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Video Calls 101

As I mentioned earlier, my daughter is spending a semester abroad. What could a Dad want more than to be able to see his daughter as well as talk to her from oversees? Before she left, I bought a webcam for her notebook and set up skype and sightspeed on her computer. A quick trip to Fry's (any excuse to go to Fry's is a good excuse) got me $49 Creative Live Cam with a $25 rebate. I have to say it was nothing to write (or should I say call) home about. I may invest in a $100, highly rated Logitech Fusion just to see if they've really made any progress over the last few years. I have to say this should be a hot market segment I never understood why there isn't more interest in webcams and video calls. Apple has really been out front in this area in both cameras (standalone and attached) and ichat software. I also discovered a cool alternative to all the crappy webcams I've collected over the years. I guess everyone has known about this but me but it turns out a firewire or ilink capable camcorder makes a great webcam. If you have a firewire port on your computer (they're real cheap to add if you don't) then you can use your camcorder as a high quality webcam. Everything including the sound is better. Only problem at least for me was that skype video didn't recognize the camera. Sightspeed, on the other hand was able to use it no problem. I must say so far I think Sightspeed is a much better product than skype video for a lot of reasons first and foremost is the quality of the video. More on that later


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