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Thread: Video conferencing

  1. #1

    Video conferencing

    Jundo mentioned CamFrog which looks pretty good, but the server only runs on Windows (bleah) and although I can set one up, I can't actually connect to my own server. Plus the free version is pretty crippled.

    I've been researching options all night but there's a real lack of decent video conferencing solutions that don't have a Fortune 500 price tag :P

    This is free, Flash based (should work with almost any computer) and supports up to 16 people, give it a try:

    This room for meeting & chatting: http://www.treeleaf.org/zendo/meeting-room.php
    This room for zazen: http://www.treeleaf.org/zendo/sitting-room.php

    Skye

  2. #2

    Re: Video conferencing

    Seems to be working. Was the mic a little loud? I can't hear it on my end. It's a usb thingy.

    G,W

  3. #3

    Re: Video conferencing

    Does seem to work pretty well!! We'll have to give a sitting a try soon... (tomorrow?)

    Your volume sounded fine - I need to move the camera over to my laptop, maybe the mic will work on that.

    Skye

  4. #4

    Re: Video conferencing

    I might be able to test or sit? What time are you thinking?

  5. #5

    Re: Video conferencing

    Excellent, will try to get a cam today when I'm out and see if I can get it going.

    Is there any spec for a cam that I really need to consider for our needs? I know nothing. They seem to range from 6 to 100 . I want as cheap as possible but obviouly need it to be good enough to suit our needs.

    KEv

  6. #6

    Re: Video conferencing

    Ok Guys. I checked out the times (I think their right). This will work for all of us to be able to sit at the same time.

    Skye Vancouver 8:00am
    Kev England 3 pm
    Plankton Spain 4 pm
    Will China 11pm

    G,W

  7. #7

    Re: Video conferencing

    Thanks for that, just need to get a cam. Shows how spread out we are! If you're at 11pm Will (too late!) what would Jundo be?

    Kev

  8. #8

    Re: Video conferencing

    too late!
    Nah. You have to take what you can get

    I just checked. Jundo's about an hour behind me. So that would put him at 12:00am :roll:

    G,W

  9. #9

    Re: Video conferencing

    If Skye could sit earlier, than we could move it up a bit.

    G,W

  10. #10

    Re: Video conferencing

    Perhaps I might join you guys? Give this thing a run?

    Gassho, Jundo

  11. #11

    Re: Video conferencing

    Hello,

    I can test at 16:00 (Spain) time but may have to cut a sit short, I have to collect my wife from Gibraltar.
    I can do earlier (Spain) time or a lot later?

    I'm not sure how this works with other members, failing that I might be able to sit last week or yesterday which may help for next Thursday? :wink:

  12. #12

    Re: Video conferencing

    I just tested this out and it worked fine for me (using a mac with an old firewire iSight cam). Nice find Skye!
    Id love to join in, going by the times will posted that should be around noon for me which would work great (barring any unforeseen circumstances).

    Gassho
    Dirk

  13. #13

    Re: Video conferencing

    Hi Skye,

    Yes, great find. It looks like just what I have been looking for for the Jukai! Yeah!

    Combining two cameras on two computers, I may even be able to record and netcast the sitting over Ustream for the Jukai (but, unfortunately, all my other cameras are on the boat to Japan today, so I cannot try it out).

    As to the sitting, is that today or Sunday (Vancouver time)?

    Gassho, Jundo

  14. #14

    Re: Video conferencing

    I think Skye might be in bed right now. The weekend is probably best for everyone. Maybe we could try it out before then, if Skye or anyone is up for it.

    G,W

  15. #15

    Re: Video conferencing


    By longdogs3 at 2008-03-26

    Thsi 'meeting planner' could be useful too
    http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html

  16. #16

    Re: Video conferencing

    I would love to join you!

  17. #17

    Re: Video conferencing

    Where is everyone? I stopped by the mebeam site at 10am eastern time (which I think is the correct time) and only Agata and myself were present.

  18. #18

    Re: Video conferencing

    Oh. I thought we needed SKye to start it. I'm on there now. 10:25pm

    G,W

  19. #19

    Re: Video conferencing

    I think it will start in half an hour? (if at all )

  20. #20

    Re: Video conferencing

    So where did you guys go?

    W

  21. #21

    Re: Video conferencing

    we are still here will.
    Anyone else hopping on?

  22. #22

    Re: Video conferencing

    We are still here. Where did you go?

  23. #23

    Re: Video conferencing

    im still working until 12pm (-4gmt) . I just popped in and seen some faces long enought to say Hi!- bye!

    hope to join you all soon!

    Gassho
    Dirk

  24. #24

    Re: Video conferencing

    Whoops, I guess I just missed you. I can drag myself up for some 8am action in the future, if I nod off click the "virtual keisaku" - I'm not a morning person

    If anyone needs a really good webcam, I recommend the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000:

    http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-960-0000 ... B000RZQZM0

    It works on PC and mac and has very good image quality - actual glass lens! It's also on sale around here in all the stores for about $50 lately for some reason (being discontinued?)

    Skye

  25. #25

    Re: Video conferencing

    Alright. We just had our first online sitting. Kelly, Phil, Will 15 minutes gong and all.

    I'm off to bed.

    Gassho Will

  26. #26

    Re: Video conferencing

    Thanks everyone,

    That went well. It was good to meet you both. I think if we can work on the sound a bit it could be ok. Will, I could hear you well but it was a little off and on with you hearing Kelly. It could just be different setting maybe (probably my own ops: )?
    Anyway thanks again and I hope my son was not too noisy,

    All the best,

    Philip

  27. #27

    Re: Video conferencing

    I had the same difficulties Phil, but still enjoyed myself. Your son was a great addition to the sit. Nice meeting you both.

    Gassho,
    Kelly


  28. #28

    Re: Video conferencing

    I think if you don't have a headset, audio works best if you mute yourself (hit the "mic" button to turn off) when you're not talking. Otherwise the echo cancellation will get feedback from your speakers and probably make the audio choppy.

  29. #29

    Re: Video conferencing

    Hey Guys,

    This is monumental, I think!! The first tri-continental sit in the history of Zen Buddhism, of the universe! ... or something like that. This new feature is very close to one of the original concepts for Treeleaf, namely, a virtual meditation room that people could drop into "live" 24 hours to sit (or chat) with whoever else happens to be sitting there. In fact, we may set up two or more rooms: one for sitting, the other(s) for chatting.

    We now have to work to smoothly integrate this into Treeleaf (Skye? You are fast becoming like "Scotty" on the Enterprise around here). I am thinking that I will add a page to Treeleaf.org whereby people can go into the virtual Zendo through that portal.

    I think we need some kind of multi-timezone bulletin board where folks can set up regular weekly sittings among themselves, just like today. Of course, other times folks can continue to sit on their lonesome, but drop into a video sitting too whenever one is scheduled.

    Apart from what folks arrange among themselves, I will plan to lead regularly scheduled sittings two or three times per week, as is done at any Zen Center. The sittings I will lead will start with a brief ceremony, then two periods of sitting and kinhin ... including a brief talk of course! It will be as close to what happens in a bricks and mortar Zen Center as possible. I will try to hold the sitting at the most convenient times to the majority of folks, and (as always) record it for other folks.

    Superb!

    And this solves the biggest obstacle to the Jukai too!

    An Auspicious Day!

    Gassho, Jundo

  30. #30

    Re: Video conferencing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    We now have to work to smoothly integrate this into Treeleaf (Skye? You are fast becoming like "Scotty" on the Enterprise around here). I am thinking that I will add a page to Treeleaf.org whereby people can go into the virtual Zendo through that portal.

    I think we need some kind of multi-timezone bulletin board where folks can set up regular weekly sittings among themselves, just like today. Of course, other times folks can continue to sit on their lonesome, but drop into a video sitting too whenever one is scheduled.
    Already thinking about integration - I read the "old" version of mebeam was embeddable in a web page, I'll have to ask around about the newer version. I'll keep my ear out for even better solutions as well.

    A small application where people could propose & join sitting times with time zone support should be fairly easy to code up, when I have some time. I'll have to ponder the user interface a bit.

    Skye

  31. #31

    Re: Video conferencing

    I've done some testing and it looks like I can embed the mebeam code in a Treeleaf page, so I'll work on that tonight and post the links when it's ready.

    Great idea Jundo, having separate sitting and chat rooms. How cool would it be to have a sitting room where people from across the world are doing their shikantaza live 24 hours a day?? Wow, that's pretty amazing. I'm kind of surprised nobody has done this before!

    Skye
    aka Scotty
    or more of an O'Brien? curly hair and all... doesn't rhyme though

  32. #32

    Re: Video conferencing

    Wow that's great and there's me ferrying my daughter up and down the country in a car with my shiny new webcam sat on the seat waiting to be plugged in

    Anyhow got it now, Logitech quick cam communicate STX, if that means anything to anyone.

    Expect some dumb(er?) questions from me in the near future.

    Beam me up Scotty

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  33. #33

    Re: Video conferencing

    Skye,

    This is exciting. I think I'm going to have to buy a webcam. Speaking of which...

    Quote Originally Posted by Skye
    If anyone needs a really good webcam, I recommend the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000:

    http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-960-0000 ... B000RZQZM0
    Two questions about this. Does it need to be mounted on a monitor, or will it stand up on its own? (I'm asking because I mostly use my laptop, and I doubt it'll clip to my laptop lid easily.) And, do you know how well it works under Linux? There seem to be drivers, but that doesn't necessarily mean all features will be supported... (My main desktop machine runs Linux, and I might want to use it with that machine occasionally.)

    Thanks,

    --Charles (Who knows nothing about webcams)

  34. #34

    Re: Video conferencing

    I'm liking this a lot... I have had a webcam for 2 years and never use it as I am not much for chat rooms, I never figure I have anything important to say. Anyway, I went home and plugged it in just to check if it still works and low and behold There I was all by myself. Anyway I work so I look forward to trying to get into a session with all of you. I hope this timezone thing works itself out... I get so confused even with the map! Maybe I will just set my watch to Japan time and just move from there. This is great!

    Gassho,
    Damian

  35. #35

    Re: Video conferencing

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles
    Quote Originally Posted by Skye
    If anyone needs a really good webcam, I recommend the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000:
    http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-960-0000 ... B000RZQZM0
    Two questions about this. Does it need to be mounted on a monitor, or will it stand up on its own? (I'm asking because I mostly use my laptop, and I doubt it'll clip to my laptop lid easily.) And, do you know how well it works under Linux? There seem to be drivers, but that doesn't necessarily mean all features will be supported... (My main desktop machine runs Linux, and I might want to use it with that machine occasionally.)
    It stands up really well on its own, and it clips very well to both my desktop LCD monitor and my Powerbook laptop. Clip is sort of a misnomer, the back is adjustable so it just sort of balances securely on top.



    It's a UVC compliant webcam (most "Vista ready" webcams are) so it will work under most Linux distributions with the http://linux-uvc.berlios.de/ drivers.

    Skye

  36. #36

    Re: Video conferencing

    Quote Originally Posted by Skye
    It stands up really well on its own, and it clips very well to both my desktop LCD monitor and my Powerbook laptop. Clip is sort of a misnomer, the back is adjustable so it just sort of balances securely on top.
    Excellent. If it works on your powerbook chances are it'll work on mine

    Quote Originally Posted by Skye
    It's a UVC compliant webcam (most "Vista ready" webcams are) so it will work under most Linux distributions with the http://linux-uvc.berlios.de/ drivers.
    More excellent. Thanks!

    --Charles

  37. #37

    Re: Video conferencing

    BTW Good Job Skye. Thanks.

    G,W

  38. #38

    Re: Video conferencing

    There was some latency on the audio. Kelly mentioned combining Skype with mebeam. Do you think that would work better for audio?

    G,W

  39. #39

    Re: Video conferencing

    OK, I've banged together a very basic template and emedded the MeBeam code. Please use this link now:

    http://www.treeleaf.org/zendo/sitting-room.php

    I'll leave up a feed of my wonderful messy apartment so you know its working

    Like anything, the audio will work better if everyone uses headsets, or at least mutes their own mic when they aren't talking to prevent echo. I assume the "sitting room" will be mostly silent anyway, but we can always try other things in the "chat" room, when its up.

    Thanks,
    Skye

  40. #40

    Re: Video conferencing

    Sorry ConfusedSan here :lol:

    My web cam is all sorted and working. When I click on your link to the sitting room there is just a smal bluish box in the top left with nothing in.

    Is this 'me' and if so should I see myself?
    Or is it where some one will appear if they're in the room?
    Is there anyhing else I need to do to use the room?
    Do have have to do anything else on the page to use it?

    Sorry for the dumbo quesions.

    KEv

  41. #41

    Re: Video conferencing

    Bloomin eck skye you have been busy, again!!!!
    ( You need to slow down or my wife will expect me to be more productive at home )

    Kev when you enter the room the blue square is where you will appear once you have "allowed" the link up. To do this you need to look at the white box which appears in the centre of the room. Within the white square you should see the words "Allow" next to a white tick in a green circle. Just to the left of that is a smaller white circle. You need to click in that with your mouse. This just confirms you want to go live. (otherwise it might turn on and broadcast without you knowing).

    I hope that is right and easy enough to follow.




    Thanks again everyone. That was my first "real time" sit with other people. Where better than here
    (perhaps a beach in Bali but that's not what I meant)

  42. #42

    Re: Video conferencing

    Cheers seems OK now. I think I needed to turn my camera off and clear my cache as when I did and went back on i was there.

    Also set up a room for my widespread family to meet, is that reasonably secure as long as no one else stumbles on the room name?

    Can you make the picture on screen bigger??

    So when will some one be there???

    In gassho for all of this KEV

  43. #43

    Re: Video conferencing

    Just struck me as very amusing. All this techonolgy to send sound and video 'real time' around the world and what do we do, sit still and stay silent ROFLMAO :lol:

  44. #44

    Re: Video conferencing

    Great isn't it Kev?

    G,W

  45. #45

    Re: Video conferencing

    btw I'll be sitting in about a hour if you want to get together or we can get together this evening. say 10-11pm my time 3-4pm your time I think.

    G,W

  46. #46

    Re: Video conferencing

    Hi Will

    Yeh it's cool, just mesing with the video effects LOL! Do you mean sitting between 10 and 11 your time? Or starting to sit sometimebetween 10 and 11? 25 min zazen, 10 min kinhin, 25 min zazen?? Sorry I'm esily confused.

    I'm up for it but wil have to figure out where to put the camera as I'm on a PC. I guess I could sit infornt of it to gassh then dissapear to sit and return.

    Kev

  47. #47

    Re: Video conferencing

    Hey Kev. My internet cuts out for a bit around 5:30.

    How about we do 30 minute sit with 10 minute kinhin at 10pm my time (Beijing)

    Sound good?

    G, W

  48. #48

    Re: Video conferencing

    Great see you then (15.00GMT), and anyone else who's available?

    Kev

  49. #49

    Re: Video conferencing

    I'll swing by but I probably won't sit for 30 minutes, back is messing with me today.

    all the best,
    em

  50. #50

    Re: Video conferencing

    This is very cool guys. I'll try to join when I can.

    Linda

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