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#354 - 08/06/09 12:19 PM iChat AV won't connect
MacManiac Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Here's an interesting twist on things......the very Moderator of the subject asking for help.

Since I began my big travel adventure I have been only intermittently able to video conference home using iChat. The recurring failure message is that the other party didn't respond....regardless of whether the video chat is originated from my end or from home.

What is particularly aggravating is that it DID work earlier through the same home network and from the same originating hotel network....but now it won't connect at all.

What I did last time I was home was to go into my VPN router's firewall and open all the ports that iChat is s'posed to need, then go a few houses over to my neighbor's WiFi network to get a good connection from my MacBook to my wife's MacMini using iChat AV...it tested good and I thought all was now fine ----- but the first time I tried it for real at a significant distance, it failed just as before.

Any suggestions? I don't get back home again until October and would sure like to see this work.
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#363 - 08/06/09 02:30 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
I don't have much experience using iChat AV specifically, but I would imagine general networking principals apply. First, are you able to chat, just not video chat? Anything else not work? Does video chat work sometimes from the same network?

I would begin with looking at the ports the same way you did at home. First make sure your local firewall is good (whatever is @ your control). Then try telnetting to the necessary ports on the remote Mac to see if you can connect: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1507 . Let us know if you can connect, so we'll know the packets are getting through and the problem is on another layer.
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#373 - 08/06/09 03:11 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
Here's an interesting twist on things......the very Moderator of the subject asking for help.


Then you should be familiar with our pet peeve, users that say "it won't WORK!" and require us to drag out the torture devices to extract useful error messages and "I tried this and it did that" responses.

"won't connect". Can ya expand on that a little mebbe?
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#415 - 08/06/09 09:07 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
When you use iCat with video, the two computers don't send the video through the AIM server; they connect directly to each other and send the video peer-to-peer.

Which means it ain't gonna work if either computer has a firewall, either computer is behind a router or hardware firewall, or there's any firewall of any type anywhere between them.

At the very east, if either computer is connecting via a router, the router must be set up to do port forwarding to the computer for iChat to work in video mode. That can sometimes be tricky, because if you have a home network and a router, you might set up port forwarding, then if you restart your computer, it might end up with a different IP address and so the port forwarding needs to be set up again.
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#441 - 08/07/09 03:22 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
If all the right ports are open as it's explained in the link above you may want to try changing this port. I have had some success with it, some that try it don't.

You can also goto Home>Library>Preferences>com.apple.iChat.plist and drag it to the desktop. Start iChat and see if it makes a difference. if not there are other plist file to restore.
com.apple.iChatAgent.plist
com.apple.iChat.SubNet.plist
com.apple.iChat.AIM.plist
com.apple.iChat.plist
Try them all see if it makes a difference?

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#486 - 08/07/09 08:12 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: Virtual1]
MacManiac Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Sorry for the less than normal detail....I am constrained to using a public Windows computer behind a major firewall with significant lockdowns on user permissions to correspond for now. The last time that I was home I set my wife's computer to a manual LAN IP address and opened the ports in my router to allow iChat AV to port forward properly.....as I am now VERY far away, I can't give you the specific ports that I opened, however, to test the result I successfully initiated a video chat from outside my LAN by going to the neighbor's house and using their LAN to access the internet.

Normal text chat is / has been / and remains fully functional in iChat.

When initiating a video chat in iChat, there is a period where you have your local video onscreen and the message window that says what part of the process is currently in work.....the message that the other end is available comes up, then when you initiate the video chat it says that it is connecting, then everything freezes in my video window and the message comes up that the other end failed to respond. This happens regardless of which end intitiates the video chat.

Once I get back to a place where I can connect my own computer to the wide area network, I will try the suggestion to change the default port to port 443 and see if it helps.....I think I had tried that a coupla months ago without success, but I've slept since so can't be certain.

If, as Tacit explains, there is a direct connection without intermediate server for the video connection in iChat, then I will never be able to use it from any of my distance sites as they are ALL behind strong firewalls.

Any alternative options for video chat? What are folks experiences with Google Chat or Skype?

Enquiring minds want to know.
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#491 - 08/07/09 08:39 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Quote:
Any alternative options for video chat? What are folks experiences with Google Chat or Skype?


The wife and I use Skype on her Macbook to video chat with her family and it works pretty well. I don't use iChat AV so don't know how it compares, though. I didn't even realize Gmail added video chat until you asked, but will have to give it a try.
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#495 - 08/07/09 09:08 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: donikatz]
MacManiac Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Thanks Doni,

Perhaps you could let us know some details of where the hard edges or show-stoppers might be for Skype cross-platform video conferencing as it appears I'm going to be forced into a Windows world for the next few weeks.

I'm still not sure that I can even plug in an external webcam to these machines just yet....and if so, which one(s) may work without needing permission to install special drivers.

I've been very spoiled by my Mac-centric past.
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#497 - 08/07/09 09:25 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
knoodles Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Aptos, CA
We use Skype here as well. Doesn't require the complicated ports config. It just works. Video quality is very good. Best part... it's free.
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#513 - 08/07/09 10:48 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Check out the comments about UVC cams in this Reader Report, and the Video Conference Tutorial for iChat and AIM, sporting a section about firewall/router/ports issues.


Edited by alternaut (08/07/09 11:11 AM)
Edit Reason: Added tutorial link
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#520 - 08/07/09 11:40 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: knoodles]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Exactly: Skype just works. And it works cross-platform. And it works well. Nothing to configure. Like any video app it's bandwidth intensive, so you just want to make sure you're not also... say... streaming an HD movie at the same time. wink
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#596 - 08/08/09 08:54 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: donikatz]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
Doni said it all.

While I have not installed Skpye on PC, the Mac version is (much) easier to setup than iChat (IMNHO). About all one need do is DL & install Skype, register with Skype (that gets your screen name etc. This 1 minute process is about as difficult as registering with FTM), set your preferences (or use the defaults), open your firewall for Skype, ensure Little Snitch allows same, and voila!

At least that's the way I remember it.
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27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#744 - 08/09/09 02:13 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Skype works quite well; it communicates over ports that are already open on most firewalls, and the video quality is very good. It won't work with ALL firewalls, but it will work with many.

Another option is Yahoo. Yahoo's video chat passes through the Yahoo server, so no direct connection is necessary. The downside is that Yahoo saves bandwidth by severly limiting video quality (it is limited to no more than 320x240 at 3 frames per second, so it sucks). I've used it, and it does work in the sense that you can see the other person, if you don't mind jerky video.
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#770 - 08/09/09 05:45 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: tacit]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
There is one little caveat about Skype to consider, unfortunately.

The people who run eBay must be relatives of the people who run CNet.
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The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. - Niels Bohr

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#829 - 08/10/09 11:40 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: crarko]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Meh, these kinds of battles are always resolved with $. See: RIM. Skype isn't going anywhere.
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Keeper of the Magic Nickel

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#1174 - 08/15/09 11:00 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: donikatz]
MacManiac Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Time runs a little differently over here.....

I finally had a chance to combine the following elements successfully:

My time zone
My wife's time zone
Access to an authorized webcam at my end for the public computer
Skype for the Mac at my wife's end

Result: Priceless!

We were unable to cross-platform video conference using AIM on the Windows end and iChatAV on my wife's end.

Skype worked well.
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Freedom is never free....thank a Service member today.

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#1183 - 08/15/09 03:56 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I have never had a problem with skype cross platform.

XMeeting usually works also, and is compatible with polycoms, that businesses use. (you can even control the remote camera)

video conferencing over AIM usually gets mixed results. Sometimes works, sometimes not.

So for any mixed platform use, I go right for skype.
I also know several people that make extensive use of SkypeOut for when they travel internationally. Knocks a decimal place or two off your long distance bill for international.
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#1277 - 08/17/09 12:00 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: Virtual1]
MacManiac Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
While I'm tickled silly at having found a useful solution, I am truly disappointed that the solution WASN'T one that included iChatAV and Mac hardware at both ends. I brought my MacBook all the way over here with me and I do have access to a third-party provided commercial subscription to a WiFi service that I could use....however, even with walking the distance to get to the hotspot, I couldn't get iChatAV to hook up to my wife's computer back home.

So, by force, I've become an unwilling Windows geek.....goodness, I hope that doesn't mean I'll have to change my avatar!
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Freedom is never free....thank a Service member today.

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#1287 - 08/17/09 01:59 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Quote:
goodness, I hope that doesn't mean I'll have to change my avatar!


I sure hope not, CrossPlatformManiac.
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Keeper of the Magic Nickel

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#1294 - 08/17/09 02:26 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: donikatz]
PChaterosx Offline
Banned

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: donikatz
Quote:
goodness, I hope that doesn't mean I'll have to change my avatar!


I sure hope not, CrossPlatformManiac.

LOL! laugh I guess that's what I am for now too. frown
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#1385 - 08/18/09 09:34 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: donikatz]
MacManiac Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
...fluent in Mac, grudgingly conversant in Windows. blush
_________________________
Freedom is never free....thank a Service member today.

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#1489 - 08/19/09 10:04 AM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Nothing to be embarrassed about: it's the smart thing to do. cool
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alternaut moderator

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#5609 - 11/06/09 12:18 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: donikatz]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: donikatz
Meh, these kinds of battles are always resolved with $. See: RIM. Skype isn't going anywhere.


Yay, they settled.
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The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. - Niels Bohr

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#5711 - 11/09/09 03:06 PM Re: iChat AV won't connect [Re: MacManiac]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
skype and ichat do uPNP pretty well, but you need to have it supported on one (preferably both) ends of the conversation to work around routers. If the wifi hotspot doesn't support it, and your home router doesn't or it's disabled, you will have problems. And it can be maddening because others may have no problems chatting with you both.
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Moderator:  alternaut, dianne, MacManiac