Attorneys looking for ways to reduce the cost of taking or attending remote depositions are turning to Skype and learning the strengths of this long-established video chat application.
What is Skype?
Skype is a free downloadable software application that enables users to make voice calls, video chat and share documents in a multiuser environment, making remote depositions suddenly become an affordable alternative to video conference and telephone conference depositions.
Taylor Court Reporting Kentucky, with court reporting offices in Louisville, Kentucky and Lexington, Kentucky has seen an increase in the number of requests for Skype depositions. Our experience with Skype over the past few years leads us to believe that since Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype in 2011, attorneys are increasingly embracing Skype as a cost-effective way to take and attend remote depositions, thereby avoiding the high cost of travel and negating the need for video conferencing which can run into hundreds of dollars an hour.
A brief history of Skype
Skype was first released in August of 2003. eBay acquired Skype from its developers in September 2005. In 2009 eBay subsequently sold 65% of Skype to American private equity firm, Silver Lake and its partners. Finally in May of 2011 industry-leading software giant Microsoft, who remains its current owner, bought Skype for $8.5 billion.
Why attorneys turn to Skype for remote depositions
1. Price – Skype beats its competition hands down. Skype-to-Skype video calls are free, while Skype-to-mobile and Skype-to-landline pay-as-you-go rates start at just a penny a minute.
2. Travel costs – avoid the high cost of airline tickets, hotel, meals, and cab fares.
3. Eliminates downtime – Deposition prep time is key to getting the most out of any deposition. With Skype you can prepare for your deposition in the comfort of your own office right up to the very last minute.
4. Interaction – With the ability to not only hear, but also see the witness, attorneys can gauge reaction and demeanor while questioning the witness.
5. Document exchange – With the click of your mouse, you can securely exchange and share documents and photos.
6. Security – All Skype-to-Skype voice, video, file transfers and instant messages are encrypted. This protects you from potential eavesdropping by malicious users.
Want to get started?
If you think Skype may be right for your next remote deposition, here’s what you’ll need:
1. Go to Skype.com and download the latest version for your device.
2. Internet connection – broadband is best.
3. Computer or mobile phone with built-in speaker and microphone (external headset with microphone will also work).
4. A webcam or computer-enabled or device-enabled camera to make video calls
5. Check System Requirements for Skype to make certain your system or device is compatible.
6. Everyone on group video calls will need Skype 5.0 for Windows or Mac, or higher, plus webcams.
7. For best quality Skype recommends you use a high-speed broadband connection of 4Mbps down/512kbps up and a computer with a Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz processor. As a minimum you’ll need a high-speed broad connection of 512kbps down /128kbps up and a computer with a 1 GHz processor.
Here’s how to make a group video call (Skype for modern Windows)
With Skype you can enjoy group video calls with up to 10 people (including yourself), anywhere in the world.
Although mobile device users cannot initiate a group video call, they can join it.
To set up a group:
- Start Skype.
2. Tap or click the Group icon at the top-left of the screen.
3. Select the contacts you want to have in your group instant message.
4. As you add contacts to the group chat, they’ll appear at the bottom of the screen. When you’ve added everyone you want, click add.
5. Click the video call button.
Having problems with the video on your group call? Your camera might not be working properly with Skype, but don’t worry; this guide can help you sort it out.
If your camera is working properly, check this guide to make sure your camera, microphone, and speakers are properly set up.