How to stream and video conferencing in the best possible quality

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Philippe Gloaguen
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In my previous article (Basic Tips for Optimizing Your Internet Connection), I have subscribed to several tips for having better Internet connectivity. Now I will talk about good practices for multi-conference sessions and audiovisual presentations so used these days, where you have to work at home and the minors take the lessons online.

Given that the problem of internet connectivity in the devices to be used has been solved, we need to know what are the characteristics of the service that the internet provider provides us and the characteristics of our computers. 

Consider that, in general, the Internet is used for page views, playback of audiovisual content, WhatsApp, email and social networks, where download speed is mainly required. 

Step 1: Know what kind of connection you have.

A normal home connection can fix these services without too many complications, but the problem begins when there are three or more devices connected at the same time for watch movies, YouTube or browse social networks. 

A common service for homes offers telephony, television and internet with a transfer speed (band) of 80 Mbps (Megabits per second) in download and 10 Mbps on average in upload, and is called an asymmetric service due to the difference between loading and unloading. . 

If you read the conditions of the service - which, by the way, hardly anyone does -, it says that the contracted transfer rate is "up to" the rates indicated in the contract, but not in a fixed or stable way. The service is provided with the "best effort" since, due to the form of the contract and the agreed fee, the service is not dedicated and varies according to the service load of the area in which the connection is established.

It should also be noted that the network connection devices installed by the providers for the home service are not performing and often the technicians do not offer the access codes to make a more dedicated service configuration. 

If the service provider you contract with offers symmetrical connections (same download and upload speeds) over fiber optics, it will work much better than an asymmetric service over coax. This depends on the region they are in as this service doesn't exist everywhere. It is advisable to speak with the technical support of the contracted supplier company, to find out if it is possible to purchase the above service.

To find out what transfer rates you have, there are several online services such as The results obtained are not necessarily accurate, but they give a good idea of ​​what the connection is like to know if the rates are within the contractual parameters, as well as those necessary for our objectives.

Before mentioning what are the ideal connection speeds for achieving good communication, it is first necessary to review the characteristics of the computer. 

Step 2: Know the possibilities of your computer

Not all computers function adequately for "two-way" communications, as there are several factors involved in addition to normal browsing. 

The minimum characteristics of a Mac computer are:

  • MacOS 10.9.x operating system “Yosemite” or later, as required by the different applications to be used.
  • 2 MHz core 2.0 duo processor
  • 8 MB of RAM
  • Video card with 512 MB of VRAM memory or 1 GB if you want to play audiovisual content
  • Internal 620 x 480 pixel camera and built-in microphone or USB-2 webcam with built-in microphone
  • 7.500 RPM hard drive or SSD if you want to play audiovisual content
  • Preferred Ethernet connection and Wi-Fi connection

In general, these features exist on computers from 2010 onwards of different Mac models. 

This doesn't mean that computers with lesser or older features won't work, but you may experience poor picture and sound quality, freezes, applications that unexpectedly quit, and even unwanted kernel panic. Features higher than those mentioned substantially improve performance.

Why are these features necessary? 

To answer this question, you need to know the different processes required for two-way communication. 

First, there are video and audio processes, where the computer will have to encode, decode and prepare the "media" for receiving and sending over the Internet, which requires double the processes and use of resources than when nothing else download is involved. 

Secondly, there is the confirmation of sending and receiving and traffic management, which is a series of low-density data other than audio and video to verify the round trip of high-density data and also include instructions to correct errors if there are any in passing data across the network, adjustments latency and synchronization, IP address and port management, as well as other control and network transport data. 

This low-density data does not intervene much in the connection and speed of the internet, but requires a high processing speed, where it is necessary to have the microprocessor (CPU) without being saturated by the audio, video and communication processes. 

Thirdly, There is the process and management of applications and the operating system, as multi-conference applications, presentations and video playback alone require a lot of processing, RAM and hard drive speed for playback which, not having the above capabilities, causes problems even before communication is established.

Below are the average transfer rates for the different services:

<br>• To manage a one-to-one video call: 600 Kbps (upload and download) for high video  quality and 1,2 Mbps for HD video

<br>• To manage a group video call: 1,2 Mbps (upload and download) for high quality video and 2,4 Mbps for HD video.

<br>• For Gallery view: 1,8 Mbps (upload and download)

<br>• To share the local static presentation screen as photos, graphics and power points add 150 Kbps upload

<br>• To share the local video screen, add 750Kbps upstream, high quality and 1,5Mbps for HD video

• To join a session multiconferenza, without having managed the session: 800 Kbps (upload and download)

These transfer rates are for one connection only. If there are multiple people with similar services or watching Internet television, the necessary calculations will have to be made to determine to what extent the contracted Internet service will be functional.

In my next article, I will talk about multi-conference applications and audiovisual content players for Apple computers.

Anthony Maldonado.

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