iBOT FireWire Web Cam for the Macintosh

Last updated: January 16, 2003

Index of Questions:

My iBOT does not work with QuickTime Broadcaster. What can I do?

Make sure you are using the iBOT Mac OS X driver version 1.03 or newer.

Configure your broadcast.
Use the Audio and Video pop-up menus to choose the settings that best fit your situation.

Click Show Details, then click the Network tab and choose Manual Unicast from the Transmission pop-up menu.

Get the current IP address of the receiving computer. (To display the current IP address of a computer running Mac OS X, simply click Network in System Preferences.)

Enter the IP address of the receiving computer in the Address field. Ignore the other settings.

Announce your broadcast.
You do this by creating and sending a Session Description Protocol (SDP) file. This file contains the information your viewer will need to watch your broadcast.

Click Broadcast, then choose Export SDP from the File menu. Save the file to a location on your computer.

Send or copy the SDP file to the computer that will be used to view your broadcast.

Your viewer can now watch your broadcast by double-clicking the SDP file.

For additional assistance with QuickTime Broadcaster consult the QuickTime Broadcaster Help menu.

My iBOT was working perfectly in OS X, then I installed QuickTime 6.0 and my iBOT stopped working.

The QuickTime 6.0 release introduced incompatibilities with the then current iBOT version 1.0.1 OS X driver.

A fix was developed in a new iBOT version 1.0.3 OS X driver which corrects this problem. Please download and install the update from the following link:

I am running OS X and I get an error "Could not initialize the video hardware" when running an application that accesses my iBOT.

This is often caused by software that runs in "Classic Mode" meaning that it starts up OS 9 while still running OS X. If you run a program and it starts up Classic Mode it will not be able to access our camera. You need to download an updated version of the software you are using that will run natively in OS X. If you are using a licensed version of BTV Pro you can get an updated version from their web site www.bensoftware.com or you can purchase the iBOT FireWire Web Cam Upgrade. Currently the only video conferencing software that we are aware of, that runs natively in OS X is called ISPQ, and is available as part of the iBOT FireWire Web Cam upgrade.

Q: I have an iBOTPro and a Macintosh with a built-in sound-input (microphone) port. I cannot get the microphone portion of the iBOTPro supplied headset to work. How can I use the microphone headset?

Macintosh computers that have a built-in sound-input (microphone) port, only work with a PlainTalk Microphone. The iBOTPro Microphone is not a PlainTalk Microphone.

As a result, you need a "PlainTalk adapter" to allow the iBOTPro microphone to function. You may get it from

Q: I have an iBOTPro, iBook and a Power Mac G4 Cube. These Macintosh models do not have built-in microphone ports. How can I use the microphone headset?

For those users who would like to use an iBOT with one of the above-mentioned machines and would also like to attach a microphone, Orange Micro recommends the iMic from Griffin Technology. The iMic universal audio adapter is a USB device that allows the connection of virtually any microphone or sound input device to the iBook, or any Macintosh with USB ports. The iMic supports both line and mic level input. For more information or to purchase the iMic please visit the 1394 FireStation under the cables section or follow the below link.

Q: Is the iBOT compatible with the Apple PowerBook G4 (Titanium)?

Orange Micro has tested and verified that the iBOT is compatible with the PowerBook G4 (Titanium).

Q: I have a Mac and I am not able to get video from the iBOT camera or I receive an error message when trying to access the iBOT. How do I correct this?

There may be conflict between the iBOT extension and a third party extension. The best way to determine this is to create a custom extension set which includes only the Mac OS base extensions plus the iBOT extension. If the problem stops after restarting your Macintosh with this limited extension set, you have an extension conflict and you will have to track down the offending extension. If the problem persists, delete preferences for any application used to access the iBOT.

Q: After launching BTV Pro OEM. I receive the following error message "Could not find an authorized OEM FireWire device". Why?

BTV Pro OEM is a special version of BTV Pro that only works if it detects an Orange Micro FireWire card or an iBOT camera under Mac OS 9.x. If you have one of these products installed in your computer and you still get this error message, remove the Orange Micro product from your computer and reinstall it. Verify that Apple FireWire extensions are installed. If you have an iBOT, verify the FW iBOT Camera extension is in your System Extensions folder.

Also try setting your Extensions Manager to Mac OS 9.x Base. Enable the FW iBOT Camera extension, if applicable. Restart you Macintosh. This will eliminate the possibility of an extension conflict.

Q: If I have an iBOT and my friend has another manufacturers web cam, will I be able to video conference with him?

Yes. As long as both parties have compatible video conferencing software. Most video conferencing programs require both parties use the same program. Many video conferencing programs are available for both Mac and Windows users. Such as; iVisit, ISPQ "Eye Speak" VideoChat, etc. Currently the only video conferencing software that we are aware of, that runs natively in OS X is called iSpQ VideoChat, and is available as part of the iBOT FireWire Web Cam upgrade.

Q: I purchased an iBOT and the video is fuzzy. What can I do?

Rotate the blue part of the iBOT to the right or left until the video is clear and crisp.

Q: Will VideoLink work under Mac OS X?

SmithMicro VideoLink up to and including version 1.1 will not run natively under OS X. Currently the only video conferencing software that we are aware of, that runs natively in OS X is called iSpQ VideoChat, and is available as part of the iBOT FireWire Web Cam upgrade.

Q: Is the iBOT camera compatible with Mac OS X?

Orange Micro has recently released an iBOT Mac OS X driver. It is currently available from the iBOT for Macintosh Software Updates page.

Q: When I use VideoLink for Macintosh to connect to a Windows NetMeeting user, the video that the remote user received is very slow. Why is this and what can be done?

When video conferencing with a Windows NetMeeting user, the maximum rate that you will be able to send video to the NetMeeting endpoint is 15 frames per second (fps) at QCIF (medium) size and 7 fps at the CIF (Large) size. This is a restriction of NetMeeting. This does not occur if both endpoints are VideoLink.

Q: Does the iBOT camera support the 1394 TA Digital Camera Specification 1.3?

The iBOT camera meets the Digital Camera specification v1.04. It is compatible with Digital Camera specification v1.3, but doesn't provide features specific to that version.

Q: I am a software developer and I am interested in developing a custom application for the iBOT camera. Does Orange Micro have a developers kit for the iBOT camera?

Unfortunately we do not have a developers kit. However, most developers use QuickTime to capture video from cameras on the Macintosh. Sample source code is available from Apple Computer. Check under the heading of QuickTime DV capture. (http://developer.apple.com/samplecode/Sample_Code/QuickTime/Capturing.htm)

Q: What system software is required for the iBOT to work?

The following Extensions must be in your Apple System/Extensions folder for iBOT to function:
FireWire Enabler
FireWire Support
FW iBOT Camera Extension
QuickTime FireWire DV Enabler
QuickTime FireWire DV Support

Q: I just installed my iBOTpro camera. I connected the included headset and can get no sound. What can I do?

Attach the headphone to a PlainTalk adapter then attach the PlainTalk adapter to the microphone port on your Mac. Click on the Apple menu and select Control Panels/Sound. Click on input and under Settings for selected device, set Input Source to External Mic. Then click on the Apple menu and select Control Panels/Microphone Gain Control and adjust input sound for your needs.

Q: Why is using a FireWire desktop camera better than a USB 1.1 desktop camera?

The main benefit of using the iBOT is that the video coming from the iBOT is Uncompressed. Other cameras compress video before it leaves the camera. Then the program that receives the video must decompress and then recompress the video using a different type of compression before the video is usable. This technique tends to dramatically degrade the quality and color of the video. Because the iBOT sends uncompressed video the program does not have to uncompress and then recompress the video before it can be used. It will simply take the uncompressed video from the iBOT and compress it using the appropriate compression. This will both allow for better quality video along with alleviating the demand on the CPU to process more frames.

When using the iBOT for DV editing there are a few system requirements you should keep in mind. The first thing is the transfer rate. This number will vary depending on the resolution and frame rate you capture. The formula used to determine the transfer rate is:

horizontal resolution x vertical resolution x 2 x frames per second = transfer rate.

If you capture 640x480 at 30 Frames/sec you simply multiply 640x480x2x30, which equals 18,432,000 Bytes/Sec or 18MB/s. If you intended to capture 640x480 at 30 Frames/sec you need a hard drive that can sustain a transfer rate of 18 MB/s.

There are other factors to keep in mind other than hard drive speed. When video editing from a Macintosh using the iBOT, Orange Micro recommends at least a G3 233 MHz processor and 80 MB of RAM. We also recommend turning virtual memory off, running a minimal set of extensions, turning off Apple Talk, have an optimized hard drive and set disk cache to 128 k.

Q: I have a PowerBook G3 with built-in FireWire and the capture window displays green noise at the bottom 1/8th of the window. The rest of the window has diagonal black lines. What can I do?

At this time there is an incompatibility between all Texas Instruments based web cams (including the iBOT camera) and the built-in FireWire port on a PowerBook G3 (Pismo) laptops made before June/July of 2000. PowerBook G3 (Pismo) laptops made after July of 2000 used a different chip, which corrected this issue. Apple and Texas Instruments are currently looking into a solution that will allow the camera to function in the older PowerBook G3 laptops, however at this time the only workaround is to use a FireWire CardBus card and attach the iBOT camera to it on a powered FireWire bus.

Q: I cannot get iMovie to capture video through my iBOT? What can I do?

Apple has confirmed that iMovie only supports a limited DV Format which is available from DV camcorders. iMovie does not support the video formats that are available from the iBOT (YUV 4:1:1, YUV 4:2:2, YUV 4:4:4, and RGB 24-bit formats). Software which does support the iBOT are: Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere for the Mac, etc.

Q: I cannot get my iBOT to work through an otherwise functioning FireWire PC Card in my PowerBook. What can I do?

The iBOT is powered from the FireWire bus. Because the PC Card slot does not supply power to the FireWire bus, an external source for power must be used. A good candidate for that power would be the OrangeLink FireWire Hub. If you happen to have a recent OrangeLink FireWire CardBus PC Card, it comes with a jack for an optional power supply between the two FireWire ports. You can purchase it at the 1394FireStation.

© Orange Micro, Inc. 2002. All rights reserved.