How to Get a Camcorder to Work With Skype


Even if you don’t have a webcam, you can use your camcorder and Skype’s video capability to see, as well as hear, those you’re in contact with and add a visual dimension to your communication.

Things You'll Need

  • Desktop or laptop computer
  • Internet access
  • Skype software installed on your computer
  • Camcorder
  • Firewire cable (if needed)
  • Video/USB adaptor (if needed)
  • Composite video cable to connect camera video output to the Video/USB adaptor (if needed)

Connect Your Camcorder

  • Check your camcorder’s video output and your computer’s input ports for Firewire capability. Connect the Firewire cable to the camcorder if it has Firewire video output and your computer has a Firewire input port. Connect the other end of the Firewire cable to the computer’s Firewire port.

  • Install the software that was supplied with the Video/USB adaptor on the computer if you’re using it with Composite Video output from your camcorder. Connect the Composite Video cable to your camera. Connect the other end of the Composite Video cable to the video input on the Video/USB adaptor. Connect the USB plug of the Video/USB adaptor to a USB port on the computer.

  • Power on the camcorder. Launch the software program you installed for the Video/USB converter. Watch for video from the camcorder. If you don’t see it, check your connections.

  • Launch the Skype program. On the Skype toolbar at the top, click on “Tools.” Click on “Options,” then click on “Video Settings” on lefthand sidebar. Be sure the “Enable Skype Video” box is checked. Open “Select Webcam” menu box. Choose “Default video device” if using the Firewire connection. Choose “USB device” if using the Video/USB adaptor. You should see video from the camera in the video window on the right side of the “Video Settings” box.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the “Start my video automatically…” box on the Skype video control panel if you want your camcorder video to start when you originate or answer a Skype call.

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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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