Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Perfect Videoconferencing Set Up

For the past year I've been looking for ways to improve my videoconferencing experience.  I bought a 24" iMac solely for this purpose. The camera is the highest quality output I've experienced so far - even better than the HD (high definition) from my Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000... and the iMac's graphic processing makes the picture better than anything else I've tried.

So it's a very good experience. I videoconference my mother in Britain, and  a couple of years back bought her a 20" iMac. We can now both videoconference from the opposite ends of the earth using Skype for Mac, with very little audio/visual lag, and no headset or external microphone. The picture is stunning 90% of the time, and very good for the rest.

This lack of hardware means that either of us can wander off around the room while still talking and it gets picked up perfectly.

It struck me that the perfect videoconferencing setup would be a extension of what we are doing now. It would be a large lifesize screen on the wall of the room, left permanently on, and would act as a window so that as each party came into the area and found the other there, they could strike up a natural conversation without appointment or set up bother.

Doing videoconferencing this way would go a long way to making the event less of a TV appearance - with all its formality and structure - and more of an interconnector of events. It would appear as if the two parties were actually in the same room on a conversational level.