Tips & Tricks

Learn new new tips, tricks, and shortcuts for making your Skype experience even better



How To Prepare For Your Holiday Skype Calls

It feels like just the other day that I was writing tips for those year-end Christmas Skype calls. It’s hard to think that that was almost a year ago now. It’s been a great year with lots of exciting developments for Skype.

However, some things don’t change, like the pleasure of sharing your holidays with loved ones. The tips that I wrote this time last year have stood the test of time, but I’ll update them for 2013 with some of the advances that have happened in the last year.

To start off the festive season, here are some tips to prepare yourself ahead of time for the best Skype call quality.

A well-lit room is a pleasure to behold

Having good light in your room really helps in getting the best Skype call quality. Not all light is good light though, for example a bright light behind you will make your face appear dark and featureless on your webcam.

But if the overall level of light in your room is low then your webcam will try and amplify the available light. It does that to make the picture brighter, but it also reduces the video quality. A well-lit room is one where there is a good amount of ambient light and where you won’t have any bright lights right behind you.

This helps with the technical limitations of digital cameras which, unfortunately, still exist in 2013.

It’s best to make your Skype calls in comfort and serenity

It won’t come as a surprise to you that your voice will be clearer on a Skype call if it doesn’t have to compete with all sorts of other noise around you. Quiet spaces in the house are great for Skype calls, but don’t go running to the shed with your laptop, tablet or mobile just yet. You see, big empty spaces create echoes which can also make it hard for others to hear you. For perfect Skype audio quality you’ll want a space that is quiet but has some obstacles to stop those echoes, like a soft comfy couch.

Steer clear of dark backgrounds or your facial features will fade away

Digital cameras like your webcam struggle to tell the difference between a dark object in a well-lit room and an object in a dark room. As a result of this if you sit against a dark background, your webcam will think you’re in a dark room and amplify the amount of light coming in. This will lead to your face being over-exposed or “blown out”, causing your features like this over-exposed pelican.


( c ) Copyright 2013 Ben Barnett

Licensed under CC 2.0

In order to avoid this, make sure you’re sat in front of a nice neutral background, rather than the black walls of your teenager’s bedroom.

Tip: If the quietest, most comfortable, well-lit and neutrally decorated room in your house is your living-room, try Skype on Xbox One for a great new way to make your Skype calls.

If you have a favorite space to make your Skype calls from, why not tell us about it on the Skype Community?

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