iChat AV

iChat AViChat AV is one of the reasons I want a Mac. Si and I have regular weekly conferences to catch up on ELATED and other work stuff, and we’ve tried everything from Egika / OhPhoneX (where do they get these weird and wonderful names from!) through to Skype and Gizmo.

They all work after a fashion, but none of them particularly elegantly. I just tried getting Ekiga up and running after a recent Debian upgrade, but I can’t get the pwc driver for my webcam to compile without chucking incomprehensible error messages on the screen, so I guess that’s a non-starter unless I want to muck around for half a day.

Skype and Gizmo aren’t bad and at least don’t involve mucking about with firewall configs, but they’re audio-only on Mac and Linux (video coming to Skype on Mac soon I hear), and on Gizmo Si sounds like he’s rustling a plastic bag every time he talks. (He swears he’s not.). His Skype also has a nasty habit of crashing his Mac. Also tried OpenWengo but again – audio only on the Mac. Though it does work pretty well.

iChat AV (if it works as advertised) will be great – plug & play, excellent full-screen quality and 4 way video chats. (though I still reckon the latency between Australia and the UK might be slightly annoying.)

Now I just need to convince my Dad in Italy, who moved from Mac to PC a couple of years ago, to move back to a Mac so I can iChat with him too! :D

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4 Responses to “iChat AV”

  1. Phil Says:

    FWIW Matt I have no problems doing AV link up with my Mum between Mac>PC. Admittedly mum can’t do full screen video, infact her video view size is only around 160×120 pixels. But it’s still not bad. Quality, whilst not excellent is more than adequate. Not sure how it compares to AV stuff you and Si have been trying? Of course if you can convince your old boy to go back to Mac you can take advantage of H.264 :)

    Phil

  2. mattdoyle Says:

    Can you get iChat AV on Windows then? Or does iChat on the Mac talk to Yahoo/MSN webcam or something?

    The best results I’ve had with Si have been Ekiga on my Linux box and OhphoneX on his Mac. When it works, it works pretty well!

  3. Phil Says:

    Hi Matt
    It’s all done through AIM. You may have to do a bit of port forwarding on your Dad’s PC etc, but once it’s set up, it’s all sweet :)

  4. mattdoyle Says:

    Ooh port forwarding – I can see my dad loving that! *lol* He’ll be down the local AppleCentre with chequebook in hand ;)