iChat vs. Skype - why does my ichat video chat not work
I have owned a mac for several years and I have noticed that the ichat video conference feature never really worked that well. The real problem was that you could not get connected consistently. Sometimes it would work right and sometimes it would not, and that is the way that it would go when it came to connecting with people. I have done some research on the subject and some people blame AIM for supposable changing their architecture and this is to blame for the faulty connections in ichat.
iChat Possible Solution!
I will say that if you are having problems with your ichat connections the first thing that you should try is to change some settings on your router. There is a feature on your router that is called UPNP, it stands for Universal Plug and Play. This feature is on most main stream routers and should allow the ports to be forwarded properly so that the video chat connections will work properly. If you need to know how to enable this feature you can look at the router manual or just google "How to enable UPNP". This should find you the answer to your questions.
Other solutions that I have heard was to try and make sure that the video quality is not set too high because if it is you might be having bandwidth issues. You can go to preferences and then select Video and theres a "Bandwidth Limit" drop down. Select 100kbs and see if that works for you. This makes the video a lower quality but will possible make the connection work.
The solution that I have come to is to use Skype. Skype has added a video feature and it works really well. I have not had any problems connecting to anyone mac or pc with skype's program. From the best of my knowledge they don't offer the three way conferencing yet but the one on one conferencing works very well. It is kind of annoying that you have to get all your video conferencing friends to join and use it but me and my family use it often and it works great. A lot of webcams are compatible with Skype which makes it easy to find one that works. if you have an older mac that does not have a webcam built in rocketfish makes a webcam that works really well with your Mac and PC. See my other post about Rocketfish.
Update on Skype
They have realeased the beta version of Skype 2.8 for mac. Go and download it and check it out.