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I'm trying to find out if the Pi could work for a Google+ Hangout. I'm guessing no but wondering if anyone is trying to get it to work. Will the new webcam version make it easier? We want to set up a dedicated Pi station for people to do Google hangouts.

Peter

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This is an awesome idea. – Jivings Feb 11 '13 at 23:09
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It could be possible with HTML5, Video and some Webcam plugin ( i dare say Java) But there needs to be an API or Driver avialble for the video feed. You can try and get something like <X>YAWCAM</X> to work on the Pi? Then you one foot in the door. But that is more a standalone webpage. You still need to integrate into the Googel Hangout API somehow? Good luck – ppumkin Feb 11 '13 at 23:26
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are you trying to use PI to host your hangouts or be a headless video/audio participant of hosted hangouts? no. 1 is done fairly easy; no. 2 could be a problem. If you attempt to use hangout for the first time with Chrome, it will ask you to install audio/video plugin, given that I am assuming this is not going to be a one-liner to do with HTML5. Besides, USB webcams with RPI will be giving you ~10fps which is far behind most user's expectations so you may want to wait for the RPI camera for smooth picture. – abolotnov Feb 12 '13 at 13:44

Just a heads up that the Pi lacks audio in; you'll need a USB sound card. You can pick one up from somewhere like Amazon though - for a G+ hangout, even the really cheap ones will be fine.

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so does it lack video in :) I guess they will be using a web cam anyway and there its mic comes handy. – abolotnov Feb 12 '13 at 13:34
    
The question mentioned using the upcoming RPi camera for video in; just pointing out that this solution doesn't allow for sound. I would've posted it as a comment, but apparently I can't post comments yet. – anaximander Feb 12 '13 at 13:46
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Many webcams have mics, too. And there are video digitizers with stereo audio, composite and svideo inputs in one box that you could use to attach analogue kit. – XTL Feb 13 '13 at 7:54

I spent a day trying to use Google Hangouts. I firstly tried installing Chromium OS V0.5. This booted to a black screen on my RPi2. From all reports I'm not alone with this… it's pretty buggy.

I then installed Raspbian, and the Chromium browser. Hangouts works fine, but I was experiencing ~0.5 second audio lag and asynchronous ~1–1.5 second video lag, so I gave up. Apparently this lag is also common. I'm fairly sure Hangouts is decentralised/P2P, but I experienced this lag even on the same intranet.

As an addendum:

  • Skype is not available for the Pi. There is no ARM build, and the web version doesn't offer a Linux plugin for video chat.
  • Jitsi isn't available in Raspbian either (missing dependencies), and it's always been super-glitchy for me on my normal computer anyway.
  • I trialled Ekiga on my normal computer, and the quality was so terrible that I didn't even trial it on the Pi (although it installed fine).
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