21.9. Video Chats

. Video Chats If you and your partner both have broadband Internet connections, even more impressive feats await. You can conduct a free video chat with up to four people | . Video Chats If you and your partner both have broadband Internet connections even more impressive feats await. You can conduct a free video chat with up to four people who show up on three vertical panels gorgeously reflected on a shiny black table surface. This isn t the jerky out-of-audio-sync Triscuit-sized video of Windows videoconferencing. If you ve got the Mac muscle and bandwidth your partners are as crisp clear bright and smooth as television and as big as your screen if you like. People can come and go as they enter and leave the videosphere iChat slides their glistening screens aside enlarging or shrinking them as necessary to fit on your screen. Apple offers this luxurious experience however only if you have luxurious gear A video camera. It can be the tiny iSight camera that s embedded above the screens of iMacs and laptops an external FireWire iSight camera an ordinary digital camcorder as long as your Mac has at least a G5 chip inside or a golf-ball Webcam that connects via FireWire instead of USB. Tip You and your buddy don t both need the same gear. If only you have a camera for example you can choose Buddies Invite to One-Way Video Chat or Audio Chat . Your less-equipped buddy can see you but has to speak audio only or type in response. A fast processor. This is miserably picky information but confronting it now will save you many headaches down the road If your Mac has a 867-megahertz G4 processor or anything faster you can have one-on-one video chats. To pull off a multiperson video chat the Mac that initiates the call invites everyone else to join must contain a G5 processor or dual G4s running at 1 gigahertz or faster. If you want to join a multiperson video chat you need an Intel G5 chip a 1-gigahertz G4 chip or dual 800-megahertz G4s. Bandwidth. You need Internet upload download speeds of at least 100 kilobits per second for basic tiny video chats with one other person and a minimum of 384 Kbps for four-way video chats. And those are .

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