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Steam adds Skype chat codec to service

SILK audio technology added to Steam Voice as system reliability also improved

Game download community Steam has begun to use the SILK codec as part of its voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service, greatly improving the quality of audio.

The SILK codec was originally developed and used by Skype and although it does require more bandwith than Steam's original solution it allows for a much higher quality signal.

According to the Steam website Steam Voice previously required a bandwith of only 15kbps, but using SILK this will change to a range of 8 to 30 kbps, "depending on the range of data in the voice signal and current network conditions".

The update is already available to use on Steam, via either the desktop, the Steam interface or within a game. Steam owners Valve are also claiming that the general connectivity and reliability of Steam Voice has "been improved".

The SILK technology will work with any game using the Steamworks Voice API, which includes Valve's forthcoming Portal 2.

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David Jenkins