Matt Farrington-Smith
21/12/2011 18:36 | By Matt Farrington-Smith, editor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

Make video calls with Windows Live Messenger

See how Windows Live Messenger can really bring your world to life with free HD video calls.

Microsoft have created a brand new, visually impressive short video to show off the latest version of Windows Live Messenger and its HD video chat capabilities.

See how Windows Live Messenger can bring your world to life. Watch the video here

See how Messenger can bring your world to life with video chat. Image Microsoft

A still from the impressive new Messenger video. Watch it here.

Christmas is a great time to spend time with your family - but if you can't get everyone together why not try the next best thing? Make a free HD video call using Windows Live Messenger and you'll not only see your loved ones, you can also hear them too.

With the latest version of Messenger you can enjoy video calls with your friends in glorious HD.

What do I need?

Before you begin, ensure Windows Live Messenger is installed on the PCs you are calling to and from. Additionally a
working webcam is required and should be installed prior to making any calls. Don't have a webcam, get one here.

For an HD video call, both users must have compatible HD webcams, a microphone, speakers or a headset, and high-speed Internet access.

Making a video call in Windows Live Messenger. Image MSN

Making the call

You can start a video call in several ways. From your contact list, right click on your contact and select 'Start a video call'.

If your conversation window is already open, click on the 'Video call' icon towards the bottom of the window.

If all goes well, your video call will begin and you'll be able to see the other person in your conversation window.

Want to go full screen? Click Full screen to expand the video window to fill your screen and take advantage of Messenger's high definition capabilities.

Starting a voice call in Windows Live Messenger. Image MSN

Start a voice call

If you would prefer to have a voice call instead: open a conversation window, click on the arrow next to the 'Video call' icon. Select 'Voice call' from the drop down menu.

Leave a video message

You can leave a video message in the same fashion. From an open conversation window click on the arrow next to the 'Video call' icon. Then from here choose the 'Video message' option. Alternatively, right click on your contact from the contact list and select 'Send a video message'.

Your message can be up to 30 seconds long in length.

You can also start a video chat to Messenger users using Xbox Kinect. Image MSN

Video Kinect on Xbox 360

If you own an Xbox 360 with Kinect you can use this to hold video conversations with your friends on Windows Live Messenger too. Video Kinect uses the Kinect's camera and inbuilt microphone meaning there's no need for additional controllers or headsets.

Chatting through Video Kinect on Xbox LIVE gives you the same full-screen experience as you get using Windows Live Messenger on your PC. The ingenious Windows Live Messenger hook-up means Video Kinect lets you talk to all your friends and family who aren't necessarily on Xbox LIVE.

Any Kinect-enabled Xbox with Xbox LIVE Gold membership can take advantage of video chat. As well as talking with your friends on Windows Live Messenger, you can also chat with other Video Kinect users.

Look for Kinect Chat in the Apps Marketplace. You'll then be able to begin a Kinect Chat session from your video hub.

Watch the brand new Messenger video

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