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Video Woes

Community Veteran
Posts: 2,001
Thanks: 5
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Video Woes

The parents use SKYPE to talk to my sister out in China. Recently they have had issues where my sister can hear them, but not see them, but they can see and hear her.  They are on ADSl2+ with upcapped upload, and on Value, which dosnt throttle this kind of traffic, AFAIK.    Their system is old, Athlon XP 2400+, 1gb RAM, and onboard video.  They seem to think the issues are with them.  I recently downloaded and updated the video drivers, in the hope this may solve it, (SiS Chipset).  They seem to think its now worse Angry Angry
I am in reality stumped at to the issues.  They have a relatively consistent 3500 profile, which is not bad given an attn of 58dB.
Does anyone think its the integrated GPU??  The MOBO does have an AGP slot, and I have an older Abit Siluro fx5200 card knocking around.
I suspect its the internet connection in China, but the parents want to possibly buy a new PC.  Dont want them to waste their money, so I would welcome any advice.....
9 REPLIES
VileReynard
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Posts: 11,212
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Video Woes

They are using it as if it were a mobile phone.
Try iPlayer as a demonstration of video capabilities.

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Video Woes

Can they see themselves?  Somewhere in the Skype settings/options/preferences you can check the video.
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,001
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Video Woes

Quote from: A
They are using it as if it were a mobile phone.

Not quite sure what you mean by that Fox.....  They use SKYPE as its meant to be used.  Will try your iplayer suggestion though, never thought of that,  although the old man, does use youtube with no issues....
Quote from: ReedRichards
Can they see themselves?  Somewhere in the Skype settings/options/preferences you can check the video.

All skype diagnostics check out fine.
Reason they think they have an issue, is my sisters parents in law, never seem to have an issue... They live around the corner from me, but unsure as to their PC spec....  Also I never seem to have an issue, but I use a Windows7 Laptop, thats almost brand new.... Use it wirelessly as well.....
I dont think there is an issue per-se with their system, more likely the china connection.  I have been out there, and its clunky at the best of times....
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎24-09-2008

Re: Video Woes

I have trouble with skype if both parties try to speak at the same time, either voice or video drop out and takes a few annoying seconds for the connection to re-establish itself. We use a system of hand signals when somebody wants or needs to speak, so the current speaker designates the next speaker.
Use skype 4 to 5 hours per week, mostly UK-Pacific (including HK) on a variety of systems (XP, vista, 1MB line, 6MB line) found the newer version of skype a bit odd, so rolled back to 3.8.0.139 which seems quite stable.
With instances like Japan (who I speak to often), I've bought the skype landline add-on (costs less than a pound a month for unlimited landline calls to Japan, similiar costs to China), which gives better clarity.
@penfold:- FWIW, not much help I afraid.
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Video Woes

@journeys
Thanks. They use the SKYPE service as a landline as well, to good effect...  Mum unfortunately wants to see her grandkids over there as well  Roll eyes
I will try the rollback to see what happens.....
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,001
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Video Woes

OK...  I have seen this for myself now...  Got my mother to come online and try video chat with me.  Things were OK at first but we had occasional sound drops, where the sound just cut out for a couple of seconds, and then video started freezing for a couple of seconds then came back.  never got any video blockiness though. 
First thought was the Webcam, as its an old Labtec Webcam Pro, but she coulds see me OK, and this was from the integrated Webcam/Mic in my laptop.  I then asked her to open task manager, and her CPU utilisation was permanently over 80/85% whereas mine was consistently under 25%.  I do think this is probably the whole issue, although i do wonder if their USB ports are overloaded. They only have 3 on the MOBO, and all 3 are used.  Would a USB2 PCI card take a bit of load off the CPU?? 
As I have mentioned, their CPU is an old Athlon XP 2400+, but min specs for SKYPE 5.3 list a 1Ghz CPU.  My Laptops is a Celeron Dual Core T3100 running at 1.9Ghz
Would reverting to an earlier version of SKYPE help maybe, as it wont need as many resources??, or is it time to think their system not really cutting the mustard for what they want to do.  Its fine for browsing and office work, and streaming appears to be OK from iPlayer (SD only, HD struggles alot).
Would welcome any more comments....
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Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Video Woes

Quote from: penfold
Would reverting to an earlier version of SKYPE help?

I think you'll be hard-pressed to find one.
Quote from: penfold
or is... their system not really cutting the mustard for what they want to do.

That seems to ne to be the problem - but you could look at removing any other over-demanding software that might be running in the background - the security software for example.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Video Woes

Thanks Reedrichards
File hippo, have all the older versions of Skype to version 2.0
Didnt want them to have to fund a new PC build really, as everything else works for them, and a MOBO, CPU, OS,  Memory etc is a little expensive for them, but maybe we have no alternative....  and it would futureproof them a bit as well, things are only going to get hungrier....
Will try the older skype, and see what happens.  The only other software thats running in the background is M$ security essentials, and I put this on for it not being a resourse hog.  I stopped all other extranious software from running at startup, and altered the prefetch registry parameters to only prefetch bootup programs. 
Cheers
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,001
Thanks: 5
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Video Woes

Reverted back to rev4, from 5.3  things do seem better. had no sound drops and also no video jitter. v5, must use up more resourses for its bells and whistles......