Videoconferencing With Your Home Computer

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The future is here. Recently, tech companies Cisco Systems and Logitech announced that telepresence videoconferencing will be made available for home use.

What is “telepresence videoconferencing” you ask? It’s the way two parties can communicate via television as if they are in the same room. You’ve already seen it a few times ... on The Jetsons and in just about every Tom Cruise movie this side of “Top Gun.”

But can it be a reality for us? Can Grandma really join in for the chorus of “Happy Birthday to You” all the way from Seattle? Can we really see little Jimmy open his Christmas presents from across the country? Yes, it is now becoming a reality.

The explosion of high speed Internet, wi-fi connections, digital cameras, and hi-def TVs has set the stage beautifully for videoconferencing. But it won’t be cheap ... yet.

The technology will push the envelope of modern convenience, but it will also push the envelope of our bank accounts. Initial hardware costs could be in the $800 range, and monthly usage fees will hover around $30. These prices will vary depending on the product and provider, and they’ll hopefully go down as the popularity spreads.

There are a few “bargain” options that are currently available to consumers. Services like Skype provide a low-cost alternative and are already available for use on HDTVs.

There are video chat capabilities on products like XBOX and PlayStation 360, too.

There will obviously be a big gap in the quality between the current options and the upcoming ones ... but you get what you pay for.

If you would like to get started in the world of videoconferencing, let me suggest a few upgrades that you may want to consider:

Upgraded video card

You can install a new video card that will enable you to output HDMI directly to your family room TV. You can run Skype from your computer and use your TV as a monitor.

Beefed-up memory

To run video applications, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of memory. This will allow you to stream in real time without losing a beat.

HD WebCam

You can use a variety of cameras for your videoconferencing, including a digital camcorder. Be sure to use a device that can be placed near your TV (on a tripod or on a shelf) for optimal performance.

Call Computer Problem Specialists at (928) 468-0000 for a free consultation. Our experts can let you know exactly what you need to get set up. Before you know it, you’ll be watching your grandkids open their birthday presents from across the country. The future is here!

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