Get high quality Skype video calls on your Mac

Skype LogoI recently started taking advantage of my Mac’s iSight by using it for video calls on Skype. However, I was disappointed to see that the default video resolution is a measly 320 x 240 pixels. iSight does support 640 x 480 high quality video calls but for some strange reason, Skype does not take advantage of it by default so you have to give it a little push. Note that this hack is NOT for High Definition video quality – it quite simply doubles the resolution of the video quality to 640 x 480 pixels for much clearer images. High Definition video calls are available on Skype but annoyingly, it only works with a specific Logitech webcam :(.

To increase the resolution of video chats on Skype, try the following steps:

  • Download the latest version of Skype (you must have version version 2.5.0.85 or higher installed)
  • Close Skype
  • Search in Spotlight for “config.xml”. If you find more than one, the full path of the file you are looking for is /Users/your account name/Library/Application Support/Skype/your Skype user name
  • Find the following code:

<Video>
<Device>Built-in iSight</Device>
</Video>

And change it to:

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

  • Save the changes and restart Skype.

The call recipient should now see your video image in it’s full glory of 640 x 480 definition. Note that if you or the recipient are experiencing slow or sluggish images, it’s probably due to a lack of RAM or processing power but most Macs and PC’s with at least 1GB of RAM and 2Mhz processor should be able to handle it.

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