12 Steps to Achieving a Great VoIP Experience
David Yun, Connect Pro Community Manager
Expertise Level: Advanced
This tutorial is meant for Intermediate-to-Advanced users who are looking to for techniques for ensuring a great VoIP experience in Connect Pro Meetings. This list of 12 Steps was created by an Adobe sales rep who claims "Following these 12 steps has nearly eliminated all the problems Ive run into". While it is not mandatory to run through all of these steps, going through as many of these as possible can assist in troubleshooting issues and greatly reduce problems when using VoIP.
We've organized the list from most basic to most advance so if you are relatively inexperienced with the product, these techniques might start to go over your head right around step 6. If some of these items are unclear to you, we encourage you to take some time and review the other materials used as part of this month's Topic of the Month to get a better understanding of some of these tips and tricks.
Here is his list:
- If possible, always use a headset or expternal mic, not the internal PC microphone or mic built into a web camera when using VoIP
- You should not run other applications in the background during meetings, particularly web applications (email, chat, etc..) These compete for CPU and client bandwidth to the internet. In some cases, people will be running applications that are using the camera or microphone driver already which restricts the meeting from using the same driver in the meeting room.
- All users who will be speaking should run the Audio Setup Wizard ahead of the meeting to test their microphone and speakers, test location silence settings and reduce echo. View the Advanced Settings at the end of the Wizard and uncheck Enhanced Audio. (Note: Ive seen lots of cases where headsets were not used and participants essentially transmit the audio from the meeting out their speakers back through their microphone creating an echo for other participants. Usually the built-in echo cancellation catches this, but not always which is why I always recommend a headset/mic combo.
- If multiple speakers are involved, make sure the Voice On - Multiple Speakers option is selected.
- If bandwidth is the potential issue, consider not using web cams or pausing them when audio is being broadcasted.
- Consider using Push to Talk vs. having everyone being in Hands-free mode. Whether youre talking or not, if the Hands-free button is selected, you are transmitting audio no reason to clog up the pipe with bits of silence.
- Set expectations for the Push to Talk mechanism such that attendees pause for a moment after the button has been pushed before staring to speak as opposed to starting to talk as the button is being pushed. Ive seen many cases where the first part of a persons sentence is cut off because they are talking as the button is still being engaged.
- Before the meeting, attendees should run through the Meeting Test to make sure they have the latest version of Flash and if possible, install the Connect Add-in also note their Connection speed for the next step: http://www.adobe.com/go/meeting_test. Note, many folks sit on a LAN, but because of network traffic, length of cable, wi-fi (not recommended for meetings) or other factors only get DSL or Modem speed throughput to their client.
- Meeting attendees should go to the Meeting > Manage My Settings > My Connection Speed and select Modem, DSL/Cable, or LAN depending on what the Connection Test in Step 8 told them.
- The Meeting Host should Optmize Room Bandwidth depending on the lowest connection speed of the meeting attendees.
- Turn on Connection Status via the Pod Options menu in the Attendee List. Assuming all users completed step 9, the meeting host should consider setting room bandwidth at the speed of the lowest connection, especially if several participants have yellow or red status indicators in the Attendee List.
- If your Connect Pro server is installed on premise, note a few of the port requirements on the install guide. Port 1935 and 80 are required also port 443 is required if SSL is enabled to establish TCP connections. Are these ports open on the client side? Are they throttled down for any reason?