Need better video call service than Skype

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Userx12, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Userx12 macrumors newbie

    Userx12

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2015
    #1
    Hi,
    Can anyone suggest a Mobile ( for iPhone) video calling service (I am willing to pay a nominal amount), that is substantially better than Skype? I use Skype on my iPhone to make video calls quite often, and I need better video and audio quality. I looked around but I'm hoping I can get some good suggestions.

    (iPhone 5C with iOS 9)

    Thank you
     
  2. C DM, Jan 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016

    C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #2
    Well, if it's with other Apple users, there's FaceTime. For a more general audience there's Hangouts from Google that might be worth a try.
     
  3. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #3
    What is the problem you are having with Skype. I don't know if video quality will improve if you change programs. It might depend on your bandwidth or even your camera. Facetime might give you the same issues, plus it won't work outside of the Apple ecosystem.
     
  4. Erdbeertorte macrumors demi-goddess

    Erdbeertorte

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Location:
    Castle Grayskull, Eternia
    #4
    I don't use video calling, but maybe some app from Google might work better, because they have the most servers and I heard livestreaming on YouTube should supposed to be better than some expensive paid services.

    But as MacNut said, the data bandwidth or signal could be just too low on one of both sides. Also the other person maybe has some bad quality camera and microphone.
     
  5. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #5
    Ugh, no offense. I have a iPhone 5, pretty much the same innards as the 5C, and don't like using Skype on it. AFAIK MS didn't update the Skype apps for the 32-bit apps relative to improving voice and video - the 5S and newer iPhones got the good stuff relative to HD voice and video. The 5S we use in my office as a back up and my 6S look and sound so much better even on cellular. Nobody wants to use the iP5 for anything besides streaming music now...

    One big help is upgrading to a wideband-capable headset - I use a Plantronics Edge UC, the non-Lync version, which has a different dongle for Macs/PCs (a different vocoder is built into each of the two USB dongles, but the headset is the same). The phone/Facetime/Skype calls sound so much better through my Edge compared to the built-in mic/speaker - I find Skype voice quality improves a lot on WB headsets. My GF uses a wired WB headset, but I can't recall the manufacturer.
     
  6. Userx12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Userx12

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2015
    #6
    Hi Macnut, yeah, FaceTime is exactly the same… No better. Bandwidth is 7 MB on a Wi-Fi connection… I always use this with Wi-Fi never on cellular. I don't think the camera is the issue, people on the other end often needs different devices and picture is usually the same for me. One of the main issues is that it just bogs down, gets pixelated and isn't very sharp. This seems like a limitation with the Skype service to me. We're going to try hardwiring the device on the other end, and trying to external microphone. But if you have any other recommendations I'm glad to hear it!
    --- Post Merged, Jan 22, 2016 ---
    Also, the mic and camera on the other side usually come from a new MacBook air, or iPhone 6 or iPad.
    I better service still seems like the best answer to me. Thanks for the Google strm suggestion, that's not bad, but I needed to be to Waze
     
  7. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #7
    For best results never use wifi when doing video calls. You need a wired connection with as much bandwidth as possible. The big issue is latency.
     
  8. Userx12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Userx12

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2015
    #8
    Thanks for your info, Was really helpful. Yeah, I'm thinking of upgrading to the five ass, ( Siri mistake there… 5s) or maybe getting a six model.

    I have a Bluetooth headset i use, Logitech… Maybe for years old, and it's the same as just using my phone. But the boom mic on it makes for much better voice 4 The other end.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 23, 2016 ---
    Have any of you all used a professional style video teleconferencing service?
     
  9. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #9
    Two more bits. The 1.6 Head Set Profile includes the older CVSD codec (narrowband) and the newer mSBC codec (wideband). Think of a garden hose - the wideband "pipe" is twice the size, but both ends also need to support that pipe connection - newer iPhones and peripherals (like my Edge UC) support mSBC, my older iPhone 5 does not support mSBC. The USB dongle is a transceiver that transcodes the mSBC codec via the USB support that the Mac has for USB audio, so another WB connection can be made between the headset and a Mac. And, Skype also has its own codecs, which are built into the headset and dongle - if you have mismatched hardware you'll either get no signal to listen to or a "fall back" signal like narrowband. Keep in mind that CVSD's 8kHz is a maximum throughput - you might be only transmitting 4kHz.

    Next bit. If you're "other end" is using a different device, like a speakerphone or separate mic/speaker setup, you'll hear feedback (what most people call "echo") - if there's a hitch in the connection, the other end gets the feedback. I have clients - I check with their IT person to find out what products they're using, and adapt accordingly with them. Hate that bit, but that's the way it is for me. I wouldn't waste my time with buying a 5S, it's the next device to get dropped for support - app updates don't necessarily mean your older device is keeping up with the times. My 2 cents.

    I use a Cisco Video Interop Server setup, whiteboard and the whole bit. It's in a few of my offices, and it's similar to what my clients use. Skype works well with it. https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn933920.aspx - it's my server, so I can use it whenever I want...
     
  10. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #10
    Have you looked at a product called Zoom?

    http://www.zoom.us

    They have a pretty good video conferencing product that lets you use it free of charge if your sessions are kept under 30 minutes long per call, or you can pay for a license/subscription.


     
  11. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #11
    Last bit, didn't think of it right away. Are you using a wifi router? I have UL data on all of my cell lines and towers near my offices, so I don't think of my office router often. I have Airports, but we use routers (wired and wireless) that allow for optimizing VOIP services, which Airports don't AFAIK - for example, Comcast recommends eMTA-capable modems with their own service (http://customer.xfinity.com/help-and-support/phone/requirements-for-digital-voice-modems/) - you might need to check you own router to make sure it's not blocking or throttling your (or your connects) service. My pipes are pretty "clear", including my headsets - not wanting to gum up the pipes, IYKWIM?
     

Share This Page