Picture this; you’re on a Skype call with your soon-to-be client. Of course, you want to impress, so there’s no room for mistakes. But, out of nowhere, the video starts to get choppy. The voice isn’t clear anymore. In fact, it’s full of echoes and cutouts. Even more depressing, you can barely see your potential client on the other end. Arrgh! It’s frustrating! Even then, you don’t have to lose your client. These simple fixes will get you sorted, fast.
Use the Latest Skype Version
Sometimes, all it takes to improve your Skype call is to update to the latest version. And, it’s super easy to tell if you’re using an old version. Simply click on the “About Skype” tab to see which version you’re using and if it requires an update. If it does, click on the “Check for Updates” tab. The person on the other end should do the same as well.
Get a Pair of Good Headphones
One of the reasons you hear echoes is because the party on the opposite end has their speakers at full volume. Sure, you can tell them to reduce the volume, but you’re better if wearing headphones. And, it doesn’t have to be a pair of expensive headsets. Earbuds are equally good.
Note – the person you’re talking to needs to wear headphones is he/she is the one experiencing the echo. It works both ways.
Don’t Download When on Skype
Avoid downloading big size files such as movies or music when you’re on Skype. Doing so harms not only your connection speeds but also distorts the quality of your calls. On top of that, be sure to close any running programs you think might slow down your connection.
Get a HD Camera
This is a no-brainer, right? You cannot expect to get high-quality HD videos if you’re using a cheap camera. In fact, a HD camera could very well be your surest bet to smooth and clear Skype calls. If you’re using the latest smartphone, chances are it has a HD camera already so there’s nothing much you can do to upgrade. However, if the quality of your calls is poor on mobile devices, consider using the back-facing camera. Note – most smartphones use high-quality hardware for back cameras.
If you’re using a computer webcam, make sure that you’ve installed the right device drivers. Also, keep updating the drivers once in a while to maximize your camera’s HD capacity.
Be in the Best Possible Environment
Your surroundings matter when making a Skye call. The lighting, for instance, can make a big difference. So, place a lamp right behind your computer pointing toward you. Reduce the light behind you too. If you’re using a laptop, ensure that the camera is at the same level as your eyes. The idea is to make sure that the person on the other end can see you clearly.
Choose a quiet place. That way, you will reduce any background noises that can harm the quality of your calls. Also, consider wearing bright colors such as pink or yellow, especially if your camera doesn’t offer high resolution. Don’t forget to ensure that your background is stationary.
Tweak Your Webcam’s Video Settings
Most webcams available on the market today will allow you to adjust the brightness, mic volume and contrast. You can access the settings menu by clicking on Tools > Options > Video Settings. You will then drag the video settings window and place it next to the Skype’s Options window, enabling you to preview your video.
After that, tweak the brightness, white balance, and exposure to improve the quality of your video. Adjusting your webcam’s video settings is an excellent option when you’re outdoors or in an area where you don’t have much control over aspects such as lighting.
Use Wired Connection
Sure, you can use Wi-Fi to make Skype calls but you are likely to experience lag and interference, making your audio and video choppy. Wired connection, on the other hand, is less likely to cause signal problems, allow you to make smooth and uninterrupted calls.
Utilize Your Router’s Quality of Service
Set up the Quality of Service (QoS) on your router if you have it. By doing this, you will be shutting down online video games, BitTorrent or any other programs running in the background that may slow your connection. More specifically, activating QoS directs bandwidth to your calls. Think of it as a way to help you shutdown programs automatically.
Make a Mock Call
At times, one of the easiest ways to gauge the quality of your Skype calls is to run a test call. Essentially, this means that you will be able to resolve any problems before making your calls to prevent any disturbances and interference.
Turn Off Notifications
Okay, notifications may not necessarily affect the quality of your Skype calls. However, they can create unnecessary distractions during calls. You may, therefore, consider turning them off and only allow notifications for specific keywords.
Create a Group Chat Password
The number of people in a group chat can affect the quality of Skype calls. But, you can limit participation by setting up a group chat password. That way, you can have control over who joins the conversation and who doesn’t. Also, consider screen sharing when chatting with a group of people to allow you to see them all at once.
Other ways to improve Skype calls include dragging files into the chat box during a conversation, using a call plugin and getting a personal caller ID. And, if you’re a little bit more “hacky” you can increase your Skype’s frame per second to get smooth and high-resolution videos.
Enhancing the quality of your Skype calls takes more than investing in a new webcam and subscribing to faster internet. The tips shared above will go a long way in ensuring that you get the best quality possible for your Skype calls. And the beauty of it is that you don’t need to a lot of skills to execute them.