There are a lot of things that suck about Skype, especially if you’re running the Mac version of the application. It looks like Skype, now owned by Microsoft, is taking a major step towards rectifying that problem with a brand new update.
Skype has now been updated to version 5.3, and brings with it HD video calling, which means less pixelly badness and more crispness so long as your Internet connection can handle the load. Skype is recommending that you use an Internet connection that can handle 1.5 MB/s for optimal HD video calls.
Like anything on the Internet these days, it’s likely that packet shaping and bandwidth monitoring will occur from your ISPs and calls could be scaled back should your bandwidth not be optimal for HD video calls. In Canada, Rogers has long been accused of downgrading Skype calls after 30 minutes of use. In our experience with the podcast, Skype sure does sound crappy after 30 minutes on a Rogers connection.
Also included in the 5.3 update is official Lion support, so a lot of those pesky bugs you’ve been noticing should be done away with.
Unfortunately the app still looks terrible. That probably won’t change until version 6 though, so don’t hold your breath.
The update is available on the Skype website, or from within application.