Video conferencing has slowly eeked its way into our everyday lives as I was recently reminded of when my four-year-old daughter asked to “video call dad.” Hubs used to work close enough to come home for lunch several days a week, but the new job, unfortunately, is too far away – a great disappointment to K on an almost daily basis. So we’ve turned to Skype to “see” daddy during the day or when he’s away on business from my Android phone, computer or iPad. We also love to check in with out-of-state family.
Skype is an amazingly useful service, but video quality is sometimes lacking due to the devices being used. Logitech is changing that to make the entire experience better and easier with its new Logitch TV Cam HD. The dedicated Skype video camera connects directly to any HDTV with an HDMI port, and turns your TV into the ultimate video calling tool. No computer needed!
Unlike most tech products we have accumulated around our house, thanks to my techy husband, this one is a cinch to setup. All you have to do is connect the included HDMI cable to the TV, plug-in the AC power adapter and select wired Ethernet or a Wi-Fi network (which is the way we went) for the Internet connection. Then simply login to your existing Skype account (or create a new one from the comfort of your couch) with the included remote control, and you are ready to go. Simple as it comes in my book.
The quality of the video is unlike any you have ever experienced using Skype. It is impressive. The wide-angle 720p HD camera features Logitech Fluid Crystal™ Technology and Carl Zeiss® optics to provide an amazing picture, and the four built-in mics (yes, four) provide exceptionally clear audio even sitting on the couch eight feet away. One of my favorite features is that incoming Skype calls ring through the camera even with the TV off. If you’re not home or unable to answer the call, there is even a voicemail feature.
We have been using the TV Cam HD to keep in touch with dad and my husband’s family in Boston. It is so cool to sit on the couch together rather than crowding around a computer. K has even taken the opportunity to perform a few impromptu ballet numbers for her now captive audience as well.
The only downside is that to truly appreciate the video quality, you’ll want a Logitch TV Cam HD on both ends of the conversation, as the video quality you see is limited to the hardware on the other end of the call. (In other words, while our family in Boston sees a crystal-clear picture of us on their computer, we still see a grainy video thanks to the older webcam on their end.)
If you do a lot of Skype video calling, or know someone who does, I definitely recommend the Logitch TV Cam HD. It gets this Suburban Mom’s seal of approval.
Disclosure – I received a Logitch TV Cam HD to facilitate this review, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.