How to Make a Mac-to-PC Conference Call Using Webcam

By Ty Arthur

  • Overview

    Videoconferencing over the Internet is an increasingly popular -- and cheap -- solution for people who need to communicate over large distances. It's perfect for those people who always want to have a visual component to interactions. Almost all free instant messaging software includes a videoconferencing option, but you will need to go through a few extra steps to get it working between a PC and Mac.
    How to Make a Mac-to-PC Conference Call Using Webcam
    • Step 1

      Remove your Web cam from its packaging and follow the included instructions for setting it up and installing any associated software that came with it. Check with the person using a PC to make sure a Web cam is properly installed.
    • Step 2

      Download a messaging program with videoconferencing capabilities that is compatible with both PC and Mac computers such as Yahoo Instant Messenger.

    • Step 3

      Perform a check to ensure that your Web cam is compatible with the instant messaging program. Use a software program such as "BenSoftware BTV" that will run a diagnostic on your Web cam and determine if it will work properly with Yahoo messenger.
    • Step 4

      Open the instant messaging program and add the person who is using the PC to your friend's list. Start the messaging program's videoconferencing feature, which is normally done by clicking on "File" and then "New Conference."
    • Step 5

      Choose the PC user from your friend's list to initiate the conference. Look directly into the Web cam and speak so that the PC user can see and hear you.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Tip: Check the compatibility of a Web cam before making a purchase to make sure that it will connect to your Mac's Firewire or USB port as many will only work with one or the other but not both.
    • Warning:
    • While the most recent versions of both MSN Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger are compatible with Mac computers, they cannot be used for videoconferencing on a Mac.

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