Working remotely involves many day-to-day chores, from meeting deadlines to holding a video conference with clients. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people are depending highly on remote work as the offices are closed for extra health precautions.
The majority of organizations have asked employees to work from home to avoid the contagious disease. Most people are spending time at home to work and deliver projects before a given deadline. However, at times the need for video calls and conferences is compulsory. Without having the right tools and gadgets, it is impossible to have seamless and smooth video calls.
Not only gadgets and tools but also high-speed internet is required to conduct video conferences without having glitches and delays. Before investing in gadgets, make sure to opt for high-speed internet. You can simply subscribe to Spectrum plans that offer speeds up to 940 Mbps along with Voice service and Cable TV. It will not only benefit you but also keep your kids busy watching cartoons and kids’ shows on cable TV.
Now let us move on to some of the useful gadgets for making great video calls. Without further delay, let’s get started.
Tips for Making Video Calls Better
HELLO is undoubtedly the most powerful and reliable end-to-end encrypted communication device. Making online calls has never been easier without HELLO. The device comes with a bunch of features including wireless screen sharing, motion sensor security surveillance, live broadcasting, and much more. In the coming days, we will see additional support for Cisco WebEx, Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facebook Messenger.
HELLO works as an extension of a rich Solaborate platform designed for remoting working teams and individuals looking forward to high quality, feature-rich, and ease of use experiences. The device is integrated with a 4K video sensor, quad-core processor, and microphones. All of these integrations help in delivering clarity in voice and video, no matter how many numbers of persons are present in the room. HELLO also comes with a built-in accelerometer and tilting lens to make it easy for users to set up on any TV and ensure the highest quality image.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
When working remotely especially from home, you might be interrupted by the outside noises. And if you have kids, these devils might ruin your peace. The best option is to look for noise-canceling headphones that you can find online on Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy.
Noise-canceling headphones come at various qualities, features, and prices. Select the one that is wireless, portable, and guarantees good voice quality. If you are a gamer, you can invest in a bit more for better headphones to enjoy gaming.
Most of the laptops come with built-in webcam, which may or may not be good enough for video quality. Most of them are not more than 2MP. If you are not satisfied with the quality of the video, make sure to get a webcam for a high-quality picture, brightness, and autofocus.
Logitech and A4Tech are some of the leading manufacturers of good quality webcams. Before you buy a webcam, make sure to go through the features and read reviews online to get a better idea of which one suits you.
Purchasing an external microphone can greatly benefit you when making video calls. If you make YouTube videos or provide voiceover services, an external microphone is surely going to pay you back. The external microphone will offer great clarity in a voice as well as reduce noise.
Better Router or Mesh Device
We have mentioned before the importance of high-speed and reliable internet for video and audio clarity when making video calls. If the internet connection is slow and unstable, the video call may drop or freeze. Such an annoying experience when you are in the middle of important meetings.
The best way to improve video call is to invest in a Wi-Fi router that offers greater coverage and support any internet connection including Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum. If you have not replaced your router for the last four years, we recommend you to buy a router from manufacturers like Asus, TP-Link, Netgear or Linksys.
These routers not only are great for video conferencing but also allow you to stream movies, play online games, and download large files without losing signals. The replacement of the router will also ensure that your kids can have classes online without any glitches or interruptions.
Desk Lamp for Better Lighting
The desk lamp does not only make your office look better, but also improve lighting in the room to reduce strain on your eyes while reading books or staring at a screen. Just as a photographer ensures the best lighting to capture great photos, you have to buy an adjustable table lamp to improve video quality. Especially, if you live away from your family, they might not like to see your face that is dark and not easily recognizable.
While making video calls, make sure to place your lamp behind your laptop. Also, place a sheet of white paper on the table to ensure that light bounce nicely. If you are working remotely and often busy on a video call, make sure to find an adjustable lamp rather than fixed ones. Try different positions to adjust the settings for better video quality.
If you have purchased all of the above gadgets, make sure to take a look at some of the tips to improve your video conferencing.
Tips to Improve Video Conferencing
Look for a Better Background
For better video conferencing, you not only need to have state of the art equipment but also consider the background and environment. Find out a better spot in your home to ensure better video calls. The background should be free of clutter or anything that would hurt the eyes. Normally, blue and black backgrounds are more suitable for video calls. Remove all the clutter in the surroundings and place a sheet of plain chart or canvas with blue or black color. Even if you are making video calls in your bedroom, a plain background will look more professional.
If you can’t find an appropriate place in your home, you can simply use the Zoom app’s background changing feature. The background image is changed using artificial intelligence after analyzing your face and environment. But make sure if you are using this feature, you need to have appropriate lighting that allows others to see you.
Lighting Plays an Important Factor
Whether you are making a formal or informal video call, lighting plays an important role. If you want to present yourself clearly to others, make sure to avoid any place where light is behind you. It will reduce the video quality and may look blurry, dark, and cluttered.
If you can manage, make sure to use extra light such as a table lamp for a clear video picture. The majority of webcams are now integrated with LED light for a clear and vivid picture when holding a video call. Place the light behind the camera that should be pointed towards your face so that camera can capture you better.
Use a High-Quality Webcam
We have mentioned earlier the use of the better webcam for clear, vivid, and crisp video calls. Most of the laptops come with built-in webcams that might not be good enough to present a crisp and clear picture. If that is the case, you can surely invest in buying a new one. Some of the best webcam manufacturers include A4tech and Logitech. Do some research, read expert reviews, and buy one for better video conferencing.
Use a Selfie Stick for Video Stability
Video conferencing can be done on laptops or smartphones. As far as laptops are concerned, the stability of the camera is for sure. However, if you are using a smartphone, you might shake the camera often without knowing how irritating it is for others. If you want to avoid such a situation, buy a selfie stick so that the camera does not wobble. A tripod stand can also help you keep your smartphone camera still. If a selfie stick or tripod stand isn’t available, you can find anything that can stabilize the video. For instance, placing books behind the phone or a coffee mug is a good idea.
Video Conferencing without Lags
The most important part of video calls is to have stable and high-speed internet. Imagine in the middle of a video call, the streaming starts to buffer or the other side complains about voice distortion or video lags – you can’t fix it without high-speed internet even if you have purchased state of the art equipment. Working remotely requires you to have calls with clients to present them what you have done so far or vice versa. Don’t lose your client by saving a few bucks on the internet services. Opt for as high as 100Mbps or larger.
Working remotely part-time or full time will require you to invest in the aforementioned equipment. Have great calls with your clients and loves ones by investing a little more money for better quality.