Video conferencing can often become an expensive process and there can be a lot to organize as I discussed in the introduction to videoconferencing services.
However, if you simply want to speak to someone over the internet using video then you shouldn’t have to fork out thousands of dollars on expensive video conferencing equipment and services.
Fortunately the VoIP revolution and P2P technology has crumbled away the costs and shone a bright light at the end of that tunnel for budget video calls. The only cost you’ll need to set up a basic video conference with a friend is the cost of a webcam. Now that’s cheap video conferencing!
All you need is Skype Video Calling
All you need to do is download the latest version of Skype and you can carry out video calls.
Using Skype video calling is very simple. You will need a webcam, speakers and microphone.
To set the web-cam up with Skype you just need to go the Skype Tools menu, select Options. There you will find the Video Settings under the General section.
Once set up Skype has an option to test you webcam to make sure everything is working correctly.
- You can connect with a friend for an instant one-on-one video conference.
- Very simple to set up.
- It is so cheap that it is free! Definitely the best budget video calling solution.
- Easy to start a video call with any of your Skype friends that have their webcam set up.
- Very little hardware requirements.
- Only one-on-one calls - no ability to have multi-party video conferencing calls.
- You cannot show what is on your PC screen allowing you to present PowerPoint presentations, web pages etc.
- Video quality is not good enough to show on a large screen to a room of people.
- Lack of support for interactive features.
- No support for recording video conferences for later archiving and publication.
Skype is definitely the best budget solution for one-on-one video conferences where people are sat at there PC screens and the video conference is a little bit informal. It is free and it works well.
However, it is not be suitable for the more professional video conference such as when:
- for conferences containing multiple people.
- the viewers are watching it on a large TV screen,
- a lot of interaction with the viewers is required,
- high quality visuals are important
Important Links for Skype Video Calling
Alternatives for Multi-Party Video Conferencing
If you require a video conference solution that will have multiple participants then I recommend PalTalk as a budget video conferencing solution.
PalTalk allows group conferencing calls for up to 10 people.
Online Video Interview Recording
If you want to record online video interviews then check out Sightspeed. Full review here.
More Video Conferencing Software
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