Webcam lag fury!

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Riddleofsteel, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Riddleofsteel

    Riddleofsteel [H]ard|Gawd

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    My girlfriend and I live a couple of hours apart for the time being. We use logitech webcams for video dates in the meantime. She got hers from walmart and I think it's one of the more entry level models. I thought I was being smart and I bought the C910 which is HD capable, but its total overkill. Anyway, for the most part our video chats are smooth. On occasion the audio from her end is garbled and I miss words. Sometimes the image freezes as well. She says that my picture freezes up quite frequently. We use Logitech Vid HD for now, but I'm not overly impressed. I have no reason to believe that I'm sending or receiving in HD at this point. Let me describe some background stuff so I can get specific advice, if possible.

    1) I have a desktop pc with wired gigabit internet.
    2) She uses a laptop with wireless internet in a top-floor apartment in a building mostly made of metal. Even when we talk on the phone, she can move around in her apartment and have the call get dropped. I think this is the #1 problem here. The router for her internet is downstairs from her.
    3) I'm not sure if I'm totally not to blame, sometimes Vid HD will tell me that MY call quality is low. I had a USB port short out a month ago, I'm not sure if that might be messing me up.

    My girlfriend is a peach, but she can't make heads or tails of any technical talk, even when I try to put it in plain terms. I have a very hard time telling her that 'it's your terrible wireless internet', not only because she wouldn't believe me, but I don't want her to feel bad since it's beyond her control. So, thus far, I've been making it seem like its some anomalous problem that 'I'll look into'. But I think I'm screwed here.

    How is facebook video, or google plus hangouts video? We need a solution for video chat that's either less network intensive, or more configurable. But I don't think that will be the silver bullet cure. Thanks for any help and advice!
     
  2. SirMaster

    SirMaster 2[H]4U

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    Have you considered just using Skype? It handles 720p video just fine and looks great.
     
  3. jjeff1

    jjeff1 Limp Gawd

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    You're probably right about the wireless in a metal building causing problems.

    If you can move the wireless router someplace closer, so you're not going thru metal walls, that would probably help a lot.

    Beyond that try another video codec, H264 is the highest compression, so you can use the lowest bitrate. Some codecs have the option to automatically adjust the video bitrate based on the internet connection. Turn that off. Nail the bitrate to something a lot lower than your upload speed, try 256kbps.
     
  4. /usr/home

    /usr/home [H]ardness Supreme

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    What are hers and yours internet speeds? That could affect the lagginess a lot as well. Also the type of internet too.
     
  5. Riddleofsteel

    Riddleofsteel [H]ard|Gawd

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    It's the wireless, I'm pretty positive now. We had a conversation this evening that got horrendously choppy near the end of it, mostly her picture freezing and the audio getting badly garbled. Oh well.
     
  6. Riddleofsteel

    Riddleofsteel [H]ard|Gawd

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    Why does my webcam occasionally shut itself off for a split second?
     
  7. /usr/home

    /usr/home [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's the government tapping your feed so there's a slight nudge when they tap in and start surveillance.
     
  8. Riddleofsteel

    Riddleofsteel [H]ard|Gawd

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    Haha, yeah, if only. It seems to be fairly common with usb devices, but I haven't seen a solution clear-cut yet. I have it plugged into a usb 2.0 slot, so I'm baffled for now. My pc doesn't sleep, it only happens in the middle of video chats. Could it have to do with the bad signal on her end?
     
  9. Godmachine

    Godmachine [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Because someone pulled out there junk and scared the webcam away...;)

    Sounds like a software issue or driver bug to me.
     
  10. Enemy

    Enemy n00b

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    It has to do with the quality of the connection. If she is wired in then the quality will get better but it does not sound like she has this option. I use skype and when there is a lot of network activity the quality drops. Video chats draw a hefty amount of network useage and demands a lot. Just like a VoIP call. If there is packet loss then the quality will drop.

    Have her run pingtest.net and test what kind of connection she is getting.. also run speedtest.net

    The camera shutting off is the camera refocusing the lens or lighting or... connection issue over network. Mine does it. If you have a lot of users on her Wifi then she will get poor quality.
     
  11. DeChache

    DeChache The ONE - Your Ignorance Annoys Me

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    Google Vid and Hangouts work really well. They tend to be what i steer people towards for free solutions

    Though it does sounds like a bandwidth issue. Wireless rarely handles video well.
     
  12. Riddleofsteel

    Riddleofsteel [H]ard|Gawd

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    Got it, we'll give Hangouts a try. Thanks!