What is a good webcam & audio chat software for low-bandwidth usage?

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QUESTION :

The Scenario

I just moved away for university, and am living on campus. The internet is terribly slow. To further add to my troubles, I’m in a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend, whom I’d love to be able to webcam with, but at the same time, I’d love it if it didn’t look like a stop-motion movie the whole time (I’m currently using Windows Live Messenger). I’d love to find a solution that can provide me with a smooth picture, while maintaining a low bandwidth consumption (which I think may help to alleviate the problem).

The Requirements

  • compatible with Windows
  • relatively low bandwidth consumption (either via compression or user-definable settings)
  • has synchronous audio chat (preferred)
  • good response rate/performance and frames per second

The Question

What is a good webcam & audio chat software for low-bandwidth usage, which will still provide a smooth picture (somewhat high FPS)?

ANSWER :

A few suggestions

  • Try a few different chat clients with video that allows you to tweak the video settings. I’m fairly happy with skype on windows.
  • Use good webcams on both ends.
  • And the easiest way to improve video calls. Use plenty of light

I have a HUE HD webcam and it also lets you adjust settings in the bundled software, which seem to carry over into Skype. I second the suggestion to try as many of the free messengers as you can. Yahoo offers some options for adjusting your bandwidth etc too. I have never tried them as fortunately for me I have a fast connection but good luck!!

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