posted by Tolga

I just received a call from a friend who wants to give feedback on PC-to-PC Voice Call feature of Messenger. He told me that he called his parents in Pakistan who are on a dial-up (56k) connection, and he says in less than 3 seconds he was listening to his parent’s voice. Wahoo!! That’s awesome feedback!

Hello I am Tolga, Program Manager for the Voice and Video features of Windows Live Messenger. I work with a small group of individuals whose mission is to connect people and provide high quality communication experiences on any network around the world. It is a sometimes tough and challenging job but is still a lot of fun, as we have a great team.

We have made quite a few improvements under the hood over the last year. If you downloaded our latest beta (download.live.com) and are having voice or video calls with other beta users then you have already experienced them first hand.

Faster Call Connect Time.  This would be the first thing that you’ll notice when you call a friend using our latest Windows Live Messenger. You will be connected and talking in less time than ever before! Not only that but we’ve done quite a bit to improve the sound clarity and video sharpness in addition to adding higher resolution video modes (if your hardware and connection supports it). We believe you’ll be quite happy with the improvements our team has made here.

As hardware technology advanced, so did we: If you have a dual core PC, recent webcam and fast broadband connection; you will benefit more from Full Screen Video Call. Because if you have a dual core PC, and you switch to full screen during  your video call; it will be upgraded to High Quality Video Call.

(I’ve circled the ‘Switch to full-screen view’ button in RED.)

Quality of your voice or video calls depend on many factors including;

  • Available processing power of your PC to Windows Live Messenger: Messenger uses real time encoding and decoding engine for your voice and video communications. The higher the processing power the better the quality of the image you send and you see.
  • Available bandwidth to Windows Live Messenger: Real time encoded streams need to travel between two PCs; and higher the bandwidth faster these streams travel and hence you will have better motion picture.
  • Webcam: Not every webcam is the same. The kind of lens; the circuitry they have and the driver of webcam makes difference in quality. And you can always have better quality with up-to-date drivers of you webcam and headset.

We have worked on determining situations which may have a negative effect on the quality of your communications. If Messenger notices such a situation; it takes action; such as tweaking image resolution a little bit; so that frame rate (hence the motion) and voice quality stays the same.

As a team we’d love to hear your feedback on the new voice and video calls. Please let us know and give us feedback about your experience. Get your friends and families on Beta and call them. We would be more than happy to hear your feedback. Thank you!

PS. Thanks to Aleks for his smile to the camera.

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