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iSight : Help for iChat AV 3 Problems

As mentioned in the Title box - there are pages that were written a little while ago by EZ Jim, a poster on the Apple Discussions, who contributes to iSight and iChat Discussions. The words the following pages are EZ Jim's

Use the the Information Column Menu for EZ Jim's pages

Help for iChat AV 3 Problems

If you are having trouble making audio or video connections and are using Tiger OS X 10.4.5 or earlier, updating to Tiger 10.4.6 and its iChat AV 3.1.4 may fix your problem. I suggest you use the procedures in How I Update My Mac OS X.

Even if you are already using 10.4.6, if you updated by using Software Update on your Mac, reinstalling by using the "Combo Updater" and the instructions in the "How I Update... " Topic may help.

If you have properly upgraded Mac OS X and iChat AV but are still having trouble, also consider the following.

If your System Preferences > Quicktime > Streaming is set to "Automatic", change the "Streaming Speed" choices bar to, or just higher than, your broadband download speed. Use a max of 1.5meg if your Connection Speed is faster than this speed. Try iChat AV again by restarting it. This allow iChat to re-read the Connection Speed.

If that does not resolve your problem, some users report that deleting their Finder/Go/Home/Library/Preferences/com.apple.quicktimeplayer.plist file and then reinstalling the latest QuickTime Update from Apple "Downloads" has resolved a variety of problems. I suggest that you repair permissions before AND after the reinstall. Then, check System Preferences > Quicktime > Streaming. Set the "Streaming Speed" choices bar to, or just higher than, your broadband download speed.

Some users have reported that using the QuickTime 7.0.1 Reinstaller to retreat from QuickTime 7.0.3 helps. I successfully use the latest (QT 7.0.4) version, but you can try reinstalling 7.0.1 if other things do not help. If 7.0.1 does not help you, you can apply the process above to return to the latest version.
( EDIT 11 Jan 06: There is also a QuickTime 7.0.1 Reinstaller to retreat from the new QuickTime 7.0.4. I have have seen no reports on its usefulness, but, if you have properly updated to QT 7.0.4, try reinstalling 7.0.4 in case you just had a bad download or install. If the 7.0.4 reinstall does not help, try retreating to 7.0.1 to test whether that will improve things on your system. If you do try the QT 7.0.1 Reinstaller from 7.0.4, please post your findings in the appropriate iChat AV Discussions. END 11 Jan 06 EDIT)

Ralph's Edit: 14/9/2008
Quicktime is now up to version 7.5 and the above links only apply to variations of Quicktime 7.0.x

If you are on Quicktime 6.x on Panther (10.3.x) then you can also update the the Latest Quicktime.

If the above does not help, both you and your problem connections may want to consider any of the following that apply:

  1. I have done a lot of testing with others who want to try out their iChat AV 3. I sometimes get "insufficient bandwidth", "did not respond", "Can't get Video", or other error messages in tests when calling or receiving invitations from users who do not yet have their iChat AV 3 properly configured and working. >br>
    Some of these are new users who have not yet configured their modems and routers. Others are long-time users who apparently got bad upgrades to Tiger or have not done maintenance recently.

    Once the same users have properly configured their modems and routers or have performed their Mac OS X maintenance, they make another test call to me, and most connect successfully without the error messages.

  2. Review and follow the relevant suggestions in Ralph Johns' iChat 3 Upgrade hints.

  3. Consider Apple's iChat AV 3.0: "Insufficient bandwidth" messages.

  4. Consider any relevant suggestions from Check your Broadband Speed.

  5. If you are having ANY other problems with your Mac, review Apple's Tiger Support page and Apple's Troubleshooting Mac OS X installation from CD or DVD article.

  6. Finally, try everything that minimizes your Mac's processor load and minimizes your other bandwidth usage including:

-Close ALL apps before launching iChat AV. You can open other necessary apps once your iChat video connection is established.

- Remove Virex, iCar, or other conflicting applications.

- Remove (or at least disable) Folding @ Home, Apple Remote Desktop, and any other applications that can rob your Mac of processor power.

- If you still have some 3rd party software you have not removed or disabled, and if you have updated to a new Mac OS version, check to see that the version of that software is compatible with your Mac OS version to prevent Possible hardware or software conflicts.

- Unless you share a T1 line with several Macs, set iChat > Preferences > Video > Limit Bandwidth to "None"
Those with T1 (or faster) lines may want to try limiting their iChat > Preferences... > Video > Bandwidth Limit: setting to 1Mbps or even 500 kbps. If you do this during a video session, give iChat AV a full minute to let it adjust before deciding whether the revised setting helps.

- Do not launch iChat AV automatically as a System "Login Item".

- Be certain that no other computer is sharing your bandwidth. (LAN, wireless, OS X internet sharing, etc.)

- If it is not current, update your modem / router firmware.

- Reboot your modem, router, and Mac.

- Try a different Modem. (Perhaps you can borrow one to try?). My six year old cable modem was apparently too slow, or perhaps it was starting to fail. A new, current production model made a huge difference for me.

- Try switching to a different ISP if another is available in your area.

If all these fail, post the details of your problem in Apple's iChat AV Discussions. Include as much as possible of the information requested in the the When do I Post a New iChat Topic ? FAQ (starting about half way down the page). To get the best suggestions as quickly as possible, also post what you have already tried so we do not just suggest things that you already know do not work.


Written By EZ Jim

Made on Mac
Made on a Mac®

© 2005, 2006 EZ Jim
Updated September 2006

© 2005 Ralph Johns: Edited 24/9/2005, 5/5/2006
Updated September 2006. Moved to Gargoyles Mar 2007

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