Help on Video Conferencing

Given the development of digital communication, we can create and share data with millions of people across the world in vastly reduced amounts of time. An example is the social networking site called Facebook, which you can send pictures, posts, videos etc across to another user’s page and they could be on the other side of the globe and it may take only a few seconds.

Of course, as internet speeds and bandwidth increase, it is now possible to share live video calls with another person over the use of the internet and a small device called a “Webcam.” The name is pretty self-explanatory, as it’s a camera you use over the internet and with various computer-related software. Now sharing live video over the internet on a 1to1 basis or with a group of people, is called “Video Conferencing.” Video Conferencing is commonly used during business meetings, family group calls, things like that. Of course, there are many small variants of the Video Conferencing concept, which include sharing your webcam in website chatrooms… But there are also downloadable software packages with  video calling in mind, like Skype.

But how does it work? To help explain the basics, I will use Skype for this. NOTE: This is in no way an instructional post on how to use Skype but it will include a couple of details to explain how it works and how it works ONLY.

The is the basic layout of the video conference. Various settings to customise your video display and audio are located in various sections of this page (shown above). Left clicking on one of the user’s videos will shrink the others and enlarge the one you selected and this is a useful tool to see objects in that person’s video call more clearly (depending on video quality).

On the left is where all your contacts will be stored, as well as your Facebook contacts if you have connected the two accounts together. Initiating a Skype call is as simple as left-clicking the desired person and clicking call, call with video, or in the case shown in the picture above, call phone. You add more people to the call by clicking Conversation at the top and then Add People. That is the summary of how Skype video conferences operate.

You will have to understand that social networking sites do it a little differently and most of them would ask for your permission to access your camera before use (differs depending on site and if the camera is a USB Device). All that require is a couple of clicks indicated by the specific website and your WebCam is live in chatrooms.

Well, there are the basics and make no mistake, this is quick and simple for explanatory purposes, so I hope you have picked something up from this post. As always, I am available to offer advice and more information if you require it, but for now, good luck and have fun.

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