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FaceTime for Mac: About HD video calling

FaceTime for Mac supports video calling in high definition (HD) with Macs that include a built-in FaceTime HD camera. In addition, many existing Macs can receive an HD video call while sending standard definition video.

Sending call video in HD

Macs with a built-in FaceTime HD camera are capable of sending call video in HD:

  • iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011)
  • iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011)

Sending HD video requires a minimum upload bandwidth of 1 Mbps.

Note: Other Macs with FaceTime for Mac and Mac OS X v10.6.6 and later can send a call with standard definition video. For more information, view Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard technical specifications.
 

Receiving a HD video call

These Macs are capable of viewing an HD call with FaceTime for Mac and Mac OS X v10.6.6 and later:

  • iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011)
  • iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Early 2008), or newer, with a 2.4 GHz or better processor
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch and 17-inch, Early 2008), or newer, with a 2.4 GHz or better processor
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010), or newer, with a 2.53 GHz or better processor
  • iMac (20-inch and 24-inch, Early 2008), or newer, with a 2.4 GHz or better processor
  • iMac (21.5-inch and 27-inch, Late 2009), or newer, with a 3.06 GHz or better processor
  • Mac Pro (all models), with a compatible video camera
  • Mac mini (Early 2009) or newer, with a 2.26 GHz or better processor and a compatible video camera

Receiving HD video requires a minimum download bandwidth of 1 Mbps.

Example: You are using a MacBook (13-inch, Early 2008) with FaceTime for Mac to call a friend who is using a MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011). Your MacBook (13-inch, Early 2008) will receive HD video from the MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011), and your friend's MacBook Pro will receive standard definition video from your MacBook.
 

Receiving a standard definition video call

Macs with Mac OS X v10.6.6 or later that were produced before those referenced in the sections above can use FaceTime for Mac. Calls will be sent and received using standard (non-HD) video.

If either Mac on a call can only send and receive standard video, then both Macs will only send and receive standard video.

Additional Information

For more information about FaceTime and its system requirements, click here. For support resources for FaceTime, click here.

Last Modified: Aug 9, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Aug 9, 2013
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