by Lori Cunningham (@wellconnectdmom)
At BlogHer, the blogging conference I just attended a couple of weeks ago, I went to a private event hosted by Logitech. They were introducing their new Logitech TV Cam HD. The bloggers invited to this event were the first ones to see the Logitech TV Cam HD in action before the product was officially introduced the next day.
What first struck me by the new Logitech TV Cam HD was how much coverage the camera provided. The whole room could be seen and heard. I use SKYPE especially when I travel. It’s a great way to keep up with the kids at home. But I’m usually limited to one kid at a time and seeing them in grainy images. The kids use either one of our PC’s, my husband’s phone, or a tablet to answer the call. The Logitech TV Cam HD can show the entire room and provide clear voices, even when my kids are 12 feet away from the camera. It’s truly amazing.
Why Invest in a TV top SKYPE camera?
I know what you’re thinking, if SKYPE is already built into your phone for free, why spend $199 to buy a TV based SKYPE Logitech camera, right? Here are some considerations to ponder:
1. You Will Know When SKYPE Calls Come In
- When a call comes in, you’ll hear a traditional telephone ring that alerts you a call is coming in.
- The ring does not stop if it’s not answered right away, like it does with your PC or smartphone. It rings as long as the caller is will willing to wait.
- The ring is distinguishable from other gadgets you might have in the house, and it’s loud to alert people a SKYPE call is ringing.
2. The TV Does Not Have to be On
- The ring you hear comes from the camera itself. To answer a call, you just need to press the button on the included remote control. Kids can easily answer calls.
- Once you press the button to connect, the SKYPE caller can see and hear you, you just can’t see them…until you turn the TV on and change it to the right source.
- Oh, and no, don’t worry. The camera only turns on once you press the button on the remote to connect in a SKYPE call. If not SKYPING, the camera is not filming you!
3. You Do Not Have to Have a Smartphone or PC
- The Logitech TV Cam HD is ideal for grandparents or others who may not be as technologically savvy.
- Although there is a learning curve in understanding how to use SKYPE, the Logitech TV Cam HD’s remote with onscreen instructions is easy to use.
- There is no need to press anything on the Logitech TV Cam HD itself. Everything is done through the Logitech remote and TV.
4. You Have a Growing Family to Show Off
- The wide-angle Carl Zeiss optical camera with Logitech Fluid Crystal technology is truly impressive. It allows you to cover an entire room. My room is probably 20 feet wide and the full room was viewable in the camera.
- You have the ability to zoom in on one area for a few people in a room or expand the view out so the whole room is visible. You can zoom in when your child is showing their grandparents an award or original piece of artwork.
- My kids love to perform and are always coming up with dances and skits to delight their audiences. Now they can show their grandparents and friends the entire show via SKYPE.
What You Need to Set Up this Camera
There are a few requirements to set this camera up in your own home or that of your parents:
- High speed Internet access (with 1 Mbps minimum for upload/download speed)
- An HDTV with available HDMI connector
- An Ethernet cable if you plan on using a wired connection (versus wireless)
The good news is that the Logitech TV Cam HD has built-in wireless or a wired connection. So if your TV area doesn’t have a wired Internet Ethernet connection available (wired is always recommended first over wireless), then you can run it off your wireless network.
When you first set up your Logitech TV Cam HD, you will need to enter your SKYPE Name. You can set up a new account on SKYPE, but I would suggest setting up a new account through SKYPE online, so typing in the info. is easier. Then on your TV, you just enter your SKYPE name and password to get in. Once in SKYPE, your contacts are ready for you to call. You can also search for other friends to add to your SKYPE contact list.
Now that you’re logged in, SKYPE is always on and people can call you.
I taught my daughter how to answer SKYPE calls with the Logitech remote and change the source on the TV with the TV remote control. She’s dialed in to receive calls. She will be our SKYPE secretary for the household.
A Mom’s Perspective
Overall, I felt the Logitech TV Cam HD I have a large family room and by using the zoom feature, we could sit on the couch, 14 feet away from the TV and be seen clearly from the other person we were SKYPING with…and they could hear us well too. My daughter will be definitely using the Logitech TV Cam HD to SKYPE her friend. They both live in the same city but go to different schools, so SKYPE works out as a great way to communicate with each other. If you’re looking for a solution to make SKYPE easier to either connect with out-of-the-area family members or connect with your family when you’re traveling, the Logitech TV Cam HD is a good choice.
* I was sent a Logitech TV Cam HD to check it out for myself. I have to say, it surpassed my expectations.