8 easy ways to improve the quality of your video calls
A little preparation and care can make a huge difference in the quality of your video interviews. Here are 8 simple ways to improve it in seconds.
1. Computer or phone? Choose the one that provides the best overall result. Your phone probably has a newer, higher-resolution camera, but you'll need to fix it to a stationary position in a quiet area for top performance. Your computer's webcam may be better suited for video calls depending on its location. Whatever you decide, turn your camera to shoot landscape.
2. Which browser? For browser-based video like Blinder, Google Chrome is the recommended web browser. However, if you're using an iPad or iPhone, you must use Safari to connect.
3. Be fully charged. If possible, plug in your device or start at 100 percent battery power. Video calls are energy-intensive operations. As your battery drains, your device changes settings in the background to optimize performance, which may reduce the quality of your video.
The same thought applies to any external microphones, bluetooth headsets or other devices (such as a MiFi for hotspotting). Keep them charged.
4. Upload speed. Your ethernet or WiFi may not have the fastest upload speed, which is the critical element of video calling. Check a speed testing tool, like Fast.com, for the upload speed on your available networks. Your 4G or 5G cellular connection may be your best network for upload.
We recommend at least 3 Mbps for a consistent stream.
5. Dedicate your system. Close any tabs and other software, and be sure no one else in the house is using high-resource streams such as Netflix or online video games that might sap your bandwidth.
6. Adjust lighting. Your primary light source (typically the sun) should aim at your face. Close the shades on any windows and try turning off overhead lighting to keep your forehead from looking shiny.
When outside, stand still and hold phone at eye level with sun in front of you.
7. Audio is most important. Glitches or pixilation in video can be forgiven if the sound is strong and clear. Try to do your video in a quiet room, free from electronic hums or hisses. Stand close to your microphone to eliminate echo feedback or, better yet, wear earbuds with a built-in mic.
8. Wipe! Dust, fingerprint smudges and pocket lint on your camera lens will result in a blurry look that might not be noticeable until you're looking at your video recording. Be sure to give that lens a fresh wipe before you start every call.