How to: Make Video Calls with Skype
March 17, 2009
You'll need a strong Wi-Fi connection to take advantage of this cool calling app over a wireless network, but it's great for business or pleasure. (Just be sure you keep a mirror nearby.)
But be warned: this means the age of video calling has arrived. When a phone call means your caller sees you, its now rude to be doing 18 things as you talk. (And please, no personal hygiene maintenance.) Oh, and its easy to record a video call--meaning any of your calls could end up on YouTube.
If none of this deters you, heres what you need:
Download Skype. Its free. Register as a user and create a user name.
Now, turn on your Webcam and make sure your space is well lit. Boot up Skype and click on the name of another registered Skype user (youll need to add their user name before you call).
Once that person answers the call, click on the little video icon near the bottom of the screen. Presto! Youll see video of the person and hell see video of you. (Have you brushed your teeth recently?)
User tips for Skype video calling:
Its natural to want to look at the video of the person youre calling, instead of looking into your Webcams eye. But only if you look into the Webcam will it appear you are facing the viewer. One solution: position Skypes video screen as near to your Webcams eye as possible, so you appear to be facing the Webcam.
Video Skype sucks up a lot of bandwidth. If youre on a shaky wireless connection your Skype connection might waver or drop. Shut down everything else (such as your browser or your second computer) that also hogs bandwidth.
In Skype, go to Preferences to change any parameters. For instance:
You can make a video call using the Picture in Picture option (like in the sample video here) or Side by Side.
If youve got the disk space, you can record at higher quality settings, or capture a larger video picture with better audio.
You can use your built-in Webcam, or connect a high-end video camera for a deluxe recording.
Smile! Youre on camera!
Article courtesy of Datamation. In the original version of this article, we stated that "Side by Side" mode would make each callers video equal size. This is not the case. We regret the error.