Better video resolution/quality for teaching remotely?

I’ve been teaching remotely over Zoom, and the video quality really leaves something to be desired. I’m all set with decent full 1080p camera equipment fed into my computer. That’s not an issue. But, it seems the Zoom platform might not be supporting even 720p. It looks like Zoom is really dropping the resolution and compressing the video quite heavily. The quality degrades substantially, which makes it tough to show small things and detail, like electronic components on a breadboard.

Google Meet appears to support 720p, but it’s not a default which is annoying, among other annoyances with the Meet platform.

Youtube live might be a solution, but it means anyone anywhere could be watching or recording my class, which may not be preferable. Currently, one benefit of Zoom is that access is very well controlled.

So what are you all using to do your remote teaching/streaming these days and how is it working out for you?

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We are now using discord. Supports higher video. Also you can have multiple people sharing at once.

Dumb question, is HD properly enabled? This OSU help article suggests HD video isint enabled by default.

Yes. This article would suggest there’s more to it than that, and HD video may not be an option currently. Group HD – Zoom Help Center

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For robotics meetings we utilize Microsoft Teams, It seems to be working well for us in terms of screen sharing and video quality.

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One trick my teacher used is instead of directly streaming the camera, he shared his screen and pulled up a camera app. Quality went way up, but so did latency.

You could also test out WebEx.

Zoom will dynamically adjust the resolution based on available bandwidth. So to hit 720p have a quick connection.

It supported the highest resolution of any of the video conferencing applications (at 720p) when I last checked. This is just a function of the trade off between resolution and latency. (And to a lesser extent processing power) In our tests it also tended to be the most likely to hit this resolution due to being a proper native app compared to browser based encodings.

The above is based on the research we had done when I worked at Owl Labs making video conferencing cameras for businesses. Some of it may have become outdated in the last couple months.

As for your problem - perhaps sharing a document with the close ups would be more effective? Or use something like a usb microscope to show close ups of the particular components?

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@Andrew_Schreiber This is great information, thank you. I’m on hard wired great connection here. It speed tests around 900 Mbps both up and down. On my second computer (on the same LAN) receiving my Zoom feed, I was getting 256x144 at 12fps, which is abysmal. My students at home are all reporting 640x360 which also isn’t great.

Do you happen to know if processor of the host computer has anything to do with it at all?

It absolutely would.

Encoding the stream from your camera into whatever zoom uses would involve your cpu and maybe gpu (though I think zoom is mostly cpu bound based on their documentation)

Has some tips - it really sounds like cpu may be your limiting factor if something else is competing for resources.

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CPU doesn’t seem to be a major factor here. I was streaming on an i5-7300u. I tried on an i7-8570H. Same results. I think it’s a limitation of Zoom video. Interestingly, Screen Share on Zoom can do full 1080 at about 15fps or 720 around 25fps. So it seems what I need to do is just show everything (including my camera feed) through screen share.

That’s what I did for my nuclear physics demos. The video was just streamed to a browser window. I did it that way so that I could easily switch between the presentation and the video, but maybe it helped the resolution too.

I’ve been using Zoom today, and will for the rest of this week. We have Canvas, which has Big Blue Button as its video conference integration. When I use Canvas it gives me the option of setting my video quality.
Not sure how great it looks to the students… but the option is there.

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I tested TeamViewer presentation vs Zoom with screen share, between my desktop and laptop, for displaying Android Studio. Teamviewer display quality was much better.

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