Bandwidth Fix for Scopia (Windows ONLY)

If you are on DSL or a cellular modem you may be having serious problems trying to participate in a Scopia session. DSL throttles upstream bandwidth and that cap creates a problem. Often what you are trying to send up exceeds the cap. This results in any of the three problems below. People tell you that:

1.       Your audio is breaking up and hard to understand

2.       Your video image freezes or smears

3.       Scopia just locks up

Almost always this is due to a bandwidth problem at your end. DSL and cell systems seem to experience this a lot more than cable systems which have a much higher cap.

The first thing you need to do is check your bandwidth and see if perhaps your bandwidth is deficient. Two numbers matter, downstream (aka download) times and upstream (aka upload) times. Other issues such as latency and jitter can come into play later but for now we are only worried about downstream and upstream.

To find your speed go here:

http://pcpitstop.com/internet/bw.asp

Scroll down and you will see 4 cities. Pick one close to you and run the test. (You will need Flash installed).The first number it gives you is ping time. Ignore that. The second number is download speed. The third number is upload speed. Both download and upload should, ideally be 1Mb/s or higher (aka 1000Kb/s) The bigger the number (in Mb/s) the better.Cable systems typically are about 10Mb/s download and 6 Mb/s upload. Those numbers are excellent. But what if you have a small upload number? I have seen numbers around 0.15Mb/s and that is way too slow to support video conference participation. It is the upstream number that is the most serious problem since it is the one likely to be the smallest and if it is small you cannot send your audio. video, and screen images to the other participants.

If you are unable to go to a place with bigger bandwidth and you need to make do with the bandwidth you have, you can adjust the data transfer rate in the Scopia client to allow for that. Your video will degrade in sharpness but at least it will work and your audio should be preserved to reasonable quality. This is how you do it.

First, bring up the Scopia webpage (http://conferencing.nursing.vanderbilt.edu ) Click where it says Check your Audio or Check Your Video. This will bring up the Settings window.

When the Settings window shows, click the Network tab.

You will see this.

Change the first Automatic pull down to Custom. And where it has the Current rates for Send and Receive put in 240 for each. Then click Apply.

Now click the Advanced tab.

Look to the Preferred Video Size which is default selected as Automatic. Change that to QCIF (176x144)

So that it looks like this. (Then click Apply and OK).

You ONLY have to do everything above once. After it is set it is set until you change it again. You can now go back in and check your audio and video. Everything should work in lower bandwidth but your video quality will not be as clear and detailed as someone who didnít have to do this. But at least it will work.

 

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