July 28, 2022 - Do you want to have a higher quality video for a video conference? How do you video conference at 4K? It's not as simple as it might seem. For example, using 4K webcams like the Logitech Brio requires the rest of your system to handle the ultra HD video resolution, the wrong USB cable or slower internet speeds can prevent the highest quality results. This article will help address some of the basics of high-resolution video conferencing and give a path to high picture quality for your next video conference.
Start with capturing the best picture possible.
The entire video conferencing process starts with a camera. In order to get the best image quality on the other end of a video conference, we need to start with a quality camera, which could be capturing an image of you or even a whole classroom or meeting room. Ensuring the camera is high quality with products like the Logitech Brio makes this part very easy.
The Logitech Brio is a 4K webcam that captures four times more data than standard 1080p webcams. It's convenient to use the webcam on your laptop, but they are not as capable as stand-alone webcams.
Getting that Captured data into your conferencing software.
Now that you have a high-quality video signal captured, you need to get the data into your video conferencing software. Most webcams will come with a six-foot USB cable. Most USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 cables only go about 10 feet before they start to lose data, so if you need to have the camera further than 10 feet, be sure to use the right USB extension cable.
Bullet Train USB fiber optic extension cables can transmit 4K webcam data up to 40 meters or 131 feet. Another way to extend USB connections is to use a USB hub. USB hubs might require extra power, but they allow multiple USB devices to be connected and used simultaneously, like a mouse, microphone, and keyboard, while also adding extra length. Bullet Train makes a USB extension cable with a USB hub, allowing the use of up to four USB devices at 40 meters.
We are all working in a post-pandemic environment where operating Zoom, Teams, and other video conferencing software is second nature. Whatever your preferred platform is doesn't matter because they all work the same. They handle the audio and video data communication between two participants by encoding and decoding the audio and video for their trip across the internet. That means compressing the video to more manageably send over the internet and then putting it back together on the receiving end without losing too much data. Usually, encoding adds compression artifacts that reduce the overall quality. Software that can't handle 4K bandwidth won't be able to send or receive it regardless of how high quality the rest of your system is.
Another limiting factor for high-quality video conferences is internet speed. The data must go through an internet cable with its own bandwidth limits. The slower your internet upload rate is, the more compression is required to send the data at a fast pace. If you are getting upload rates less than 25Mbps, you can guarantee there will be tons of compression to your video. But if you are over that 25Mbps, you can be sure your image will look good to participants who have comparably fast internet speeds. Audio and video get choppy at best if there isn't enough bandwidth or drop out completely.
One quick way to boost your speed is to get off WIFI and hard connect your computer or codec. Video conferencing over a WIFI connection is not recommended. The further away you are from a WIFI access point, the lower your speed will be, reducing the overall quality of the stream.
Out of your hands
Now you are prepared to send a quality video signal for video conferencing. However, you could still face quality problems if your remote participants have slow internet or a lousy computer. 4K video conferencing has a lot of potential pitfalls that can prevent the highest quality result. Not to worry, though; you have yourself covered. You just have to share this article with your partners on the other end!
Remotely working or learning can be very impactful when you and your participants are set up correctly. Be ready for your next video conferencing session with the correct components, software, and internet speeds.