Steam voice quality boosted with Skype codec

Valve has rolled out another boost to Steam's voice communication quality by switching to the codec used in Skype.

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Steam switched to the SILK audio codec, as used by Skype, in an update launched today. This brings "a significant improvement to Steam's voice chat quality," according to Valve.

While the old codec used a fixed 15kbps of bandwidth, SILK uses a dynamic bitrate which takes up between 8 and 30kbps, "depending on the range of data in the voice signal and current network conditions."

SILK-enabled voice communication is now available through "all games that take advantage of the Steamworks Voice API," as well as chat conversations.

Valve also rolled out a number of changes aimed at improving voice quality in a February patch.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 22, 2011 12:30 PM

    Comment on Steam voice quality boosted with Skype codec, by Alice O'Connor.

    • reply
      March 22, 2011 12:34 PM

      Nice- I'll give it another shot then. My friends and I always use Skype while playing our Steam games because its just so damn clear. Very cool news.

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        March 22, 2011 4:45 PM

        This is what I always did in the past as well, I'll have to give it a try.

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      March 22, 2011 12:57 PM

      finally, I ALWAYS had problems with voice in TF2, etc.

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        March 22, 2011 3:43 PM

        I don't think it's the in-game voice chat. It's the steam interface voice chat.

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          March 23, 2011 8:09 AM

          I thought that the ingame for TF2 and the interface chat were built on the same codecs.

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      March 22, 2011 12:57 PM

      Valve is awesome. The biggest thing they needed to fix and they get it done.

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        March 22, 2011 2:43 PM

        They just need to come up with a way to get rid of First time installations if you already have the software!

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          March 22, 2011 2:48 PM

          Every time I start up C&C4 it reinstalls that stupid .NET Framework even though I went through the installation twice. The same thing happens to my brother when he plays Magicka except for XNA Framework. If they fix that I would be a very happy camper.

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      March 22, 2011 1:06 PM

      Nice!

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      March 22, 2011 1:27 PM

      steamworks ftw!

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      March 22, 2011 1:37 PM

      I have mixed feelings about Skype in general, but their Low bandwidth codec is really good compared to other options, it can squeeze down to 16Kbits without you sounding like your talking into a tin can under water.

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      March 22, 2011 3:39 PM

      Tested this for the past hour and it's great, sound quality just like skype, as expected.

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        March 22, 2011 3:49 PM

        Sounds better than the last voice update?

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          March 22, 2011 3:55 PM

          it sounds like skype, which is pretty crystal, I can't comment on the last voice update.

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      March 22, 2011 4:28 PM

      Cool, now I can hear the banana phone song clearer!

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