employees are surging but nothing crazy that will kill the conection i think.
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dabrams28Author Commented:
Once i get the camera i can mess witht he lighting and i am going to purchase a mic to set on table that will pick up everbodies voice.
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Anthony RussoCommented:
You can get the Logitech QuickCam Fusion at Office Max or Best Buy or anywhere you are comfortable. Shop around and compare the image quality in the cams that you do look at. The Fusion is good, but they have higher end models as well.

As for the video stream. It is set on the server from your Conferencing providor. So I guess you would have to contact Microsoft or your Reseller if you used one. They would set the bitrate. I'm not sure that they have a 400k abiltiy though. You will have to check.

My videoconferencing company offers 200k 400k 800k options depending on the clients needs, but having that option is not the standard. You might be stuck at 200k or whatever they have you set for.

I would be glad to go over the options and give you a demonstration of the differences if you like. I can be contacted through my profile.

Good luck,

Anthony
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dabrams28Author Commented:
Ok..i am going to get with Microoft today and see what stream we are set at and see if we have options to get bumped up.  So you are saying the Fusion cam will get the job done possibly for a conference with 5 people in one room and broadcasting out to others

Thanks FOr Everything,
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Anthony RussoCommented:
I cant guarantee it, but I use a Fusion cam and I can do a virtually full screen video conference at 800k stream and it looks great. I am one person though. There are better models out there you could try out to get an even better picture.

Good luck, and let me know how it turns out.

Anthony
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dabrams28Author Commented:
Will try that fusion out next week and well see how it works out.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
the best is what works with your application and does not need any specialty drivers -- e.g. skype is a great way to test which webcams work the best with your system -- if it works, skype finds it instantly.
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dabrams28Author Commented:
Logitech camera worked great...i actually went ahead and bough th ultravision cam from logitech instead of the fsion and it worked great.  Kind of had some employees drop off the meeting due to bad reception with ther broadband air cards.  I am actlly going to go ahead and send the fusion camerasut  ll of our employees also, so we have a great view of them.  Anyone know how to make livemeeting see everyone at one time that is conncted to the call instead of just one speaker at a time?  Camera worked great and meeting ran well overall, just some ad sprint connections for employees out in the field here and there during meeting.

Thanks,
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Anthony RussoCommented:
Glad it worked out for you.

I'm not sure if LiveMeeting has an option to just select a person and turn on their WebCam as I havent used their newest version. Our software is just select a name and click the WebCam icon to turn on or off the person;s camera. It has a default of 3 windows enabled simultaneously, but that is configurable on the server side up to 12.

Maybe you can see if Microsoft can up the amount of available windows on the server for you.

Good luck,

Anthony
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dabrams28Author Commented:
Okay so i am sure it is probabaly on the Microsoft side, right now all i can do using the Livemeeting 07 is click individual attendes and only have the person's camera on at a time.  If i can get like at least 7 cameras up that would be great....thought someon might no a trick or something to getby or bypass the one screen situation.  I will take 3 if thats all i can get...lol...anything is better than one for me.  Other than that, i have no other complains, the meeting software worked great,

Thanks,
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