2

Zoom is very popular now, but its frame rate and video and audio bitrates are pretty bad, sending 320 by 180 images at 15 frames per second and a rather low audio bitrate. Skype is better, but it still seems to be transmitting a fairly low video bitrate. However, many of the people who regularly participate in our calls have good-quality connections, with download speeds of hundreds of megabits per second and upload speeds of 10 Mbps or more. Some have symmetric gigabit connections. Obviously, the result of the low bitrate is an image and audio stream that is much less clear than reality, which can also pose problems when sharing music, or showing something with fine details, like a physical document.

Is there an option that has much higher bitrates? Obviously it would have to be capable of scaling down the received bitrate for lower-quality connections.

1
  • Beware that transfering large sized content at high speed is more likely to cause contention - which is sadly still nowadays commonly "solved" by larger buffering which causes longer delays - you might find my notes on lag here helpful.
    – Jonas
    Mar 4, 2022 at 11:34

3 Answers 3

1

WebRTC is a specification defining a baseline of mechanisms needed for realtime multimedia streaming. The WebRTC standard is incorporated into most modern web browsers specifically to support video conferencing, and a lot of web services have emerged to take advantage of these features in modern web browsers.

What you seek is going beyond the baseline.
This is possible to do within the WebRTC framework, by forcing some variables like resolution to use higher values that defaults (because defaults are tuned towards interoperability which is of lessser priority for your usecase).
It is also possible to not use WebRTC, but there is no real benefit in that: WebRTC does not require low quality, only defaults to (relatively) low quality.

For extreme high quality, you my want to tune variables beyond what web browsers consider sane values - e.g. if you want to transfer at resolutions and bitrates only technically viable to push over a local ethernet (where web browsers are designed for internet-wide traffic).

I can recommend to use the backend tool Janus Gateway when you want to go beyond the limits of web browsers. Janus supports the upcoming standard WHIP for connecting broadcast-oriented tools with WebRTC, that you can use to force-feed your extreme data, and learn if your network and client is able to succesfully handle the load. Janus also supports SIP, where you are more likely to find dedicated non-web-browser clients, including video-capable clients. One quite efficient video-capable dedicated client that I am aware of is BareSIP (with precompiled binaries available for Android).

All tools mentioned here are Free Software (a.k.a. Open Source), which means they are not only free-of-charge, but also free-to-selfhost and free-to-make-a-million-dollar-business-from.

0

jitsi.meet videobridge has some better results with higher bitrates.

1
  • 3
    Could you please add more info, such as framerate? Thanks!
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jun 27, 2020 at 13:50
0

The service letsmeet.no (using Free Software tools multiparty-meeting and Mediasoup) supports each user setting advanced video options, including forcing high resolution and/or high framerate.

If you setup your own instance of multiparty-meeting, then you can choose to add support for SIP clients that may provide for a wider range of streaming qualities than what various off-the-shelf web browsers choose to support.

4
  • It uses WebRTC, so won't that limit its maximum quality?
    – Obie 2.0
    Mar 1, 2022 at 20:52
  • WebRTC is a set of standards for realtime streaming containers and encodings. Those standards do not impose a limit on video quality - but the implementations of WebRTC in web browsers will obviously have limited capabilities, and also impose some defaults and some upper constraints e.g. to avoid abuse and instabilities.
    – Jonas
    Mar 1, 2022 at 21:31
  • Can the service be used outside of web browsers? I believe all of the major ones set some pretty stringent limits.
    – Obie 2.0
    Mar 3, 2022 at 19:59
  • yes, the tool used for the letsmeet.no service is capable of connecting from other clients than web browsers as well. Updated the answer to clarify that.
    – Jonas
    Mar 4, 2022 at 11:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.