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Everybody Scooch In

Everybody Scooch In
by Gary Woods

Viewing somebody you're chatting with via FaceTime or Skype is about as cool as anything can get. This feature really brings people closer together but usually it's a one on one kind of affair. More than one person can be on camera but it kind of gets to be a shoving match at some point.

But, if you'd like to get several people on camera all at once I found the TelyHD from telylabs which is a Skype enabled, Android-base network device that doesn't require a PC at all. Instead it works with your HDTV's big screen and bundles a web cam with a microphone and speaker for capturing high-definition images of several people seated on a living room sofa.

The TelyHD is a black cylinder roughly the size of a skinny paper towel roll with an adjustable folding bracket for mounting on top of a flat-screen TV. The webcam lens faces front; on the back are an HDMI port for connecting to the HDTV with an included cable; an Ethernet port for connecting to the network; a port for the AC adapter; and a USB port and SD Card slot for handling the unit's image-sharing features.

You control all aspects of the TelyHD using the provided remote control which is about the size of a business card and has standard navigation buttons plus menu and call-hang up buttons.

At $249 it's priced a little below other similar units and since its Skype enabled you can use it even if the party at the other end of the call doesn't have the device. If you use Skype and FaceTime and are looking for a little more robust experience it might be worth it to check out TelyHD.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc