Skype "HQ Video" is often really "NO VIDEO"

Summary:I have heard from friends that Skype has been really struggling with a lot of video problems. So I decided to go back to the Skype forums and have a look, just for the month of January, to see what is being reported.

I have heard from friends that Skype has been really struggling with a lot of video problems. So I decided to go back to the Skype forums and have a look, just for the month of January, to see what is being reported. Without making much of an effort (I got tired and depressed with reading every post and looking for multiple reports of the same problem), I counted well over 100 video problems reported this month! Now remember, these are only the people who managed to find their way to the User Forums to ask for help, and based on my previous experience in those forums this is an absolutely unprecedented number for such a short time. It appears that in rushing to get out their much-hyped "High Quality Video", they have managed to completely break the video on such a wide range of systems and configurations that no one is able to get a handle on it. When I was answering questions and giving help on the Skype Forums, we got to know that Skype video had problems with the Intel 915 chipset and Nvidia graphic cards and drivers, for example, and we learned that we could tell people to update to later drivers and the problems would be solved. But now the problems seem to be so varied, and across so many different platforms, that this isn't possible any more. The range of problems is telling (remember, these have all been reported, multiple times, this month):

- Incoming video not working (frozen picture, black window, etc)

- Outgoing video not working (frozen / black)

- Both incoming and outgoing video not working (frozen / black)

- "Start my video" button missing

- No video between Mac and PC

- Colored stripes in video

- Black bars in video (like a jail or cage)

- Video inexplicably comes up in Active Movie window

- Starting video causes extreme audio distortion

Even more telling than the number of problems is the lack of solution for these problems. One so-called "expert" has nothing better to say than "make sure you are both on the latest version of Skype", while another so-called expert says "the latest version of Skype has lots of video problems, try going back to version 3.5" - despite the fact that there are known serious security problems with Skype 3.5. (This is the same "expert" who is soliciting "donations" for such brilliant advice, by the way.)

Topics: Linux

About

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital... Full Bio

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.