[At-Large] A few suggestions for when you're on camera in ZOOM!

Dr. Alejandro Pisanty Baruch apisan at unam.mx
Tue Oct 13 23:24:45 UTC 2020

Karl, indeed 95% or more of the information content is carried by speech/voice. Videoconferencing from 1993/1995 (H.320, V-Tel era) had to solve the echo-suppression problem before it worked on image where there is no serious problem with delay due to transmission and most importantly signal processing. 

Why set up a videoconference in which 80% of the participants will show only their names or a fixed image? 

Where did all those years of all-night voice teleconferencing go and what did they teach us?

Also look at a piece of software called Beulr which is said to be a bot able to attend zoom classes instead of you.

Not to say past times were better, only to emphasize the need for reasonable behavior.

Amazing, though, that we are once again spending so many cycles on proper Power Point...

Alejandro Pisanty
De: At-Large <at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org> en nombre de Karl Auerbach <karl at cavebear.com>
Enviado: martes, 13 de octubre de 2020 03:08 p. m.
Para: at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org
Asunto: Re: [At-Large] A few suggestions for when you're on camera in ZOOM!

I've done a lot of video conference stuff and have learned a few lessons:

1. Often most of the actual useful content of these video conferences is
in the audio.

Try to be in a quiet place with minimal hard surfaces on walls and floors.

I have found that the best way to get good audio without breakup is for
as many users as possible to avoid having an open sound path between
their speakers and their microphone.  It is really bad when the
microphone can hear the speakers - the software has to work hard to fix
things, and often does so rather badly.

A good way to get rid of that path is to use ear buds rather than
speakers, even better if the buds have a microphone widget built in.

The best way is to use a full earpiece/mouthpiece setup (I've got a nice
Plantronics/Poly call-center USB headset with noise-cancellation - it
isn't cheap, about $150 USD - but well worth it.)

As an alternative I've found it useful to wear a full two-ear covering
set of headphones and a good directional microphone with wind screen or
foam filter.

2. Be extremely polite and try to avoid beginning to talk until the
prior person is finished.  (This can be hard given the delays that are
natural to these kinds of conferences.)

3. I've found that software such as Manycam on Windows and Mac (I can't
remember the name of the near equivalent on Linux) are really useful if
you want to overlay text on the video or cut between screen and camera
images or sound sources.  These tools can burn a lot of CPU, so you may
need a machine with at least a recent i5 4-core processor (or better,
and a good, but quiet, processor cooler - my poor old Macbook tends to
get rather warm when I do this.)


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