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101 posts

Master Geek


# 226366 4-Jan-2018 14:26
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Like all Samsung smart TV owners, our family was disappointed and angry that the skype facility was removed from our TVs.

 

What are families now using to video conference with each other? - I suspect they are using tablets and phones rather than their TVs.

 

We would like to communicate with our grandchildren in the USA using our respective TVs rather than laptops and tablets so has anyone got a simple, easy to use solution.
I would like a service that is ready to go without connecting laptops and wires.  A system that can be simply switched on like the skype service that was discontinued.

 

We are prepared to spend some money to achieve a clear reliable connection that only requires the press of a couple of buttons.  I wonder if there is an Android or a NUC box with a compatible camera and using skype or a similar software application.  I'm not keen on subscription fees if it can be avoided - there appears to be a large choice available however I suspect that they are mostly designed for commercial use (and clip the ticket in the process). 

 

If there are any Geekzoners out there who are operating such a system as described above I would love the hear about their specs, costs and performance


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neb

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  # 1929122 4-Jan-2018 14:55
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As a followup, something to watch out for is that some "smart" TVs that offer video chat are locked to only recognise the manufacturer's obscenely overpriced webcams, so plugging in a standard USB webcam won't work. In some cases you can pay a significant fraction of the cost of the TV to add a camera to it.



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Master Geek


  # 1929131 4-Jan-2018 15:29
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I accept that our 'smart' TVs will probably play no part in the conference connection apart from the screen picture of the other party and we will need to provide both camera and hardware to achieve our objective.  I envisage an HDMI connection to box which will also have the camera connected to it and is LAN/WiFi connected.  I am just interested if others have a similar set-up they wish to share rather than me re-inventing he wheel.


 
 
 
 


neb

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  # 1929134 4-Jan-2018 15:34
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Juicytree:

I accept that our 'smart' TVs will probably play no part in the conference connection apart from the screen picture of the other party and we will need to provide both camera and hardware to achieve our objective.  I envisage an HDMI connection to box which will also have the camera connected to it and is LAN/WiFi connected.  I am just interested if others have a similar set-up they wish to share rather than me re-inventing he wheel.

 

 

In that case you can get a generic Android media player and plug the webcam of your choice into it. The media players are typically crap at what they're sold for, streaming video, but they should be fine for running Skype.

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  # 1929148 4-Jan-2018 16:03
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Ive seen horrid video thru an underperforming android based box when skyping to people. No idea if the constant lag and freezes and bottom half of the image freaking out was their box or the camera or their internet conneciton but it all cleared up with using an iphone on their same wifi network.

 

Many android STBs have a camera built in for the exact purpose, but not being able to put the box ontop of a TV means that the camera is stupidly positioned vs a standalone webcam on it.





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neb

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  # 1929151 4-Jan-2018 16:10
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richms:

No idea if the constant lag and freezes and bottom half of the image freaking out was their box or the camera or their internet conneciton

 

 

Most likely the box. A few I've played with are alpha-quality software shovelled onto a cloned reference design, horrible things to use.



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Master Geek


  # 1929203 4-Jan-2018 17:14
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I think you folk understand my reason for seeking someone who has already got hardware running satisfactorily - matching a camera to a box is one issue as I understand it is not always guaranteed to work.  Finding a robust box that will run skype (or whatever) without lag and freezing is another issue.


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  # 1931676 7-Jan-2018 12:39
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Just for kicks, and probably not the solution you were after, I tried using Duo on my Android phone. I think it has great video calling capabilities.

 

I then cast the image to my 60" TV using a Chromecast and initiated a VC with the phone just leaning it in front of the TV. Of course since I was casting from the OS, not the app (I hear that Google will be introducing casting capabilities in Duo in a coming release) I saw on the TV basically the Android screen, taking up about 1/3 of the TV. Since this is a 60" TV that was not a big loss of image relatively speaking. I could see the called party easily enough on the TV and their audio came through the TV speakers (Chromecast) while they could see and hear me fine with the camera facing me.  I was so pleased with this that the next time I do a Duo VC call I plan to do this.

 

 

 

Up till now I had been using Hangouts on a TV connected PC (a Brix so not exactly high powered) and that worked fine but for some reason lately all my Hangouts sessions are failing with stuttery or freezing video so I had to find another solution.





Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/32019730  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount

 

System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex

 

 


 
 
 
 




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Master Geek


  # 1931682 7-Jan-2018 13:05
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Thanks Ichiu7, I had already thought about Duo however my S7 is unable to stream directly to my 55" 9000 model Samsung TV using the Duo app.  I hadn't thought about a Chromecast so may explore that.

 

It's so damn annoying that having paid for a top of the line TV a couple of years ago which is fully equipped with camera, microphone and robust processing power, no other video conferencing software vendor has seen fit to come to an arrangement with Samsung and provided an app.  I would be happy to purchase such an app if it was available. 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 1931741 7-Jan-2018 14:30
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Used this https://appear.in/ recently for work and was very impressed.  As long as your tv has a browser and webcam it might work.  You could also use your phone and just project it to the tv


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Uber Geek


  # 1931747 7-Jan-2018 14:57
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what happens if you try to use Skype via TV's browser? 

 

On my laptop I tend to use Skype thru Chrome browser these days rather than dedicated skype app, runs the same if not smoother




101 posts

Master Geek


  # 1931797 7-Jan-2018 17:56
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The Samsung TV browser is not a regular Firefox or Chrome but Samsung's own and Skype complains that the browser isn't up to date (read compatible) so that's a no-go.  Further, the camera and microphone is unable to be accessed except through an app - it's all locked down.

 

I can screen mirror but sitting a phone in front of the room isn't all that satisfactory - poor audio with phone on speaker and is also marginal audio for the other party as it is using the phone's microphone. 

 

I think there may be money to be made with a turn-key android box with a good camera and mic.


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