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What to do with a Vialta Beamer video phone? Answered

So years ago before broadband internet, Skype, and video conferencing for free, there was a thing called a Beamer video phone which used your landline telephone line to do video conferencing between 2 people.

So my mom bought 2 of them, mailed me one, and we tried to do video conferencing between PA and FL, and needless to say, it was terrible.  Video was choppy, etc, everything you would expect for video trying to go over a landline phone circuit. 

I would sell it on eBay, but it doesn't look like anyone is buying it, so rather than have it take up any more shelf space, I'm trying to figure out what else I can do with it.  I haven't taken it apart yet, but it looks like a 3" LCD screen with a little web camera on it and a microphone, and some kind of circuit board.  The housing is actually very pretty (see picture) with it's glass outside.

So what can I do with this thing?  Can I build some type of open source wi-fi video conference station using skype?  Or some type of in-home intercom system with video?

The possibilities are seemingly endless, any suggestions are welcomed!!



4 years ago

Why not use some free and practical video conferencing software like EZTalks video conferencing software. It is totally free that you can talk with 2 people at the same time with HD video, file sharing, screen sharing, remote support, message chat, whiteboard etc.


7 years ago

If you do ever figure out what to do with 'em, let me know... we've got a set of three. Is there anything more depressing than the depreciation on brand new technology? Sigh...


Reply 7 years ago

it was the original skype! Anyway, my 8 year old son lives in the 3rd story loft room of our house, I am planning on putting one up in his room and the other in the kitchen so I can call him down for dinner without yelling. That's the best idea yet, hat tip to Kiteman.

If it works, I'll make an instrutable out of the project.


8 years ago

Get your mom to mail you the other one as well, and you can make a video door intercom for no more than the cost of a bit of wiring.