My friends at In Store Solutions recently sent me FREETALK’s Everyman HD Webcam to take a look at. The HD webcam’s unique feature is it’s designed for Skype HD calls using the latest version (4.2) of Skype for Windows. It also works well with my MacBook Pro but unfortunately the Skype for Mac client is way behind the Windows version and doesn’t yet support HD calling (come on Skype!). I’m a big Skype fan so anything that enhances the Skype user experience interests me.
The quality of the video is excellent and using it with the FREETALK Everyman headset gives me top quality video and voice. For optimum results both callers should be using Skype HD but even when the other party is using a lower resolution webcam the video quality is great. The design of the webcam is clever; the base twists so it can either sit on top of your display or on your desk. One point to note is that the webcam does not have a microphone so a headset or other microphone is also required.
Video quality will be affected by broadband speed which is where I’m lucky with the speed I get from Be Broadband‘s excellent ADSL2+ service. This is much better than ADSL Max services I’ve used in the past. The system requirements for the webcam suggest that your broadband should support 1Mbps upload & download to get HD video.
Product specification summary:
- High performance optical lens
- 24-bit true color depth
- Auto Exposure and Auto White Balance
- Auto Focus capability
- Supports HD video encoding at resolutions up to 1280×720 at up to 22 frames per second
- Skype Certified™ High Definition Webcam
- Universal clip for attaching to a wide variety of displays and monitors