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Sure, they had a robot maid and a flying car, but that seemed like pure fantasy. The Jetsons’ ubiquitous video-calling, on the other hand, always fascinated me as a kid, even if Mr. Spacely was kind of a jerk. TelyHD brings that kind of futuristic Skype calling to your TV screen, no computer—or Napoleonic boss—required.
Setting up telyHD is so simple that your grandma can do it. Plug the camera into AC power, connect it to an HDMI port on your TV, and you’re all set. TelyHD connects to your home network with Wi-Fi or Ethernet, and it works with your existing Skype account, so you can chat with other users on computers, tablets, phones, or other telyHD units for free. There’s no keyboard, so logging in for the first time requires lots of tapping on the included remote, but that’s the hardest part.
Using telyHD to make and receive calls is simple. Flip through the card interface to pick a contact, and press Select to make a call. The 720p camera captures clear HD video, and Tely offers a couple of settings to help with low-light and backlit situations. The wide-angle lens is great for capturing the whole family, but you can also zoom in to show off details, or crop out that two-foot pile of old newspapers next to your sofa.
In addition to video chat, you can view photos from an SD card, and share them between two telyHD units. Users can also leave video messages for each other. Both features are secondary to Skype calling, but they’re a nice bonus if your contacts also have a telyHD. Of course, at 250 bucks, the Tely is expensive for a Skype cam. But it’s an ideal solution in offices, or for faraway relatives who don’t have (or don’t want) a laptop or iOS device.
The bottom line. If Skyping from your computer feels too formal, try it from the couch. And if Mr. Spacely calls, you don’t have to answer.
HDTV with free HDMI port, Wi-fi network or Ethernet port, free Skype account.
Easy to set up. No additional fees. Perfect for relatives who don't want or need a computer. Digital zoom lets you focus on what's important--and hides your messy living room.
It's still Skype, so expect intermittent issues. Expensive for a webcam. Not much control over video quality.