Skype 4.0 updates VoIP and video call features

  • Chicago (IL) - Skype is kicking off what is calls the most distinctive new release of its VoIP software in the company's five-year history. Among other features, Skype 4.0 for Windows offers full-screen video calling.

    The Skype 4.0 screen allows more space for video, as well as internal revisions to codecs for better video and audio quality at up to 30fps.

    Skype said Skype 4.0 is built upon the "feedback of tens of thousands of people," and offers the free face-to-face video calling with other Skype users as before. It now lets callers use of more of the screen's real estate for video calls, however. This latest software build also reportedly makes it easier to start video calls as well by including a built-in bandwidth manager which works better with your computer's broadband connection, processing data to enhance low bandwidth calls and deliver up to 30fps high quality video under the right conditions.

    Audio quality is also said to be enhanced in this new release. Skype 4.0 makes use of a new audio codec which "achieves wideband audio quality using 50% less bandwidth than previously required." It also, working with the bandwidth manager, can deliver something called "super wideband audio" for more clear sound connections.

    Other features of Skype 4.0 for Windows include a new Conversations tab which lets one more easily track multiple conversations and switch between one's preferred communication method, such as instant messaging and calls to landlines. There's also a compact view which lets one resize or put each conversation into separate windows, along with easier setup for the headset, microphone and webcam.

    As always, Skype 4.0 is a free download which allows existing Internet connections to be used for VoIP, video and text messaging.

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