It\’s nearly that time of year again – the holiday season is upon us! For a lot of people, it\’s a time to take a break but for some of us there\’s a lot to take care of. There are presents to buy, meals to plan and family members who you haven\’t seen since last year\’s holidays to get reacquainted with.
Here at Skype we know how crazy the holiday season can be and we also know that many of you will be using Skype over the holidays to connect with loved ones near and far. So over the next few weeks I\’ll be sending you tips on getting the best audio and video quality out of your Skype calls. That\’s one less thing to worry about!
Setting the scene – Tips for preparing a Skype call
There are a few things that you can do before starting a Skype call to get the best possible audio and video quality.
Get enough light in the room, and on your face!
A well-lit room can have a big positive impact on the video quality of your calls. If you have a bright light behind you pointing into your webcam then your face will appear dark and featureless to whoever you are calling. If the overall level of light in your room is low then your webcam will try and amplify the light to make the picture brighter and that will reduce 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.
Pick a quiet, comfortable space
Quiet spaces are best for audio quality because there is less noise for your voice to compete with. But before you go lock yourself in the shed to get some peace and quiet, I should tell you that big empty spaces create echoes which could make it hard for others to hear you. The perfect space for Skype audio quality is quiet but has some obstacles for those echoes, such as a soft comfy couch.
Dark backgrounds make you look like a ghost
This tip comes from my experience as a photographer. Cameras struggle to tell the difference between a black object which is well-lit and a white object which is in the dark. That means that if you put yourself in front of a dark background, your webcam is going to think you\’re in a dark room and will try to pick up as much light as possible. In doing that, your webcam will overexpose your face and it will end up looking as white as a sheet and just as featureless. So remember, dark backgrounds lead to ghostly white faces!