Hey everyone,

I got thinking about chat and the people on here. How many of you have and would use a webcam to chat with others on this forum? Part of my reason for asking is, these videos are really great and the rhymes definately help, but for newbies like myself being able to watch more experienced knitters, let them see what I’m doing, and have them be able to correct it on the spot seems like it would be valuable. If you have Yahoo, AIM, or MSN, all three of these messenger programs allow a person to do web chat and audio chat.

My neighbor (the one who taught my wife crochet) knows enough about knitting to get me started, but for example, I studied the continental video and think I understand how to do it, but she’s never done that so she won’t know if I’m doing it correctly. Being able to utilize a webcam and people on this site who do know and could provide instant feedback would be valuable.

Just a thought and a question… :figureditout:

That could be interesting to post as a part of people’s profile, that they have that option available. You could agree to a webcam session in the chat room, I suppose? Amy will consider it, I’m sure.

I don’t have one, though.

That’s an interesting idea, Joel! It would be quite cool if it worked well.

I’ve never done a webcam chat. So it’s both video and audio, and it’s smooth, not choppy, if you have a cable connection? Is the video quality good enough to see stitches up close?

How do the systems work, are they hard? Can people with Yahoo talk to folks with MSN, etc., or do you need to be on the same system?

You’ve piqued my curiousity.


I have seen a couple people before try and show me how to do something on a webcam and its impossible to see stitches up close unless the person has a REALLY good webcam and a broadband connection is a must. Plus, they freeze alot too…so its easy to miss something.

I have a webcam, and I only use it with YIM… it’s not great quality. I don’t have a mic set up on a regular basis (because we only have $300 mics for DHs " recording studio" sessions) and you don’t need a mic for the cam to work. But, if you want to see my cam you have to be logged on to the same program I am… so if I’m on YIM and you’re on MSN, then we’re SOL.

Let me jump in here on this one

:slight_smile: The webcam quality of course is determined by the camera… ifyou get a 20$ webcam… the quality won’t be as good as the 90$webcam…

What’s the difference? Well the video camera has a component in it called a CCD device (I won’t go into technical data here)… suffice it to say that the device uses the “light” in the room to create a picture… the more expensive ones have a more sensitve CCD device and requires less light to work effectively.

now on to audio… yes audio can be used, but is NOT needed to do webcam work.

Now… that being said… you NEED to have a broadband connection… to either watch or host… the reason… the webcam streams pretty frequently and needs to have the bandwidth

Now yes… there are inherent problems with webcams… the upload speed of the hoster, the download speed of the watcher… the server used for streaming, the internet traffic on the routers that are being used…

I’ve setup many webcam sites… most of the time… it’s one host and several watchers… that’s easy to do…

There are several type of webcam softwarews that can be used… like one that ftp’s up the picture then the webpage updates every so often… this is where you see jerky (really jerky) video…

now there are smooth streams but those take alot of processing power, but it’s possible… video confrencing (which I do alot) allow this… but you can’t move fast, especially when doing close up work… the video will blur as the camera is still having to stream the data… so you would need to move a little slower…

I’m not sure if with a good video camera/connection you would be able to see the stiches well… this is something that can be tested if needed:)

Being a software developer and web designer I’ve setup alot of stuff like this for other people so just contact me if you ahve any questions… :slight_smile:


A little more info…

MSN can only talk to MSN, Yahoo to Yahoo… course if you had trillian you ccould have it all…

Howver in a situation like this… you would host the video and have a “chat” type thing connected to it… others would watch… and chat back… interactive video chat with alot of people is still in the infant stages… but making good progress… :slight_smile:

I’m actually looking at something like this for my company right now…

I’d like to add a couple more things to Dave’s (excellent) explanation.

One, some webcams / pc cams have the ability to transmit via video input. My own webcam has this ability. I have not tested this feature but I suspect it means that if you used a video camera and instead of connecting it to your TV… you’d connect it to your webcam letting you then send the feed directly through to the web.

Secondly, the Trillian program that Dave is talking about is Trillian Pro. Trillian is an excellent multi-platform chat program. It connects to basically every main chat platform out there. I’ve not used the Pro version as it costs $25. However, I have used the Trillian Basic (free) version and can vouch for it as an excellent chat tool. It’s one downside is will NOT do video chat. As I have never tested the Basic version’s audio chat feature, I dont know how well it works.

Last, with Trillian, you still must have a screenname for each chat platform, so one for MSN, one for Yahoo, one for AIM, etc. The biggest advantage is you only have to have one program open instead of multiple programs.

For more info on Trillian:


Great info Dave! :thumbsup:

I used to use Trillian back when I was doing more instant messaging; great program. So nice to be able to talk to everyone through one little window.

I think it would be cool for people who have web cams and would like to use them with members on this site, to have some kind of identifying icon in their signature! I doubt we’d see a huge use of the icon, but this way, folks who do have cams (and want to use it more, for uses like this) could easily find each other. I think that’s a neat idea!

What would such an icon look like? I don’t want it to look like just a video camera, since folks might think it’s a link to my videos. Maybe some kind of text (with or without the camera) saying “WebCam” or something?

Do you think we need to put another word in there identifying it as platonic, or is that totally obvious, given the context of this site? …I certainly hope it would be obvoius! But I’d want everyone to be comfortable with using the icon, and I’m not sure how strong the “cyber” association is with web cams. Would it make folks more comfortable, if the icon said “Platonic WebCam user” or something? Is there any existing such icon or expression out there, like on other sites? …I’m totally unschooled in all this, so forgive me if these are far fetched concepts.


On Yahoo Chat, the person has a smiley face surrounded by a TV icon.

I would say there would be two icons… smiley face with tv surrounding it for people who have not been rude/cyber/etc… for those members that had it reported… you could “force” a red, unhappy face, surrounded by the TV icon… to signify problems in the past.

Then it would be up to the chatting member whether they want to risk it.


I found these interesting websites…