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Use Your TV to Make Viedo Calls

Written By Sambasivarao on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 | Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Even more surprising is that people often don’t take advantage of what’s possible. The best video phone experience is afforded through a big-screen TV for an obvious reason: the screen is very large, and probably faces a comfortable couch or chair. A TV-based video calls gives the experience of having the caller visit you. There are three fundamental ways to achieve a TV-based video call. One is via a computer connected to a TV, the other is via a smart TV, and the third uses a special-purpose gadget connected to a TV.

The first option is the simplest: connecting a laptop or PC to your TV via a cable, such as HDMI, and then clicking over to that as your video source. From there you can use your computer’s camera and video conferencing software, and display it all on the TV. This solution can be implemented without additional purchases. One small improvement to this general approach can be made by using a product called the Warpia ConnectHD. It uses the video conferencing software running on your PC or laptop with its own camera which you can place on top of the TV. While the HDMI cable is big and sloppy, this one is wireless via a USB device that plugs into the computer. Having the camera on top of or just below the TV is important with video calls because it creates the illusion of eye contact.

Samsung’s 51-inch plasma TV is a great all-around smart TV with 3-D, apps, innovative motion gestures, voice command and face recognition. It also has a built-in camera, something that other TVs do not have. Samsung comes with Skype built-in, so you can make video phone calls. Futurists predict smart TVs from Samsung and other TV giants with Google designs, which will enable Google+ Hangouts as the video-conferencing system, and also other apps for doing video phone calls in many new ways. Logitech and Skype offer a product called the Logitech TV Cam HD. The camera connects to the Internet over either Wi-Fi or ethernet, and connects to TVs using HDMI. Logitech claims that any TV that supports HDMI will work with the product. The camera itself is high definition and wide angle, so it will show the entire room. But, you can zoom in if you want using the included remote control unit. Four noise- cancelling microphones cut down on any echo from a large room. And you can hear the phone ring even when the TV is on.
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