How to Set Up Your Computer for Video Teleconferencing
This program allows you to take part in the NYUCI telehealth program for families from the comfort of your home. Here is what you need to know to get started. . It is also helpful to go through the online tutorials and frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the site from which you download your videoconferencing program. Popular programs include VSee, Skype and Jabber.
· Computer: Ideally, you will have a computer purchased within the past few years that is running an up-to-date operating system—e.g., Windows 7 or 8, OS X Mavericks for Mac. It’s likely that you can still connect with an older computer, but your connection may be affected.
- Microphone and Web Camera: For videoconferencing, you will also need a microphone and video camera (also called a webcam). The latest Mac computers and many PCs come with a microphone already installed. Search on your computer to see if you have this equipment installed. If not, or if you prefer a combination webcam and microphone that is easy to use and can be mounted on your monitor or laptop, you can purchase a reasonably priced unit that does the job. Here are examples from Amazon (Note: we cannot recommend any particular products): http://amzn.to/1diB5Bw
High-Speed Internet: Be sure you connect to the Internet via a cable modem, DSL, Fios or other broadband connection. Faster connections generally provide high quality video and audio. You cannot participate in videoconferencing using a dial-up connection.
· Download and install the videoconferencing program: This can often be the most intimidating part of getting ready for videoconferencing, but the companies that provide the software do try to make it as easy as possible for you. You will probably have to create an account first, then download the software that is appropriate for your operating system.
Once you have downloaded the program (usually be double clicking on the installation file on a PC or dragging to the arrow on a Mac), you will be ready to set it up. These days, installation is usually “plug and play,” meaning that the program will be installed on your computer and then is pretty much ready to go. If you have problems installing, call our technical support line at 952-928-7722.
· Check sound and video: During or immediately after installation, you will be given an opportunity to test the sound level of your microphone and whether or not the camera is working with the program. Most programs are “smart” enough to locate your camera and microphone; if you have purchased an external microphone and webcam, you will be asked to “select it” by clicking on its name (normally, the brand name, such as LogiTech). Adjust the volume so you are comfortable. Move the webcam around until you see yourself in the small video box.
· Connect to others: Depending on the videoconferencing program you use, you can either search for the name of the person you want to connect with and “add” that person to your contacts, or you will be given the option to “invite” the person to connect with you, using their screen name or email address. For the NYUCI, the counselor normally is the “host” for the videoconferencing call and should ensure that everyone is connected.
· Recheck sound and video once you are connected: Once you are all connected, recheck the sound volume by asking if others can hear you, and position your webcam so that you can see everyone who is participating.
Do a test call: Counselors should arrange to do a test call before the first session to ensure that everyone can connect easily. Our customer service department is available to help, if needed, by calling 952-928-7722.
· Have a backup plan: If you have technical problems during your session that can’t be resolved promptly, you may want to switch to a conference call for the remainder of the session. You can receive your own toll-free 800 teleconferencing number by visiting www.freeconferencecall.com and filling signing up for a free account.