Enable High Quality Video in Skype Regardless of Webcam

If you use the video chat feature on Skype, you may have realized the resolution and picture quality leave something to be desired. That is, unless you own one of the exclusive and expensive webcams like the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000, which allows you to enable High Quality Video (HQV) within Skype. HQV has a resolution of 640×480 at 30 fps (frames per second) compared to the default of 320×240 at 15 fps that most webcams have to deal with.

This guide will show you how to enable HQV (and even higher quality!) in Skype regardless of which webcam you have, as long as it is capable of capturing at the resolution and speed you specify, and as long as your computer is powerful enough (most dual-core and higher machines should suffice).

NOTE: These methods are quite old and may not work on the latest versions of Skype anymore.

The Easy Way (Windows)

For Windows users, the easiest way is to download an application called Force Skype HQ Video. This app provides a graphical user interface for modifying the video quality settings in the Skype configuration files. You can modify the framerate and resolutions to any values, though the standard Skype HQ and higher resolutions are 640×480 (HQ), 800×600, and 980×720 (HD).

Modifying the Config File Manually

You can also modify the configuration files manually to change the framerate and resolutions. To do this, follow these instructions:

For Windows,

  1. Make sure Skype is not running.
  2. Open the config.xml file located in the Skype user profile directory, usually in %APPDATA%\Skype\yourskypename. If you are not sure where this is, copy and paste %APPDATA%\Skype into Windows Explorer to find this directory and then find the folder labeled with your Skype username.
  3. Add the following code somewhere in the config file:
    <CaptureHeight>480</CaptureHeight>
    <CaptureWidth>640</CaptureWidth>
    <Fps>30</Fps>
    

    You can modify the parameters as you see fit, though I recommend trying these first.

  4. Save and close the modified config.xml file.
  5. Start Skype and enjoy high quality video!

For Mac

  1. Make sure Skype is not running.
  2. Open the config.xml file located in the Skype user profile directory, usually ~/Library/Application Support/Skype/yourskypename/. The ~ refers to your home folder.
  3. Locate the <Video> tag, which may look like this:
    <Video>
          <Device>Built-in iSight</Device>
    </Video>
    

    Insert two additional tags within the <Video> and </Video> tags as follows:

    <Video>
          <CaptureWidth>640</CaptureWidth>
          <CaptureHeight>480</CaptureHeight>
          <Device>Built-in iSight</Device>
    </Video>
    

    You can modify the parameters as you see fit, though I recommend trying these first.

  4. Save and close the modified config.xml file.
  5. Start Skype and enjoy high quality video!

Recommended Settings

While the methods above allow you to set any framerate and resolution, higher settings will cause higher CPU utilization. I would recommend trying 640×480 at 30 fps and going up from there if it isn’t good enough. Also, be sure your webcam is capable of capturing at the resolutions you specify.

Now you can enjoy chatting with friends and family in much higher quality than before. Of course, that also means you may have to prepare a little bit more in the morning before opening up that web conferencing session right after you wake up.

9 thoughts on “Enable High Quality Video in Skype Regardless of Webcam

  • December 11, 2011 at 12:48 am
    Permalink

    Does this work on windows 7? I tried to paste the code but it wont allow me to in the config file and I took of the virus protection and allowed the computer to show info? Any ideas???

    Reply
  • January 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm
    Permalink

    Not working.. i copied and pasted that code….even tough it is not working….i used that software too….plz help me……….and i had Logitech c270 webcam HD…

    Reply
  • February 10, 2014 at 2:53 am
    Permalink

    Hi,
    i am facing problem in receiving video which is not of good quality. my video is clear on both sides but other is not clear on just my side. so what i have to do now????

    can you send reply to my e-mail id??

    Expecting for your early reply
    Thnx
    Faisal Attari

    Reply
  • March 11, 2014 at 12:58 am
    Permalink

    Worked like a charm, thanks 😀

    Reply
  • June 21, 2014 at 3:19 am
    Permalink

    This does not work – according to other posts, the most recent versions of Skype (6.x) completely ignore these settings and manage the resolution based on its own algorithms, which cannot be overridden in the settings file.

    Frustrating!

    Reply
  • June 26, 2014 at 9:21 am
    Permalink

    i am facing problem in receiving video which is not of good quality. my video is clear on both sides but other is not clear on just my side. so what i have to do now????

    can you send reply to my e-mail id??

    Expecting for your early reply
    Thnx
    SIRAJ KHAN

    Reply
  • June 26, 2014 at 9:23 am
    Permalink

    i am facing problem in receiving video which is not of good quality. my video is clear on both sides but other is not clear on just my side. so what i have to do now????
    PLZ TELL ME ABOUT WEB CAME SETTING ALSO

    can you send reply to my e-mail id??

    Expecting for your early reply
    Thnx
    SIRAJ KHAN

    Reply
  • June 26, 2014 at 9:25 am
    Permalink

    PLZ TELL ME ABOUT WEBCAME SETTING ALSO

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *