MBA for Skype video conferencing

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by newmaclover, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2008
    MBA Users,
    Hope your lov'n your machine! How is the quality of the mic and video cam? when i chat w/ friend who uses a macbook, her internal mic is quite bad--i usually have her use an enternal mic. but since a mic jack isn't included in the macbook the quality of the internal mic becomes more important. how is it?

    also, is the cpu powerful enough to push skype high quality video. (i know about ichat but i need skype).

  2. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2007
    New York City
    It works fine for issues I've skype relatives in Ecuador...mic and video work great:D
  3. macrumors 68040


    May 16, 2006
    Central Florida!
  4. macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2007
    Both Skype and iChat video are important to me, so I ran some tests on my new (1 week old) MBA. First, I skyped from NYC to London over a high bandwith cable connection. The party at the other end could not really tell the difference from my 24" iMac quality. This was a bit surprising since the MBA camera is clearly softer and has less dynamic range than the iMac's. Next, I waited for the fans to get up to 6200 rpm, which they will during a fullscreen skype conference. The other party could not hear the fans, and said the audio quality from my built-in mic was fine.

    Next, I was worried about load, "stuttering", and the "core shutdown under load" issues some users have had. I set up two macs in my office (72 deg F) and skyped them together. On the MBA, I ran fullscreen and made sure the image had a lot of motion during the test. I also had a few widgets, firefox, and activity monitor running. I let the conference run 35 minutes. The core temps quickly ran up to 76-78C, and the fan rose to 6200 rpm. The iStat/activity monitor showed between 15-30% idle CPU capacity, and drifted back and forth between those extremes. I never experienced stuttering or a core shutdown issue, although I'm sure adding more load may have got me there. The conference ran smoothly. Then I did the same with video iChat. Very similar results (via Bonjour), although iChat seemed to used ~5-10% less CPU than Skype on average. Video quality was pretty comparable. I also compared fullscreen to a small window and noticed no obvious change in CPU load. After the chat ended, the CPU temp dropped immediately, but the fans took 3-4 minutes to drop back to 2500 rpm.

    My conclusion.... Video chats work fine on the MBA, although there is not a huge surplus of processing capacity, and running other cpu intensive tasks while chatting is not a good idea.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2008
    Its been 4 weeks but there haven't been any issue with my Isight camera..Yep I use it along with my turbomeeting instead of Ichat...which do have issues with guys on MSN...(complex procedure I mean...) ;)
  6. macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2008
    My MBA had it's first issue with the video on iChat...

    Stutters and runs crappy...Almost like it can't handle the video...
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2007
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    had the same problem. do a permission repair in disk utility then restart the machine. fixed it for me.
    weird, I know.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2007
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    OK, final verdict is: works perfectly as long as my macbook air is not hooked up to the AC.
    As soon as I plug it in, it will start to stutter and ugh. I am sick of it.
    Sending it back tomorrow. Hope to get another unit. If that one still sucks, I'm getting a pro or something. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

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