AOL IM video lag
February 23, 2004 7:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm using the video component of AOL Instant Messenger. I can see and hear the person I'm talking with in real time, but he sees me with a long delay, and the audio is very unreliable. I'm not really looking for a definite answer, but maybe some pointers of where I can go to get more information and things to try. The AOL site does not provide much in the way of tech support.

I should mention, I guess, that I'm using Windows XP with a Verizon DSL connection. The person on the other end is using a Mac with a cable modem.
posted by JanetLand to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
My very first guess is that the DSL you have is ADSL. Most DSL out there is. It's the "A" -- as in "asymmetric" -- that's doing this to you. You simply don't have enough backchannel bandwidth to broadcast video and audio. See if your client software allous you to control your send rate, and set it a shade below your backchannel speed.
posted by majick at 7:22 AM on February 23, 2004

which sounds like it would probably be 128k upload. normally, that should be enough, so maybe check the video/audio quality and see if you can set it lower.
posted by Hackworth at 9:14 AM on February 23, 2004

Depending on the videoconferencing setup (things like your DHCP, firewall, networking switches, other goo), you could experience latency. Try to reduce the number of hops that your packets have to traverse -- for example, plug the box you want to videoconference with into the DSL instead of going through a router. This could be even more important if there are a many machines on the network. Some protocols for videoconferencing use the "firehose" method (UDP / SCP) and spray packets at every IP address.

Happened to me once, and removing the hop to a small switch in my office worked wonders.
posted by zpousman at 5:15 PM on February 23, 2004

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