Tips to Maximize Video Conference Quality for You and Others

Clean Bandwidth is critical to a successful web video conference:  

Over time,  streaming video has improved dramatically. Compression algorithms have enabled the video signal feeds to become more compact as time has progressed.  However, video still takes up a huge amount of bandwidth to be able to run.  The ability to use the maximum bandwidth possible will greatly enhance both your audience’s and your video experience  The higher bandwidth you maintain for your video conferencing, the clearer video and audio will come through for your audience. Here are some ways to readily reduce drain on your available bandwidth  

Closing Web Browser Applications:

Chrome, IE or Edge,  Firefox and Safari use a tremendous amount of bandwidth behind the scenes that can slow down a web conference.  Close as many browser windows (& tabs) that you can.  Often these browser windows may seem like a minor issue when it comes to streaming.  Behind the scenes however they can absorb a tremendous amount of bandwidth

Social Media Applications utilize a ton of bandwidth:

Social media applications by their very existence are constantly running bandwidth.  From instant messages to new content on the feeds to advertisements that are running in the background.  Often these types of applications can pull almost all  bandwidth available to keep their applications running.  

When you do a video conference, shut off the browser tabs that have anything to do with Social Media.  Also, turn off those applications that you installed like Messenger, Discord and other chat utilities.  This will enable your computer to run faster and have more available bandwidth for high-quality video conferencing experience.

News Media uses a lot of bandwidth:

News media is constantly trying to engage you back onto their pages.  News alerts, new video, advertising, headline splashing is a constant attempt by sites to re-engage your activity with them.  Subsequently, the bandwidth they utilize may seem small but in fact can be quite heavy in usage.  Even if the volume is not up on their ads and is muted, the site is pushing that video feed and information through your bandwidth clogging it up.  Turning off browser tabs and news apps on your computer can effectively open up more bandwidth for your conferencing.

Other Internet Users in your Office / Home

When preparing to run a video conference, speak with individual users on the same network in your office or home office about minimizing their browsing, social media and video viewing for the period you will be on the video conference.  This can significantly boost your bandwidth for an excellent experience.  

*Super Tip:  Avoid conflicting video conferences in your office with a shared calendar or with intra-office coordination. 

Eliminate streaming applications on your video conference device:

Many professionals use streaming services for music from Amazon to Youtube which utilize a major amount of bandwidth for work or enjoyment.  Prior to any video conference, shut down and end any streaming programs to free up more bandwidth.

Simple maintenance items to video conference:

We often forget the equipment that is needed for video conferencing.  We have our camera and the microphone to consider.  Simple things like cleaning the camera lens for a video conference can lead to a much better video experience for your audience.  

Remember also that background noise such as fans, air conditioners, radios and other equipment can make for a difficult audio presentation.  Minimize for the time of the video conference any equipment that can be safely turned off or moved out of the area where the mic is operating.  Consider posting a sign (“Quiet – on live video”) outside your door. Alert co-workers or family members at the time so they can restrict intrusions by pets, children, pizza delivery, etc.   We all know those moments on Youtube and Social Media when the most awkward intrusion play out in living color.


Wear Clothing when Doing Your Video Conference:

Many people have been embarrassed by getting caught on camera inappropriately as of late.  From reporters to board members throwing on a top outfit may not be enough covering that the camera can inadvertently show.  You may have to stand up to adjust the camera, pick up a paper you drop or close a window when the neighbor’s lawn service shows up. An entire career of professionalism can be tossed out the window in literally one second of inappropriate or no clothing.

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