Troubleshooting Common Audio/Video Issues

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This comprehensive guide offers troubleshooting tips to resolve common issues encountered during online video discussions. Whether you're facing difficulties with joining a live session, or experiencing audio/video problems, these steps will help in optimizing your video conferencing experience.

System Requirements

Before proceeding, ensure that your system meets the following requirements:

  • Desktop (Windows or Mac): Google Chrome (latest release version), Firefox (latest release version), Edge (version 80 or newer), Safari (version 13 or newer).
  • Mobile (Android or iOS): Chrome (latest version), Safari 13 or higher, Firefox (latest version).

Identifying Your Browser and OS

Not sure what browser or operating system you're using? Follow these steps to find out.

How do I know what browser and OS I'm using?

 

First Steps

Here are some troubleshooting steps that can help resolve audio/video issues: 

    1. Use the Latest Browser Version: Install or update to the latest version of Chrome (preferred), Firefox, Edge, or Safari.

    2. Clear Cache and Cookies: Clear your browser’s cache and cookies.

    3. Limit Wi-Fi Usage: Remove any other devices on your Wi-Fi connection (phones, tablets, etc).

    4. Restart Your Computer: Restart your computer and access the link again.

    5. Close Other Programs: Completely close any other browsers or programs (Skype, Zoom, Teams) that may also be accessing your camera and microphone.

    6. Test Your Audio: Test your audio with wired headphones/earbuds with a microphone. Do not use Bluetooth headphones.

    7. Allow Camera and Microphone Access: At the top of your browser in the address bar, you should find a webcam or lock symbol or toggle button. It is located next to the address bar. Click on it to allow and/or select your microphone and camera. This should allow our site access to your cam and mic.

    8. Use an Incognito/InPrivate Window: Open an Incognito window in Chrome or an InPrivate window in Firefox/Edge and try to open the link again.

    9. Try a Different Browser: Try again on a different browser. Chrome and Firefox are free and easy to download.

    10. Refresh the Page: Refresh your page at any time.

    11. Avoid 404 Error: If you are receiving a 404 error page, COPY then PASTE the link into the address bar rather than clicking on it from your email.

    12. Use an Ethernet Cable: Use an Ethernet cable to connect directly to your modem/router.

Also, many common audio and video issues can be traced to incorrect settings, insufficient bandwidth, or outdated browsers.

  1. Test whether OpenTok and WebRTC, which are underlying components of Discuss.io, work by running the necessary diagnostics.
  2. Check Bandwidth: Ensure users meet bandwidth requirements by testing speed at testing speed at speedtest.net or fast.com.
  3. Ensure that Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer (or Edge on Windows 10) are up-to-date.
  4. Select the correct web camera and microphone (details below).

Devices Selection When Joining the Meeting Room

When you are joining the meeting room, you will be prompted with a “Device Settings” dialog 

Confirm that you can see yourself in the webcam’s input is visible and the microphone is picking up sound. You will notice your microphone working when you see the pink triangle light up as you talk. In your video devices, you can opt to blur your background.

HP computers Users
CyberLink YouCan Support. This is a video effect application that comes pre-installed on HP computers (among others). It may fail to display the user’s face if it hasn’t been configured properly, showing the YouCam logo instead.

Microsoft Surface Users

Microsoft Surface devices will automatically default to the backward-facing camera. During the live session, you can select your forward-facing camera.

Chromebook Users

Some older Chromebooks do not allow an update of Chrome but will indicate that you have the latest version. Test your browser here to confirm Chrome's version number: How do I know what browser and OS I'm using? If you are unable to update to the latest version of Chrome, please switch to a desktop computer or another laptop. 

Common Issues and Causes

Most issues should be resolved by following the guidelines above because Discuss runs on open, cloud-based technology that is designed to work without the need for manual configuration

  • Why does the video freeze or the audio lag?

Internet bandwidth speed affects audio and video quality. In addition, streaming or downloading other items while in a Discuss video chat can also affect the quality. Other things to keep in mind:

    • WiFi is not as stable as a wired connection. A wired connection is recommended for conducting video chats.

    • The connection of the other participants has an effect, and extreme distances can also cause latency issues when video chatting.

The greater the number of participants, the more crucial it is to test for slower speeds.

If the microphone picks up the virtual meeting room’s sound from the participants’ environment, it creates a feedback loop.

Please ensure everyone is using headphones, or, if using a headset is not an option or does not solve the echo, you can dial into a discussion by telephone.

  • I can hear others, but nobody can hear me.

Most of the time, this is because the microphone that has been selected isn’t working. Read above to see how to select and test a microphone.

Network Configuration

Check Network Compatibility

  • Use the following links to test network compatibility:
  • If you're on a corporate network and encounter issues with video and audio, your firewall might be blocking the traffic. Try the following steps:
    • Attempt to join the meeting room using a guest network if available.
    • If that fails, try joining the meeting room using your home internet connection.

Information for Network Administrators

  1. If OpenTok fails, open Port 443 in your firewall application. (Refer to your network administrator or specific documentation for instructions on opening ports.)
  2. If participants have low bandwidth, features of the platform and audio/video quality may suffer. Bandwidth should exceed 500 kbps upload and download; participants may not be able to share screens at speeds below 1 Mbps.
  3. If you have been trying Discuss.io on one browser, try other browsers (such as Chrome, Firefox, et cetera) or upgrade your browser.
  4. Select the correct audio and video configuration

For detailed information please check this article : Working with Firewalls

Firewalls and Corporate IT Settings

If you experience issues with the tech check to detect your camera and microphone, it may be because you are behind a firewall or audio/video streaming has been disabled on your browser. Please check:

  • Are you using a work computer?

  • Is there a firewall or VPN on?

Firewalls

  • If you're having trouble with camera and microphone access due to a corporate firewall, consider contacting your IT department before your meeting.

Troubleshooting Audio Issues

  • Issue: Inability to hear using headphones within the room while speakers work.
  • Reason: PC/Mac default playback is not set to the headphones being used.
  • Solution for Windows:
    • USB:
      • Go to Control Panel > Sound > Playback.
      • Set the headphones being used as the default playback device.
      • Refresh the meeting page and try again.
    • Bluetooth:
      • Refresh your connection and ensure the correct device is selected.
      • If issues persist, disconnect Bluetooth headphones, refresh your connection, and try again.

Modifying Video Stream Quality

  • Overview: Participants can adjust video stream quality during a meeting.
  • Roles with this Setting Option: Moderators, respondents, consecutive translators, and support agents.
  • Steps:
    • Enter the meeting room and click on the settings option at the bottom right corner.
    • Select the desired video stream quality.                                         
    • Refresh the browser to apply changes and appear in the new publish stream.

Video Freezes or Lags

Have trouble with your video freezing or your audio lagging? Follow our tips to get the best out of your connection.

  • A wired connection is recommended for attending sessions
  • If WiFi is being used move as close as possible to the router
  • Ask other users to disconnect from your network
  • Make sure no other browser tabs or application windows are opened
  • Ensuring no downloading or streaming is taking place ( Netflix, gaming, or other Video calls)
  • All uploaded .mp4s are 720p resolution max - This may require condensing the file size off the platform for higher-resolution video files.

Please also note sessions with many participants will be extremely demanding on your network. Therefore we do not recommend using a mobile data plan.

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