General discussion

The best IM client for webcam communication

Aug 19, 2005 6:35AM PDT

I recently purchased the Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000 for me and my girlfriend who now lives about 4 hours away. We agreed this would be a good way to keep in contact. After much time spent reading reviews on all the different cameras in our price range, I came to the conclusion that this would be best. Now I?m concerned that there isn?t a program out there that will allow us to use these cameras to their full potential. This camera is host of many notable features such as being able to take 1.3 mega-pixel images, 640x480 resolution video, 30 fps video, and the ability to adjust itself in low lighting conditions, producing a vivid image, and having high response times. I don?t want my IM messenger of choice to be the bottleneck as far as quality and responsiveness are concerned. I?ve read that Yahoo! Messenger has drastically upgraded its webcam capabilities for broadband users like myself, however it still only allows 24fps when my camera is capable of communicating 30fps, and a maximum resolution of 320x240 when my camera is capable of displaying twice that size. This really bothers me. I?d like to be able to use our cameras to their maximum potential and not half of what they?re capable of.

By the way, I?ve tried the audio out on MSN, AIM, and YIM and they?re all very sub par compared to Skype. Maybe I?ll couple Skype (for audio purposes) with something else like YIM for video.

Can someone suggest a good IM/Webcam client that will produce nothing less than clear, crisp, vivid video and sound with no delay? Does the camera come packaged with a program like this?

I need to know what my options are.

Thanks in advance,

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No delay?
Aug 19, 2005 6:57AM PDT

Sorry, that's part of the bargain when we push stuff over the internet.

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Minimal delay
Aug 19, 2005 1:06PM PDT

Sure, I understand that. I may have gone slightly overboard but I think you understand what I'm after. Something that delivers a clean and crisp image with minimal delay.

Can you recommend anything?

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She'll look just as good:))
Aug 22, 2005 5:42AM PDT

Ok, now as i have been through the same as you, yet my SO was 9 time zones away and on a crappy pc, she still looked the same in person as she did on the webcam.
I tried MSN and Yahoo- Yahoo seemed to come out a little better. Its ben a while but Yahoo had some special booster thing you could use- look in the options for it. You both had to have it activited to use it. Made the speed higher and resolution better. I saw some wonderful things on that webcam and it seemed awful good to me Happy

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MSN and Yahoo
Aug 23, 2005 5:15AM PDT

Actually I just got my cam yesterday (she still hasn't received hers) and I tried out both MSN and Yahoo. Yahoo is a pain because it's only worth using if Super Cam mode is activated. I was disappointed in Super WebCam mode because on the Yahoo website it advertises 24fps and a resolution of 320x240. That isn't exactly true. At 320x240 you get about 10fps. The only way to achieve the maxium advertised FPS is by turning down the quality and resolution of the image. I found this to be quite misleading.

MSN is nice but I'm not entirely satisfied because the audio isn't syncing up with my lip movements. There is a slight delay.

I just know there has got to be an application out there some there, free or not, that allows you to take full advantage of your camera's capabilities. So far it seems I could've gotten away with spending 25.00 on a webcam instead of the 70.00(x2) I spent on our Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000's.


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New MSN Messenger 7.5 released 8/24/2005
Aug 24, 2005 12:45AM PDT

Reportedly added some security features. Installed but no experience yet.


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Aug 24, 2005 5:12PM PDT

I was running 7.0 and upgraded to 7.5 today. I'll give it a shot later but I highly doubt they've upgraded the cam feature because this woulud be a very notable change and would certainly be posted on their website.

If anyone has any success with other instant messengers, please post here. I'm looking for something that can transfer at least 24FPS at 220x240 resolution. Yahoo Super Webcam is only capable of transfering 10FPS at that resolution, which in my opnion is pretty weak.

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Correcting typos*
Aug 24, 2005 5:14PM PDT

I meant to say that I'm looling for something that can transfer at least 24FPS at 320x240 resolution.

Sorry - it's late Wink

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A lil info....
Aug 25, 2005 10:53PM PDT

While I do not have a clue about the technical aspect of this, I do have a little insight that MAY help if you haven't tried it. I use MSN almost always and have found that if I go under actions, and then under more, then choose ''start a video conference'' you get a better picture and there is no lag in the pic or sound. Not sure if you have tried this, or if it meets the specs you are looking for, but thought I would throw it out just in case.
Good luck!

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if it;s still around
Aug 25, 2005 11:03PM PDT

a while back i went thru the same thing you are we used paltalk... we would make a password protected room and go in it.. it has decent sound and about the best video i've ever tryed. you may want to check it out?

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Aug 26, 2005 4:43AM PDT

I read about Paltalk and meant to give it a whirl but totally forgot. I'll test it out tonight and post my results back here.


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Aug 26, 2005 4:42AM PDT

This is what I've been using. I appreciate your input Happy

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IM for webcam
Aug 26, 2005 1:37AM PDT

My husband is in iraq, and we've been using plain ol' Yahoo IM for a year, with 50.00 Creative Cam on my end. Minimal delay, and the camera he has access to over there is about the same quality. I've been very happy with this system (though i'm happy to see him regardless of the quality!) The audio we seem to have problems with, but that's mainly due to his location.

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A possible solution to your audio woes
Aug 26, 2005 4:47AM PDT

I think skype is the application that would resolve your audio issue. I'll go ahead and throw that out here in hopes that you'll return to this discussion but if you don't I'll try contacting you directly. Skype far surpasses MSN, AIM, Yahoo and any other messenger out there as far as audio is concerned. It's even better than phone quality.

You can download skype free of charge at It's free to make PC-to-PC phone calls but requires you to deposit money if you'd like to use it as a regular telephone service (Skype Out).

Good luck. Thanks for your input.

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Google Talk
Aug 26, 2005 8:28AM PDT

The early word on Google Talk is that it far surpasses anything out there. It's far too soon to know if there are issues but.....a)it's free and b)it's google. They do have a reputation for quality stuff.

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Very cool!
Aug 26, 2005 8:36AM PDT

I wasn't aware of this, thanks. I'll check it out and post back with my results.

Regarding Paltalk, I now recall why I didn't try it out. A simple Google search reveals that Paltalk has third party spyware which installs itself in the background.

No thanks. Wink

If anyone knows of a good video communication client that is clear, fast, and responsive, let us know.


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Webroot Spy Sweeper
Aug 26, 2005 10:50AM PDT

I think it's worth the trouble to install an anti-spyware program if you'll be trying out different clients.

While there're couple of fine spyware removers out there, I've found Webroot the best GUARD (stop any from installing vs aftermath scanning/removing).

It does expire in 2 weeks (not too sure) but you can always switch to other freeware if you still haven't found what you;re looking for by then.

Good luck and keep us posted about Paltalk if you decide to give it a try.

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Aug 26, 2005 11:36AM PDT

I hadn't looked at Google Talk, just relyed on some reliable chatter on the net. Went out and got it and it doesn't appear to support web cam, just voice. My apologies.

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My 2 cents worth.
Aug 26, 2005 11:49AM PDT

I have tried quiet a few different webcams.
Mine is a LOGITECH webcam/camera $149.00.
It takes action pictures very nicely.
My webcam/camera also has a mic built in it.
As far as messengers go heres been my experience.
With MSN Messenger there is hardly any lag (delay).
But, being able to talk is almost mute.
Sometimes it works,,,,Most of the time it don't.
On Yahoo tho, Supercam will only work with 1 person viewing your cam if more person can see you, then Supercam stops.
And I've had Supercam working on my end, and it not be working on the other persons end.
So go figure that one.
Lag seems to be a problem sometimes.
But what I find just EXCELLENT is Yahoo's PC 2 PC
call feature thru IM.
It is Crystal Clear.

You could do this.
Use your cams on Yahoo for viewing, and use the PC 2 PC calling for talking.
You can use both at the same time.

But don't forget...if your dial-up,, things are a lot slower to connect...because of so much data being transfered.

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Sep 14, 2005 11:08PM PDT

I have tried almost all and have done research on services

I now use paltalk and its the best i have seen and used
not only for its good quality of video and sound but all its features are a will need to upgrade from its free version to higher to get the best quality
Use a cable or dsl isp fast.Easy and simple to setup.

My second choice is camfrog video 3.4 great program
does all also highley rated .

You get what you pay for .Meaning you get great product if you are willing to pay a littlt for prime service.

services are quite cheap on monthly bases.

PALTALK i think is the best
Google to paltalk and download free version and check it out.

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Nov 3, 2005 10:44PM PST

Probably the best video framerate i have ever seen, enough for people to actually use sign language to each other. The pro version does cost but i'm pretty sure you can chat to another person for free... Wortha try at least

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Nov 5, 2005 2:08AM PST

I'll check Camfrog out.


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Communicating with webcams
Aug 12, 2006 3:11AM PDT

I have a logitech Quickcam zoom hooked up to a mac tower g4 with 466 processor speed. The software is is OS 10.3.9. I am trying to use skype video but the connection always fails when trying to communcate with my daughter in Europe. The skype software is a beta version and asks for a processor speed of 800. Could this be the problem?
Can one receive live video without the skype software using one of the media players?

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Eyeball Chat
Aug 13, 2006 1:31AM PDT
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Here's my best suggestion!
Jul 1, 2008 2:27PM PDT

Send me an e-mail to and I'll give you a much better solution!!!

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