For years we saw them in cartoons and in science fiction movies. For those of us old enough to remember a world without the internet, cell phones, and other modern technologies that young people take for granted these things are amazing. Video phones are another gadget that are readily available and a part of our lives. IP Video phones are great for personal and business use. They come in all kinds of price ranges and offer many different features. Let's take a look at IP Video Phones and find out exactly what they are and what they offer.

IP Video Phones operate like any normal phone, except they have an LED screen that allows you to view the person you are talking to. Before the video part was added, an IP Phone was like any other phone except instead of having a normal RJ-11 phone connecter; it was equipped with an RJ-45 Ethernet connecter. IP Video Phones operate in the same manner. They simply plug into a modem and your internet connection is used to communicate with the other caller.

Hooking up an IP Video Phone is relatively simple. Using them can be complicated depending on the features that you get with your phone. As we mentioned, they come in all types of price ranges and with different features. Let's take a look at a few and see what's what.

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The Cisco IP Phone 7985G NTSC IP Video Phone seems to be one of the more expensive models. It lists for $2,298 new. Basically it works like any other phone with call forwarding, call waiting, caller ID, and everything else your other phone has, but with a video screen and a camera. This allows instant face to face communication. This model seems to be geared to businesses. Cisco seems to be targeting executives and managers with this phone. You can read all about the specs at www.cisco.com. This phone seems to have every feature known to man.

A more affordable phone is the Polycom VVX 1500 IP Video Phone. This bad boy lists for around $650. This model claims to be extremely easy to use and make video calls as easy as regular phone calls. As with the Cisco phone, this model has touch screen interface. Believe it or not their website is www.polycom.com. This seems to be a good midlevel phone. Like with all products the user reviews are mixed.

Finally we get to the Grandstream GXV-3000 IP Video Phone. This company claims to bring quality and affordability to the IP Video Phone game, and at an asking price of $219 it is off to a good start. While it claims to be a great phone for business, this is probably more along the lines of a phone you can check out the grandkids on. However, check one out and come to your own conclusions at www.grandstream.com.

As the IP video phone market expands and they become more popular technology will obviously come up with new and better phones all the time, like the cell phone industry. Visiting a store and trying the phones out in person is probably a good idea. In the world of these phones it is very necessary to read the owner's manual so that you are taking full advantage of all of your video phone's capabilities.

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