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Video chatting is helping millions of people from all over the world connect easily and seamlessly every day using their PC. From geographically dispersed boardrooms to re-connecting loved ones across the globe it has become an indispensable communication tool that bridges distances at the click of a button. A number of platforms exist that allow us to video chat across the internet. For the most part one would need;
A good quality webcam is a quintessential gadget in holding a video call. Webcams have improved drastically since they were first introduced to the market; now boasting HD resolutions and smoother frame rates. New netbooks and notebooks tend to have built-in webcams making this technology widely available.
Webcams come in all shapes and sizes with more features and enhancements then you can shake a stick at. Prices vary from a few bucks into the thousands for a fully fledged video conferencing solution. Depending on your budget always try to choose a reputable brand and online stores have customer feedback forums built right into the product page allowing you to make informed decisions.
Most webcams come with a built-in microphone eliminating the need to purchase an additional microphone. Remember to check the specification list as if this is not included, a separate microphone would be required. Laptops and some monitors tend to have these built in so always check before buying one.
Speakers will allow you to hear and share the conversation with those around you whilst headphones or a headset (a unit incorporating headphones and a microphone) will allow you to have more private conversations. Again, these tend to be built in laptops and computers however a number of alternatives exist if they are not available.
Video-Conferencing software completes the circle by connecting the webcam, microphone and speakers and operates the video call between you and the person or people you want to call. It presents the interface and the technology to connect with virtually anyone, each having its own features and highlights. We will take a look at the most commonly used applications and some new ones that offer flexibility, ease of use and accessibility.
Skype is one of the most widely-used communication tools that offers free voice, video and text-based (instant messaging) communications. It’s available on multiple platforms including PCs, mobile phones and even on the latest-generation TVs.
Windows Live Messenger
Most commonly used for its instant messaging features, Windows Live Messenger includes video calling capabilities built right into the chat window. WLM offers IM for free by using a Live account which can receive emails, chat as well as create IM rooms and of course video call your contacts.
Faceflow is a free video IM website that allows you to chat with new people as well as connect with friends without the need to download and install software. This makes it highly accessible as it makes video calls possible on any platform without downloading software.
Google voice and video chat service integrates with your Gmail account and iGoogle homepage making it an efficient answer to Gmail users free video call requirements.
Make sure each call is a perfect call.
A number of things can go wrong with video calling, including quality degradation. Make sure you do not miss out on those special moments by following these few tips:
A strong internet connection is recommended for optimal video calling. If you are in the process of downloading anything, make sure to pause it for the duration of the phone call as to not hog down bandwidth. QoS is a router feature that can prioritize certain traffic over the rest. Video calls are very time sensitive in that a few seconds of delay is going to render a video call un-enjoyable. On the other hand a webpage taking a few seconds more to load is not likely to frustrate you.
Make sure all software utilities and drivers are up to date. Manufacturers and software companies release newer version of drivers and software to include optimizations and bug-fixing. DriverScanner is our own utility that scans your hardware profile and automatically downloads the latest drivers for you, making updating your PC a breeze.
A lot of processing goes on during a video call and as such your PC needs to be free from unnecessary restraints such as corrupt registry entries and incorrect settings. RegistryBooster 2011 can help you optimize your PC to make sure it is running in its optimal condition, allowing for free-flowing video and jitter-free audio.