Let’s face it, when you have a paid product and the free alternative keeps getting better, you have to keep innovating. This is the situation many videoconferencing companies are now in since Skype raised the video quality bar. How you ask? Well, the company now has the ability to communicate via High Quality Video.
In order to have access to this functionality you will need Skype 3.6 for Windows and Logitech QuickCam software, version 11.5. If you do, you will communicate at VGA-quality or 640-by-
840–480 pixels at up to 30 frames per second (fps).
What sort of broadband connectivity will you need to take advantage of such communications? About 384 kbps or higher. You will also need a High Quality Video-certified Logitech webcam and a PC with a dual-core processor.
While we are not talking about telepresence here, this news puts that much more pressure on the mid-tier of the market. I look forward to testing this new capability at some point in the future.
J.A. WatsonNovember 16, 2007 at 5:47 am
In the Skype 3.6 beta releases, it was possible to manually activate the higher resolution video with cameras other than the three Logitech cameras mentioned in this article. It was proven in the Skype User Forums that a variety of other webcams were capable of 640×480 resolution video, both from Logitech and from other manufacturers. With the 3.6 production release, this manual activation capability has been removed, so only users with one of the three specific Logitech cameras will be able to benefit from higher resolution video. It is surprising that Skype has decided to relegate the majority of their existing users who own webcams to “second class status”, apparently only because of a marketing agreement with Logitech. If the Skype/Logitech “High Quality Video” is truly superior, as they say, then why not let it stand on its own merits, and allow users with other webcams to benefit from the improved resolution? One would think that this would encourage more webcam owners to start using Skype for video calls, and probably encourage more users to buy the “better” Logitech cameras, when they see how good High Quality Video can be.
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