Communicating abroad (webcam?) advice

Discussion in 'Computer Peripherals & Consumables' started by Orson, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Orson

    Orson
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    I'm after a bit of help please folks.

    It looks likely that my daughter will be doing an exchange student thing over the summer, so I thought it might be useful to have some form of communication between here and wherever (probably Spain) without costing money in phone calls.

    So I thought a Webcam is the obvious choice. Or is it?

    I have an IP Phone that I use for work, so that's always a possibility, but I thought the video might make it a bit cuter for all involved.

    I'm fairly IT savvy, but I've never had the reason (or inclination) to use one, so know nothing about them, and being busy/lazy, I thought I could save myself some research, and get some honest opinions, by asking here.

    Do they have sound built in, or do I need to download skype or similar?
    I don't want to spend the earth, as I'm unlikely to use it after this.

    My PC spec is;
    Phenom 9550 Quad Core 2.2 GHz
    4GB RAM
    NVidia GeForce GTS 250 512 RAM
    Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

    Any help/advice will be appreciated.

    Thanks for looking
     
  2. jbloggs

    jbloggs
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    Logitech Quickcam Communicate STX (around £25) or Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 (excellent video and audio quality) around £40.
     
  3. Orson

    Orson
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    Thanks for that, I'll have a look.

    Anymore anyone? Or pointers on what to look for?
     
  4. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    I believe most have sound built in, but you should be able to tell fairly easily from the specs.

    You will need skype or a similar program to set up the video call, although I believe skype have an exclusive with logitech for high resolution video so that may not be the best choice.
     
  5. stockyvillage

    stockyvillage
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    Quick cam pro9000 works very well on skype.It has a good and clear built-in microphone
     
  6. Orson

    Orson
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    Thanks folks. I'm looking at the various types, but don't really want to be spending £50.
    As it's a one-off, I might just buy a cheap one & see how it goes, but I'll probably stick to Logitech or Microsoft.
     
  7. Simon Kemp

    Simon Kemp
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    Dear Orson,
    A web cam sounds like an excellent way of communicating with a relative in Spain, particularly with your powerful PC which should be capable of sending/receiving High Quality audio/video signals.
    Web cams come with a built-in microphone but I'm not sure what the sound quality is like on different makes and models.
    Using Skype software, internet video phone calls are free of charge - which is why I use Skype myself.
    With web cams you do tend to get what you pay for so it is probably worth spending a bit more to buy a really good model which will give you a better audio/video experience.
    I bought a Logitech 2500 web cam myself for £10 in the sales but only because the processor on my laptop is too slow to handle more pixels in the video signal. Had I got a new laptop with a dual-core processor I'd have paid more for a better web cam with maybe 2 Mp resolution.
    Don't forget that the recipient of your internet video calls needs to use a web cam and computer with similar specifications to yours to get a similar quality of call.
    Hope these suggestions are helpful to you - any feedback gratefully accepted.
    Regards and best wishes,
    Simon Kemp
    S. KEMP
     
  8. Sniper Ash6

    Sniper Ash6
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    you may have to bear in mind that internet speeds will affect how decent a picture and how higha quality you can achieve

    if you have rubbish internet then the picture at high quality is likely to be choppy and pixelated so you may wish to bear that in mind

    it will only take affect if one end has truly terrible connection
     

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