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Chapter 16. Videoconferencing and Intern... > Videoconferencing: Live Meetings wit...

Videoconferencing: Live Meetings with Audio and Video

If you have a personal computer, a PC camera (discussed in Chapter 15, “Webcams”), a microphone, a set of speakers, an Internet connection, and the proper software, you can communicate to other Internet users with real-time sound and picture, just like the futuristic “videophones” that have been prophesized for the last forty years or so. Your PC camera picks up the picture, your microphone picks up your voice, and it’s all sent over the Internet to one or more other users—who see your face on their computer monitors and hear your voice through their PC’s speakers. On your end, you see their pictures on your screen, and hear their voices through your speakers.

This type of arrangement is called a videoconference, and it’s a great way to communicate with other users whom you can’t get together with in person. Large companies have been using expensive, dedicated videoconferencing systems for years to connect remote offices and off-site employees; thanks to the Internet, this same functionality is now available to normal users, at a fraction of the former cost.


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