Author Topic: Skype ... I've no idea where to start  (Read 872 times)

Offline Rupert

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Skype ... I've no idea where to start
« on: January 19, 2015, 05:14:30 PM »
These days so many young people seem to be able to phone their friends and actually see them during the call, much like the futuristic videophones in old sci-fi films.  I'm going to make the assumption that what they're doing is 'Skyping'.

I have one desktop computer with a 23" widescreen HD monitor (no laptop or tablet and certainly no smart phone), if I wanted to Skype I presume I would need to buy a kit of some sort, which would probably comprise a little camera and a microphone to mount on top of the computer screen, plus some software to install on my computer.

The PC is just a few months old and runs Windows 8.1 x64 bit.  I have superfast (70 Mbps) broadband c/o BT, so where do I go from here?  Assuming I get everything set up OK, does the person on the other end need to be expecting my Skype call in order for me to be able to make the connection?  If my daughter was to Skype me I'd certainly need to know that she was about to do this, since the computer is upstairs in the spare room, in sleep mode when not in use.  I can only imagine that you need to call up the person on the phone first, establish that they're near a Skype-enabled device, before going ahead with a Skype call.

Is there a special charge rate for Skype calls, or should it be covered by my current BT package?  How do I dial out using the computer .. is it a bit like sending an email?

So many questions, I know, but I've been thinking for a while that I'd like to be able to Skype occasionally if it's not too much trouble to set up and doesn't cost too much.  I wonder if there's a beginner's guide to the whole thing somewhere?


Offline Willabong

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Re: Skype ... I've no idea where to start
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 06:56:07 PM »
Never used Skype myself, but I believe it is FREE as are the video calls, go here to download it:   http://www.skype.com/en/

You will also need a Web Camera, if you don't have one, Tesco and Asda sell them.

Install the Web Camera first, the software will be supplied with the Camera. Then install Skype, it should pick up your Web Cam, or allow you to select it.

Make sure your daughter has the same setup, then it is a matter of exchanging e-mail details  (I think), Nick will know for sure!

You will need to know when your daughter is going to call (skype) you, and vice versa.
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Offline Rupert

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Re: Skype ... I've no idea where to start
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 07:17:49 PM »
Thanks Willabong, I knew you'd have most of the answers!

It all looks pretty simple, so now I shall research webcams.  Do they all include a microphone?

Offline Willabong

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Re: Skype ... I've no idea where to start
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 10:53:29 PM »
All the newer ones do, you only have to look on the box details (or online specs) before buying!

Have a look at this one:   http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/peripherals/webcams/vch8-m301l.html
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