Recently, my family needed to change out our TV in our living room. I’m a huge fan of LCDs and we ended up on a Samsung 50″ LCD that we’re really happy with. As I travel for business a fair amount, I have been looking into solutions for Skyping with my family while I’m away.
Our default solution for video Skype calls was using a Macbook Pro; however my daughters, being 5 and 2 like to fight over ‘who’s on the screen’, making it a tough situation for having a decent Skype call.
I was pleased to find out that on our new Samsung TV, like most Samsung Smart TVs, supports Skype – you just need to buy an optional camera accessory called the Samsung VG-STC2000 Skype TV Camera. Essentially, like a webcam that goes on your computer, the VG-STC2000 connects to your TV and sits atop the set in a very subdued manner. It’s very aesthetically pleasing.
How does the Smart TV Camera perform?
In a word: flawlessly! After simply hooking the USB connection into the back of the LCD TV, you simply launch Skype from the Smart TV Menu. Then, sign in using the onscreen keyboard to your Skype account and the TV auto-magically loads up and you’re ready to make and receive video calls.
One note: You’ll need to either hook your TV up to your home network by connecting an ethernet cable or using Wi-Fi and have a working Internet connection for this to function.
As far as performance and Skype call quality, the Smart TV Camera excels. On test calls both from my work and while I was recently remote in Indianapolis on business, the Samsung Smart TV and associated Camera give a full wide-screen shot at 720p resolution. My family room, where my TV resides, is roughly 8 feet by 12 feet and because the wide-angle of the TV, my entire family can be in the shot at stunning resolution.
In terms of audio quality: Samsung has engineered the Smart TV Camera to have crisp and clear audio. Even with my kids running all over the room when I was Skype-ing with them, I could hear them clearly and audibly. Also, when my kids were 12 feet away from the camera, I could easily hear them talking to me and seeing them in high-definition was an absolute joy.
The Samsung Smart TV line, accompanied with the Smart TV Camera, is a fantastic solution for both families who want to Skype and even businesses who want to have a Skype solution for a conference or board room.
The camera is available right now on Amazon for a mere $76.99 and is a very cost-effective solution. I highly recommend it.
Image credit: Skype.com