Bandwidth Configuration for SCOPIA (Mac 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 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:


This link will take you to a page that contains the speed test link and descriptions on how to interpret the speed test results that will help you determine how you should configure your SCOPIA Desktop bandwidth settings.


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 Mac SCOPIA Desktop 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, go to your Applications folder on your Mac and double-click the SCOPIA Desktop application to launch it. (If you do not see the application, you may need to download and install it. Click here to view install instructions).





Once you have launched the SCOPIA Desktop application a Join Meeting window will pop up. Ignore this window but go to the top Menu bar located in the upper left-hand location of your screen and select the SCOPIA Desktop > Preferences menu pulldown selection located beside the Apple logo:





This will open up information that will allow you to adjust:


Send / Receive bandwidth

Audio & Camera defaults upon joining meetings

Video Definition (Standard / Enhanced / High)

Notification defaults

Audio input & output defaults

Advanced settings


The first icon General allows you to adjust the Bandwidth, Settings and Messages options. If you are on a slow network or a broadband connection, set the send and receive bandwidth to 384kbps:




Otherwise, try these settings at 1024kbps:



The second tab labeled Audio will allow you to adjust your audio settings for SCOPIA. The default settings will use your Macs internal microphone for audio input and your Macs internal speakers for audio output. If you prefer to use an alternate input/output device (i.e. headset) you can view options via the pull-down menus to select the connected devices.


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The third tab labeled Video will allow you to adjust your video settings for SCOPIA.

It is recommended that if you have a recent Mac (at least a Core 2 Duo 2.7GHz, i5 or i7 CPU) that you run the Video Definition in Enhanced Definition mode. Otherwise, choose a lower video size. If you prefer to use an alternate video input device (i.e. external video camera) you can view options via the pull-down menu after the Device label to select the connected devices.


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The fourth tab labeled Advanced will allow you to adjust your Data Sharing Quality and Video Size Sent options. It is recommended to use the default Automatic settings here, but you could try the alternate settings via the pull-down menus to best determine your personal setup:


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dkw: 6/14/12