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Skype

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Skype

Speaking with my daughter in New Zealand this morning, using a Skype phone (using a handset as the sound on my laptop is rubbish) for the first time (for me) webcams were in use both ends. I could see my daughter very well, and had a good inset picture of myself in the Skype window. But, my daughter was not getting good video of me at her end, just (she said) a black screen with "something" trying to get through and appear but never did.
This was all followed an hour later with another Skype call from my Granddaughter in Christchurch (earthquake this morning) where the reception and video from her was much better altogether than the earlier call (from Auckland) Although I didn't have the webcam in use this time. 
So where should I be looking to cure the problem with my daughter's video, my end or will the problem be at her end in New Zealand does anybody know?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
6 REPLIES
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Skype

My guess it is probably her end. What is her connection speed like? Skype video isn't that big, but you still need a reasonable connection to see it properly. Alternatively, how old is her PC? Check it against the system requirements here.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Skype

Thanks Denzil. Don't know, its her fella's PC she's using, all I know is their camera is built-in, which would probably imply its reasonably up-to-date, but maybe not.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
Thanks: 44
Fixes: 1
Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Skype

I can never really get Skype to work both audio and video between UK and Pacific area (NZ, Oz, Fiji, Japan, Hawaii), with both voice and video on they both tend to break up.
I tend to 'make vidoe contact' the cut the video link and revert to voice only.
Not much help I'm afraid
198kHz
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 3,217
Thanks: 253
Fixes: 7
Registered: 30-07-2008

Re: Skype

I Skype once or twice a week to NZ, and it can be variable, but is generally pretty good. As with any Skype call, if there's any significant delay between clicking 'Call' and hearing the ringing tone, it's likely to be a rough path. If there is a delay, cancel the call and try again.
Skype doesn't require a terrifically fast download speed. It's a two way thing, and you can only receive as much as the other party can upload. It is fairly CPU-intensive though, so try to avoid using any other applications simultaneously if you experience continual problems.
One thing I read somewhere a while ago and tried, successfully, was to go to Tools > Options > Advanced > Connection and untick the 'Use port 80 and 443 as alternatives for incoming connections' box. Seems counter-intuitive, but it works for me.
Updated versions of Skype come around pretty quickly, and I've got mine set to inform me if an update is available. I don't know if it's just me, but it never does! Clicking on Help > Check for Updates will tell you if a newer version is available.
Skype is certainly a great tool, especially when you have relatives abroad - hope yours gets better Petlew.  Smiley
Not young enough to know everything
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,820
Thanks: 1,112
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Skype

never used skype, and the only time I ever had a camera on me, and the laptop at the same time, I noticed that same "dark screen" effect your daughter was complaining of... the answer?  put a table light off to one side but slightly behind the camera    to throw more light on your face.....
O .......[]....*
O = petlew .....[] = laptop with camera ....  * = table lamp
worth a try...!
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Skype

Judging by most comments here there is a learning curve with Skype. The calls to my granddaughter have been just like a normal land-line phone, no problems at all even with delayed video. Only the calls to my daughter have been a problem so far, so I'm leaning towards "her" PC being the problem.
@shutter, yes, that occurred to me as well but, daughter reported broken interference on screen. And anyway the inset screen of myself I was seeing on my PC was fine for lighting.  Also the sound quality wasn't great either compared to granddaughters which was as near perfect as makes no odds with no discernible delay and, we could talk across one another without any break-up, which only resulted in scrambled mush when tried with my daughter, so we tended to use it like a two way radio being careful not to speak at the same time.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.