I recently had a client that wanted to set up a small office with video conferencing capability. The client had informed me that he had used Skype and likes the way that it works.

I had never used Skype in an office environment like this but I thought it was a good idea. I picked up 3 Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 web cams for about $50 each. I then created a free Skype account for each of the users in the office and added each use to all of the others contact list.

The cams have a built in microphone and a small stand to sit on top of a monitor or clip on to the top of a flat panel screen. The resolution on this model is 640 x 480 and it comes with a 1.3 MP camera. The next model up (VX-6000) does have a 5MP camera and is capable of 1.3MP video resolution.

The Skype software is relatively easy for the users to understand. If you get a call you are prompted with a Answer or Answer with video button. To make is call is also very easy you select the user you want to call from your contact list and click call or call with video.

Granted the cameras are not hi-res at all but for a basic video conference in a small office you cant beat the price.

So far they are working ok but you may have to tweak the video setting to get the best picture.

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