video conferencing

Why can't my mom FaceTime me?

Episode 1682

Jim from Tuscon, AZ

Jim's mother in law has an iPad and they use it to Facetime to her with auto answering. But they've been having trouble connecting lately.  It connect intermittently. One new feature of Find My iPhone/iPad is you can see the battery life. Leo suspects that it may be off the wifi network, and as such, your Facetime account wouldn't see it. But it also has LTE. If you can get a nurse to turn off the ipad and then turn it back on, that will reset all the network settings. You need to do that from time to time. Also check that it has the latest updates.

The Internet Will Keep Us Connected During Social Distancing

Social Distancing

Episode 1678

With the Coronavirus outbreak prompting the government to encourage people to practice "social distancing," many companies are letting their employees work from home. Leo says we finally have the bandwidth speeds available to be able to do video conferencing and team applications that can work via telecommuting. Church's are encouraging parishioners to watch services online, and thanks to Google Hangouts, Apple's Facetime and other video chat apps, we can keep in touch with friends and family. So it couldn't be a better time to be facing this.

Is there a better alternative to Skype for podcasting?

Episode 1676

Joe from Toronto, Canada

Joe is a podcaster who is looking for a more reliable alternative to Skype for doing a podcast with multiple guests. Leo says he's tried just about everything, and Skype really is the best, mostly because of their audio codec, which minimizes latency and sounds really good. Having good bandwidth on both ends is key. Good mics also helps. And make sure that you do nothing else on that computer. Have a dedicated Skype computer for that purpose. Also, reboot your computer and turn everything off. Make sure no one in the house is using the Internet either. 

What's a good device to video conference with my mom?

Facebook Portal

Episode 1549

Steve from Palos Verdes, CA

Steve's elderly mother wants to keep in touch. What's a good device that he can get her so they can FaceTime or video conference that's really easy? Leo says that Facebook has a really good solution called Facebook Portal. It's really great and is a dedicated video device. Amazon also has one called the Amazon Echo Show. Google's is called the Google Home Hub, but it doesn't have a camera.

Should I upgrade my TV for the XBox One S?

Xbox One S

Episode 1328

James from Redlands, CA

James has an older 1080p HDTV and wonders if he should upgrade it if he buys the XBox One S. Scott says not really. If his TV is 1080p at 120 hz, that's a nice TV. Scott believes that the XBox One S just upscales to 4K, and doesn't show native 4K. It can play true 4K Blu-ray, though. So it depends on how badly he wants to watch 4K. If he does, then he should upgrade it all. If not, then there's no point.

How can I control Skype's video settings?

Cisco Precision HD

Episode 1080

Thomas from Zurich, Switzerland

Thomas uses Skype a lot and it drives him nuts that the video will suddenly go into widescreen, and the audio degrades in quality. Leo says that's by design as Skype will see how much bandwidth he has and then adjust the video accordingly, even if it degrades the audio. Leo says he can get a program called WebCam Settings in the Mac App Store which will give him more control. It's about $8. But it may not overrule Skype.

How can I build a virtual "Skypeasaurus"?

Episode 1022

Svera from Oslo, Norway

Svera took Leo's advice to use a cheap HD video camera for his online TV channel. He's envious about the infamous Skypeasaurus. Can he create a virtual one? He's looking at using Google Hangouts, but it's difficult to get people using Google Plus. Leo says that Google Hangouts are a great solution for just starting out because it saves to YouTube automatically. Hangouts uses WebRTC on the backend, and Leo's considering using WebRTC for TWiT.