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grandchehaw

What video sharing software do you use?

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What is the best software to use to connect to a different computer to share video and sound? We tried Netmeeting but the video and sound was very crappy. I have an Intel Delux Camera and my friend has a Logitech QuickCam Pro 3000 if that makes any difference. I am on Cable and he is on T1 or better at Ferris. We both have 1 Ghz+ PC's too. TIA for any info that you can provide.

JR

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Guest russofris
What is the best software to use to connect to a different computer to share video and sound? 

JR

H323 video confrencing setup used to be a job of mine. I'll give you an overview at first, and give you some information on the standards (and not so standards). I might even answer your question then.

In the beginning there was H320, which is a set of audio and video codecs (h260/262 i believe) which was made for 64K/128Kb ISDN connections. People bought set top boxes with a hardware codec that did the compression and decompression of the A/V. Video resolution qas QCIF at 15fps. But people wanted more, so both Picturetel and Intel (teamstation) started allowing you to multiplex ISDN lines for a total of 384kb in which you could do CIF at 30fps.

The old H320 set was highly optimized for low bandwidth (64-128kb), so a new standard was adopted for high-speed connections (>256Kb). This was H323, and is currently what most software uses (including Netmeeting). 99% of VC software supports 323/320, as does 99% of VC hardware.

Picture quality:

Since we are all using the same codec to compress/decompress video, there are a couple things that we can do to increase quality. In netmeeting, we have the option of sending "smaller or larger" pictures. This simply changes from QCIF (160x120?) to CIF (320x240?). Increasing the resolution greatly increases the picture quality, and bandwidth utilization. There is also a "connection speed" setting in NM that changes the MAX bandwidth utilization.

The next step in gaining quality is to purchase a hardware codec. Companies like VCON ( http://www.vcon.com ) make PCI cards that you plug a camera into that do HW compression/decompression of the 323 stream, and tend to be a lot better than netmeetings default software codec. (Vcon's stuff actually sits on top of netmeeting, so the T.120 whiteboard and app sharing is still there). You can also display the received video on a TV as well

The other path is to use a piece of software that supports external codecs. C-U-See-Me was one such piece of software. Instead of H320/323, you could use Indeo, Mpeg, Divx, MJpeg, or whatever you wanted as long as the person on the other end had the same codec installed on their machine (keep in mind that some codes simply can't stream).

In my opinion, the new version of netmeeting is pretty nice once you have it tweaked. Try maxing all the settings out and using a decent microphone. Play around with it a bit before investing in a hardware codec.

Hope that this helps,

Frank Russo

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I tried to use NetMeeting, but my ISP does not asign a "Valid IP Address".

The IP address is in a sub-mask.

How can I use NetMeeting under this ISP?

Thanks.

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Guest russofris
I tried to use NetMeeting, but my ISP does not asign a "Valid IP Address".

The IP address is in a sub-mask.

How can I use NetMeeting under this ISP?

Thanks.

Netmeeting does not work well through a NAT/PROXY/Firewall (but it does work). To make it work, you must do two things on the firewall config.

Pass through primary TCP connections on ports 389, 522, 1503, 1720, and 1731.

Pass through secondary TCP and UDP connections on dynamically assigned ports (1024-65535).

If your ISP does not have this configured (I am assuming that they NAT you and give you an address like 10.x.x.x or 192.168.x.x), send them an e-mail stating your purpose, and what has to be done. They will either say "yes" or "no", but at least you will have an answer.

The above configuration should work for 80% of H323 apps on the market.

I hope that this helps,

Frank Russo

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