Květen 2013

4 Ways to Set up a Mic for Xbox

22. května 2013 v 18:21

No Unified Communications solution is complete without IM/Presence. Not only is IM a highly useful means of communication, but it presence information is very helpful for real time communications. Presence means the green contacts or buddies are online right now and have nothing better to do than respond to my whims (email, calls, chats, etc.). I use two IM/Presence networks - they are both fairly similar in functionality - but I have different contacts in each.

Google Chat is by default easy to use with other Gmail users, but you actually can use it for AIM/iChat users, and for free SMS text messaging as well. For users that install a video plugin, Google Chat also supports one to one video-calling. I use Google Chat daily with people Google Chat is a browser based service, so no additional software is needed, but video conferencing does require an add-on. All the services are free.

Skype is an service and software client that provides free Skype to Skype IM, Presence, voice and video calling worldwide. Skype is amazingly useful for both IM and calling - particularly if you communicate regularly across borders. Few realize it, but Skype is the world's largest carrier in terms of active subscribers, but isn't recognized as one since it is so non traditional (namely free). Skype is undergoing some major changes and expansion - you can now buy Skype phones and One of the buzzwords in Unified Communications is "Telepresence" which is the expensive version of videoconferencing. Telepresence has come to mean many things, but generally expensive. The basic concept is it is more immersive with HD life-size video screens, etc. Desktop Telepresence is an even looser definition, but generally means HD quality video. Freetalk recently released a low cost ($49) webcam that provides HD desktop telepresence! This is amazing to me, free HD video calling worldwide. The camera can also be used as a webcam, but HD capabilities require Skype. Video calls are generally limited to other Skype users, but there are products that provide gateways into corporate systems.

"Skype Out" allows Skype users to call any number for a small prepaid price/minute. The rates just became more reasonable and flexible. There is a new month-to-month package for as low as $1.09/month and a penny per calling minute. "Skype In" is also a per minute charged service that provides a regular phone number non Skype users can dial. Skype also just released a new group video calling capability with up to five simultaneous video steams. This is currently a free service on PC based systems, but "multipoint" video calls are planned to become a premium service ($) from Skype. Skype and Google both offer collaboration tools to be covered in an upcoming post.

I also recommend the Freetalk Everyman headset. I use this on my older laptop when I travel. The headset is light, hard to break, and wide-band. It's a USB headset, but can also has a regular stereo (3.5 mm) jack for music. A wireless model is also available that comes with a proprietary USB wireless dongle.

At home I use the Plantronics SAVI headset WO100 (about $300). This is a DECT headset (read super clear and long range), but what makes it particularly clever is it connects to both the computer and the phone. So I can use the same headset between Skype and regular phone calls without any hassle. I also use it to listen to audio when speakers are not appropriate. To make this work best, you need a phone that has an "Electronic Hook Switch" or EHS. This is an obvious, but hard to find feature on desktop phones. It means that the headset can be used without lifting the handset. I really dislike sol republic mechanical handset lifters. You might think it isn't a big deal to lift the handset, but the beauty of a DECT headset is its range. It means I can be in another room/floor in the house and answer my phone. EHS solutions are complex - in my case, I am using a Polycom Soundpoint IP550 phone so the WO100 requires a special connector from Plantronics called the APP-50 EHS cable. Different phones supporting EHS have different cables. (more on the phone in part 3).

Lastly sol republic tracks hd on headsets, I also recommend Plantronics headsets for Bluetooth cell phones (and/or laptops). I use the Discovery 975, but I actually like the Voyager Pro a little better. The Discovery comes with a brilliant case that performs two functions; protection (hard case) in my computer bag (I've broken several headsets) and it has a secondary battery that charges the headset when its in the case. When I am not traveling, I keep the case in my car plugged into the charger - my case and headset are always charged and ready for use. Both of these headsets deliver excellent sound quality.

PS3 Official Wireless Bluetooth Headset