Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Video Calls 72 72 people found this article helpful The Bandwidth Required for a Skype HD Video Call Make sure your internet is fast enough before you place the call by Nadeem Unuth Freelance Contributor Nadeem Unuth is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire who specializes in information and communication technology with a focus on VoIP. our editorial process LinkedIn Nadeem Unuth Updated on April 09, 2020 The Ultimate Guide to Skype The Ultimate Guide to Skype Introduction Skype Basics Internet Speed Required for Skype HD Calls How Much Does It Cost to Use Skype? How to Delete Your Skype Account Guide to Using Skype as Your Home Phone Getting Started How to Change Your Skype Username Setting up a Conference Call With Skype How to Make a Skype Conference Call How to Make HD Video Calls With Skype How to Share a Screen on Skype Tips for Using Skype How to Record Skype Calls Use Skype's Split View Mode in Windows 10 Stop Skype From Starting Automatically How to Blur the Background In Skype How to Find and Use Skype Emoji How to Skype With Alexa Working with Contacts How to Add Contacts on Skype How to Delete Skype Contacts How to Block Someone on Skype How to Unblock Someone on Skype How to Delete a Skype Conversation Skype on Different Platforms Installing Skype on Ubuntu Installing Skype on a Mac Using Skype on an iPad & iPhone Using Skype on a Chromebook Using Skype in a Web Browser How to Use Skype for Android Creating a Skype Account on Windows Troubleshooting & Updating What to Do When Skype Isn't Working Make a Test Call How to Uninstall Skype How to Update Fix Skype Webcam Problems Tweet Share Email If you want to make Skype HD (high-definition) video calls, you need a good HD webcam, a powerful enough computer, and sufficient bandwidth—meaning an internet connection speedy enough to carry the bulk of video frames in high quality. In this guide, we go over how much bandwidth you need and how to achieve the best call quality. David Malan/The Image Bank / Getty Images Why Bandwidth Matters High Definition video consumes a great deal of data. The video is a stream of images in high quality that brush past your eyes on the screen at a rate of at least 30 images (technically called frames) per second. There is normally some (or a lot of) compression taking place, which decreases the data consumption and prevents lagging, but if you want high definition video, compression backs out. Skype is one of the VoIP apps that has high video quality. Skype uses special codecs and other technologies to deliver crisp images and high-quality video, but this comes at a cost. If you're signed in to Skype but not making calls, the app uses, on average, between 0 to 4 kbps (kilobits per second). When you make a call, Skype uses, on average, between 24 and 128 kbps. Therefore, even if you have all the necessary equipment for HD video calling with Skype but don't have enough bandwidth, you'll never get clear, crisp, and bright HD video quality. You might even fail at having a decent conversation. Frames will be lost, and the audio—which is more important than the visuals in a conversation—may suffer as well. Some people choose to disable their webcams and sacrifice the video for the sake of a clean conversation. How Much Bandwidth Is Sufficient? So, how much bandwidth is enough? For simple video calling, Skype recommends 300 kbps (kilobits per second). It says you need 500 kbps if you want that call in high quality. For HD video, you need at least 1.2 Mbps (Megabits per second). You're sure to have good quality with 1.5 Mbps. That's for a one-to-one conversation. If there are more participants, add another 1 Mbps per person for comfortable video conferencing. For example, for a group video call with 7 or 8 people, 8 Mbps should be sufficient for HD video quality. Tips for Better Skype HD Video Calls If you have trouble making Skype HD video calls, Skype recommends closing other applications that use the internet, especially video and music streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. Also, pause or cancel any file transfers in progress. You can also test your internet speed to make sure you're getting the bandwidth you're paying for; if you're not, contact your internet service provider.