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Steam Voice Chat Gets SILKy Smoothness

Vale announces that today's new Steam update adds Skype's SILK audio codec for voice communication, offering what they call a "significant" improvement in sound quality over Steam's previous voice technology, at the expense of a little bandwidth, as SILK's dynamic bitrate ranges from 8-30 kbps versus the fixed rate of 15 kbps for their old codec. Word is: "Steam chat with SILK is now also automatically available for all games that take advantage of the Steamworks Voice API. Valve's own Portal 2, set to release in mid-April, uses this newly updated system to enable voice chat in its cooperative gameplay mode."

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11. Re: Steam Voice Chat Gets SILKy Smoothness Mar 22, 2011, 18:13 Rockn-Roll
Whose Vale? I thought ValveSoftware developed Steam.

TF2 voice chat has always been superb but Steam chat has always been poor. I thought it was just a problem with the response latency of the Steam server and a low bandwidth resolution for the data stream as well as poor settings on the clients as well as poor impedence matching of the microphones to their audio hardware. It sounds like SILK is going to allow the bitrate to drop to half what it was originally or under some undisclosed conditions doubled.

This might be an improvement...under unspecified conditions, but I don't see how that is going to help solve the latency problems or poor settings on the clients or poor impedence matching. If valve wants to improve their voice communication then they need to sample the audio signals for cut-off and noise and provide a signal generator to test the settings and provide feedback to the client and let them know if their microphone is not the proper's not rocket science.
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