Video Chats

If you and your partner both have broadband Internet connections, even more impressive feats await. You can conduct a free video chat with up to four people, who show up on three vertical panels, gorgeously reflected on a shiny black table surface. This isn’t the jerky, out-of-audio-sync, Triscuit-sized video of days gone by. If you’ve got the Mac muscle and bandwidth, your partners are as crisp, clear, bright, and smooth as television—and as big as your screen, if you like.

People can come and go; as they enter and leave the “videosphere,” iChat slides their glistening screens aside, enlarging or shrinking them as necessary to fit on your screen.

Equipment Requirements

Everyone in a video chat has to be on the same service ( or Jabber), and everyone needs pretty high-horsepower computers and Internet connections.


For better audio quality during your video calls—both hearing and broadcasting—wear a headset. For example, you can pair a wireless Bluetooth headset with your Mac in iChat→Preferences→Audio/Video→Set Up Bluetooth Headset. This fires up the Mac’s Bluetooth Setup Assistant program to guide you through the process.

After you get your Bluetooth headset married to your Mac, go to →System Preferences→Output and select your headset in the list.

For example, your Mac needs a video camera (like the one that came built in), a camcorder, or a FireWire version of ...

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