Video Chat requirements
September 16, 2009 4:52 PM   Subscribe

Our Organization uses Windows live messenger to connect clients at remote locations (children and their parents who are separated by distance). We chose this program because of it's ease of use/install for the general public. Unfortunately, some of the connections are poor quality; the video cuts out or the voice is garbled or the connection stalls altogether. MS says all that is required is dial up but we always require broadband to connect. i cannot find a comprehensive list of system/bandwidth requirements or troubleshooting tips. Any help in these areas would be excellent! Thank you!
posted by lake59 to Technology (5 answers total)
In my experience, dial up is plenty sufficient for text chat, but voice chat is painfully bad and video chat is impossible.
posted by Oktober at 7:50 PM on September 16, 2009

There is no way you are going to do video chat over a dialup link. Not going to happen.

For voice, Skype gets closer to working over dialup than any other VoIP I'm aware of. Anything based on RTP (which I believe includes Messenger) will want at least 128 kbit/second in both directions, which for ADSL means you'll need at least a 512kbit/s down, 128 kbit/s up for any kind of telephony.
posted by flabdablet at 1:23 AM on September 17, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies!

Is 128kb/s up sufficient for video chat?

For instance the computer i am on now has 1500kb/s down and 250 kb/s up (aDSL) and skype video freezes up almost immediately on this connection even though the audio continues.
posted by lake59 at 9:21 AM on September 23, 2009

Best answer: No, it's not.

And the problem you have is that at 250kb/s, your upload is badly constrained.
posted by Oktober at 11:28 AM on September 23, 2009

Response by poster: what would you say should be the minimum up/down when we are telling clients whether we can do this. I am envisioning having a user run something like to determine whether video chat is possible with their computer. Does this make sense?
posted by lake59 at 8:06 AM on September 24, 2009

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