08 October 2007

VP-200 or web-cam?

   http://reviews.cnet.com/sc/31851107-2-440-SS2.jpghttp://www.sorenson.com/img/prod_200.jpg   Discussion begun by Rene Visco...

Sorsenson VP-200 requires two plugs and one internet line. Having a
web-cam will use the PC/Mac's existing infrastructure like internet
and power. That's the big issue being discussed. [At work the] IT supervisor
prefers the webcam (he knows it saves power and require minimum
needs) while the Deaf administrators prefer VP-200.

Now, my question is will deaf people give up VP-200 for a web-cam for
the sake of leaning toward a carbon-neutral environment?


  1. rene, you bring up an excellent point, and made me and my sister talk about ditching our ancient vp 100s :)

    i think I could ditch my vp 100 if the webcam can connect to other vps with no problems at all?

    i've been told of software programs that make that possible. can you recommend a good one that is relatively simple to use? would we have to call ip addresses (not numbers like vps)?

    (i have a mac with a built in webcam)

    also, it seems the only relay provider that accepts webcam calls is hovrs?

    intrigued raychelle

  2. Hi Raychelle,

    Xmeeting can allow Macs to talk with other VPs, but the video quality is not there, yet, but it's watch-able. I have used it a few times. Not bad.


    Yes, you need to use IP addresses to call others via VP. In hearing world, using phone numbers for VP phones doesn't make any sense. It's confusing to hearing people. We are effectively brainwashed by Sorsenson that using phone numbers for IP addresses is the way to go. It's easy, yes, but technically incorrect.

    I heard rumors that HOVRS will come out with VideoSign version 3.0 which will enable Mac and PCs to communicate with VPs with a better address book version embedded.

    I assume that HOVRS and Hawk Relay does accept webcam calls. Check them out?

    For enterprise/workplace, VP-200 is NOT the BEST video chat solution. It amazes me that most cannot give up VP-200s because "everyone" has it. Peer pressure. :) Think about it: hundreds of VPs across the workplace are using plugs for TVs and VPs.

    Too much power consumption.

    I'm sure in the future, there will be much better solutions.

    I can imagine using video-chat via iPhone or any mobile phones in America (already happening in Asia and Europe) in a few years.

  3. rene,

    many thanks for sharing your knowledge! i look forward to testing xmeeting. i've already unplugged my vp-100 and the flasher (two plugs!).

    and yep, i'm looking forward to buying the next iphone with video capabilities! :)

    slowly unbrainwashedized raychelle

  4. How are you figuring the power requirement for the webcam? Remember, the cam is connected to a PC - it won't work without it. So in all fairness, you should add up the power drain of the PC AND the webcam.

    The VP-100 and VP-200 work with a TV, so add the power consumption of the TV and VP to compare.

    I know my PC draws 230 watts without the webcam on. I'm not sure how much VP-200 draws, but I have a Kill-a-Watt meter, so I can find out. I'll hook it up to the VP-200 and my TV and see what numbers come up.

    Of course different computers have different power consumption, and differently sized TVs will vary too.

    My guess is a webcam built into a laptop would be the best choice for lower power consumption.

  5. Let's look at the big picture:

    A computer, VP 200, and TV requires more power consumption than a computer with a webcam.

    Either a USB-powered webcam or a built-in webcam is far less power consuming than a computer and a VP-200 and a TV.

    It got me wondering...."How many Deaf households have a separate TV for VP chats only?"

  6. let's not forget, many households also add a phone flasher to their vp 100's. i know i used to have one for my vp 100. so that's three plugs for one function (tv, vp, flasher = vp chats). i know vp-200's come with a flasher but i don't think they're strong enough, and i wdn't be surprised if people add flashers to their vp 200s as well.


  7. If you walk away from Computer and someone called. How will you be notified? Mean we have to develop some kind of blue tooth technology hooked up to flasher?

  8. Obviously none of you have ever had to deal with all the problems associated with vps or webcams. The vp 200 is far superior to ANY webcam on the market. Ditching the vp for a webcam is like a hearing person ditching their phone for a tin cans on a string. There is so much more at stake than a few kilowatts. What about the fact that most deaf dont even own a computer but nearly every hearing home has a phone.

    Brainwashed? Not likely.
    I don't work for Sorenson but I know the FACT is the the vp 200 is as of now the best video chat system available.

    It gives the full avalable bandwidth to the vp.

    It dosent require a computer which many deaf cant afford.

    It is simple and easy to use.

    It is upgradeable at no cost to the deaf or HH.

    It has a zoom and pan features that can be controlled by either user.

    It is free to deaf and HH etc.

    It uses easy to remember "you chose" "phone numbers". This makes much more sense than telling people to remember ip addresses that change all the time.

    It can be connected to a tv of any size. Don't like how much power its using? Use a different tv!

    It enables members of the deaf community to connect to each other. This may be the most important of all the reasons.

    I have yet to experience video quality on a full screen that comes close to the quality enjoyed by the vp 200; I mean sustained bit and refresh rates.
    Webcams are fine if you want that but the vp 100 and 200 are good machines. The vp 200 still beats a webcam at what counts; thats not power consumption.

  9. Hi, notignorantdeaf

    Now, the portable VPs with built in LCD (HOVRS' MVP, Viable VPAD, etc are the rage.) I think they consume less than a VP-200 hooked up to a TV.

    Right now, the technology of VP is rapidly shifting.

    VP-200 already had its day and place in Deaf technology. Someday, it will be displayed in a museum somewhere.

    Honestly, I believe the future lies in mobile devices like iPhone.

    That's where the future of VP will be, only if they come up with an elegant solution to converge the text-based messages and video-based chats together.

  10. VP 100, VP 200, Vpad, dLink, Eye, Star Wars halograms... whatever use--make sure you aren't distracted trying to to all this while driving, and if you place a call through Relay... FOCUS your camera, STOP eating and picking your nose, and even though you know all the people in your family's little world.. we don't -- so please spell their names clearly. :-)