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See No Evil, Hear No Evil – Tips for Audio and Video Quality

As this is my first post of 2013, let me wish you all the best for the year ahead. 2012 was an exciting year here at Skype and we’re planning on bringing you even more great stuff in 2013.

I’d like to finish what I started in December with one more set of audio and video tips for getting the best quality out of your Skype calls.

How I learned to stop worrying and love the mute button

This one is really more of a habit to get into rather than a tip. I’ve got a headset with a mute button on it, which I highly recommend in case you missed my blog on hardware tips, but if you don’t have one you can also use the mute button in Skype.
Don’t you hate it when you say something awkward because you forgot you were on a conference call? Or when your mom asks if you have any laundry to do when you’re trying to be cool on a call with your crush? Or when you’re talking to someone, they start typing and it sounds like the Norse god of thunder has joined in the conversation?
I know it’s a bit of a pain to get used to, but once you’re in the habit of muting yourself when you’re not speaking the benefits will speak for themselves. Unless they’re on mute of course!

“I travel light. But not at the same speed.” – Jarod Kintz

I tend to go on about light a lot, like I did in my blog on how to prepare for a Skype call, but it does make a difference. The light from your computer screen is particularly unflattering in rooms with little ambient light or when you get up close to the screen.
The good news is the light from your screen drops off quite rapidly. You can often get around this by just moving further back from the screen. You could also consider turning on some more lights in the room or dimming the screen of the device you’re using. If you’re on a laptop there are often key combinations that allow you to dim the screen quickly and easily.

Can it wait for a bit? I’m in the middle of some webcam calibrations.

Sometimes you can adjust webcam settings like white balance and exposure to suit your taste through the drivers. If your webcam’s drivers support this feature you can open the settings through Skype.
To adjust your webcam settings in Skype for Windows Desktop, open Skype and go to Tools > Options > Video settings > Webcam settings.

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