Video relay

How it works

image of video relay call flow diagram

View demo

Step-by-step

The service uses Skype – free software for video calling from the internet.

If you are not already a Skype user:

  • download the latest version of Skype – it’s free, and
  • sign up with Skype and create your own Skype contact name.

Once you have a Skype account search the Skype directory (under ‘Add contacts’) for nrs.videorelay and add these seven contacts:

  1. To start a call open Skype. See if any of the NRS contacts that you have added are online and available.
    Select one that is online and click ‘Video call’.
  2. However, if a contact name has a red ‘do not disturb’ bubble beside it that means that relay officer is busy with other calls.
    Online Do Not Disturb
    Away Offline
    Other contact names may have an empty green ‘offline’ bubble beside them. This means there is no relay officer at that workstation at the moment.
    If all the other NRS contact names are showing busy or offline, contact nrs.videorelay call-back and a relay officer will call you when free. Keep your Skype status ‘online‘ so the relay office can contact you.
  3. When connected, give the relay officer the number you want to call. The relay officer will then ring the hearing person and relay the call.
  4. The relay officer will talk with you in Auslan and with the other person in English.

Equipment

Pic of video relay user in cafe

You will need:

  • a PC with a processor faster than 1GHz, at least 256 Megabytes of RAM and at least 200 megabytes of free disk space; or a Mac with a processor faster than 1GHz and at least 1 Gigabyte of RAM.
  • an HD (high-definition) webcam - in tech speak that's 1280 x 720 pixel resolution at up to 30 frames a second.
  • A Skype account and user name – just download Skype from the internet and open an account – it’s all free
  • a good-quality broadband connection – either ADSL2+ or high-speed cable broadband with recommended speeds for both download and upload of at least 1.5 Megabits per second.

Note that broadband speeds can vary depending on a range of environmental and technical factors such as connection type, distance from the exchange (in the case of ADSL) and the number of people using the same connection. Go to this page to test if your connection is fast enough to make a video relay call.

You can also use a smartphone with a good camera and a good internet connection.

Video relay allows culturally Deaf people to use their own language - Auslan ((Australian Sign Language) - to make a call to a hearing person.

Service hours

Video relay is available 7am to 6pm (AEST time) Monday to Friday except for national public holidays. See service hours in different parts of Australia.

Using the NRS app

Video relay calls can also be made using the NRS app. While there is no extra functionality in using the app, as you will still need to make the call through Skype, you can switch easily to other all options such as internet relay if video relay calls are not available at the time. 

What will it cost?

Calls are free. You will be connecting to the internet and thus using broadband data. How you are charged for this data will depend on the plan you have with your internet service provider. In most cases data is part of a monthly cap. Bear in mind that video calls use quite a lot of data, so check your plan.

More info

See our video relay FAQs and tips for making video relay calls.

See our Auslan step-by-step guide to video relay calls.

See the step-by-step tab here if you want to call a video relay user.

See our video relay factsheet.

See our NRS app factsheet.

Make a call and give us some feedback about what you think of video relay.

Make an internet relay call Make a captioned relay call

24-hour relay call numbers

  • TTY/voice calls

    133 677

  • Speak & Listen

    1300 555 727

  • SMS relay

    0423 677 767

Make other relay calls
– all the numbers you need
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