Webcam with minimal hardware

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
I tried asking this in the webcam group but there's hardly any traffic  

My ailing grandma lives in another state by herself with an aid for
She has an extremely old, unreliable computer.

I'd like to be able to set up a web cam (or similar) for her and us so
that she can see our faces when we call on the phone and we, in turn,
can see her face.  Being able to see my wife and I while on the phone
with us will be so beneficial for her.

What is the bare minimum hardware I need for her to at least be able
to see me while talking on the phone?  I don't want to purchase a big
computer system just to be able to use a webcam.

She has digital cable now (Adelphia is the company I believe).   I
know I'd need to establish an account with them in order to have net

Any thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated.  If there might be a
better, more appropriate newsgroups to ask this question please let me


Re: Webcam with minimal hardware

Walter Cohen wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

This is an example of an "old style" video phone. This one
communicates over the same phone connection as the voice signal.
Expect the video update rate to be less than stellar with this
kind of concept (i.e. a slide show, not real video). It has the
benefit of not needing a higher bandwidth (networking)
type connection.

I did see a second type of product, which uses a higher speed
connection. So, with a cable modem, you could use a device like
this. This claims to drive a TV set, and perhaps an LCD device
with S-video or composite would be another option. (Read the
reviews near the bottom, because they give some clues about
configuration, such as a static IP address from the provider,
or using dynDNS. So the setup on this isn't going to be that

( product link shortened)

DLink has another version, with a built-in screen. They claim
it doesn't need a PC, and it uses a DLink provided server for
resolving addresses (a negative, if true for all possible
setup methods).

The use of a router in the picture in the second link, is both a
benefit and a curse. The router provides some protection from
hacking, via NAT (network address translation). But the ports
that must be opened on the router, and forwarded to the IP video
phone, would still give some response to a hacker.

So there seem to be some appliance type solutions that
will interface to broadband IP.

Using a computer has the advantage of a nice display, the convenience
of USB ports for connecting a web cam, but still requires a
savvy user, to make it all work. Something closer to an
"appliance" takes some of the pain out of it, but with the
downside that you're stuck with whatever feature set the
appliance happens to have.

Based on easily finding those examples, there must be more of
them out there. Read the reviews, or search for reviews, to
find out the real truth as to how easy they are to set up.
While the "Beamerfx" at the top of the page, is not going
to have a good screen update rate, it does have the
advantage of no networking or computers in the picture.

Good luck,

Re: Webcam with minimal hardware

Quoted text here. Click to load it
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I found that offers real life video phoning using
a high Speed Internet

Site Timeline