SOLVED

Improve quality of a Teams screen-shared video?

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Highlighted
Occasional Visitor

Dear all,

 

In our company we're using Microsoft Teams with roughly 70 employees.

Relatively frequently, we need to share promotional (marketing) videos to external parties or clients. To do this, we invite contacts of these companies to a video call meeting in Teams.

During such a call, we briefly present a presentation and then show videos that we have produced.

 

Now, the challenge I'm trying to solve for our company is how to improve how our audience sees the video that we are playing on our computer, and then display to them through screen sharing.

The resolution is OK, but the framerate is rather appalling (roughly 2-3 fps on their side, while it is 40fps on our side). This diminishes the whole experience. We cannot pre-share the video file with them because of rights.

 

We're using only Windows 10 systems.

 

What I have tried:

  • Check connection speed on both sides. Did an experiment with 2 private owned systems, both on 1Gbit internet (~100 MB/s up and downstream). Same issue. This rules out any bandwidth issues on either side since I suspect that ~1 Gbit on either side should be sufficient for Teams screen sharing.
  • Disabling webcam on our side at the same time screen sharing is on. This slightly improves the frame rate to 4 / 5 fps.
  • As IT specialist, I have checked Task Manager's networking tab. I noticed that at maximum, Teams will pump out 1 MBit/s (128 KB/s). Could the issue be here? Is this throttled by the application itself? Any way to improve?

Furthermore, I wonder why webcam streaming can be fluid at say 25-30 fps (perhaps with lower resolution) while screen sharing seems stuck at 3-4 FPS.

Happy to hear your thoughts. Also other (out of the box) ideas are welcome, as long as we can remotely show videos to our clients.

 

 

 

18 Replies
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Have you tried to uplad the videos to Stream and just share your screen playing the videos in Stream?
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Hey. We had a similar problem in Teams video meeting of 4 people for one of our guest. Though it was not with the framerate. The guest experienced bitrate issues I guess as for them the frame quality deteriorated from HD at many instances in the meeting based on what they described it to be.

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Our users have the same complaint. We have video embedded in powerpoint slides, and tried uploading them to onedrive or Teams and driving from there, but everyone's video plays at a different time according to their own connection.
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@Brounzer We have a similar issue.  Our customer wants to perform new employee training using Teams Meetings to multiple regional sites.  All the desktop specs in Task Manager seem to be OK (although the network bandwidth seems to flatline at 2 Mbps), and the Call Analytics in Teams show good quality connections.    The customer is willing to pay for better hardware, but I can't seem to determine which part of the system is the bottleneck.  I have had some success in reducing the resolution of the videos down to about 360p, but something doesn't feel right about that solution.  It seems like we just need a little more insight into how Teams is handling the shared desktop apps.

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Any news or solutions regarding this issue?

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Best Response confirmed by ThereseSolimeno (Microsoft)
Solution

@erimo This issue was resolved.  However, in order to resolve it, we needed to  know how networking works in Teams.  Here's a great video.  https://youtu.be/vi3M7ZzF2NU  It's about an hour long, but well worth it.

 

We put together a few test cases to verify the components of the system we control, specifically, the end points.  We did a direct call between computers on the same LAN and attempted to stream the video.  Fail.  Since this case did not require any communication to the Microsoft Cloud (see the video), we were able to identify that the source computer just didn't have enough horsepower.  After switching to a more powerful computer, we could stream video up to 720p without any performance issues.  We brought the Microsoft Cloud into the loop by changing from a direct call to a meeting.  There was virtually no difference in performance.

 

In further testing, we found anything less than an i5 would struggle.  But as long as you have a decent machine and work within Microsoft's network guidelines, everything seems to run pretty well.

 

At least that is our experience...

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We've had a similar issue almost the other way around. Staff set up a meeting and record the screen share. Their output file that records to stream is only 10fps. I'd suggest that teams is limiting frame rate to guarantee connectivity.
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@DisputedPondThanks for sharing. Still, when starting from @Brounzer 's original question, it feels like optimising what is essentially a workaround, since it still relies on locally playing a video and sharing your screen + system audio.

 

Ideally, it should be possible to let a presenter start the streaming of a video straight from a server (MS Stream/Youtube/etc.) to each individual participant. I.e. without the other participants having to click on a link (in the meeting chat) or without having to move to a different window.

 

Is there any way to do that in Teams meetings now or to get that implemented in the nearby future?

 

Many thanks.

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Doing experiments in this today in the run-up to  a live school prize-giving with Teams feed including  prerecorded video.

 

If on the computer hosting the video playback (which in my setup is not the one running mic and camera)  one resizes the shared video window (in this case Quicktime) - to make it smaller - the size of the clients frames do not resize but the resolution changes on the fly with a consequent improvement in framerate. So if you shrink the host window to, say, postcard size or even matchbox you can improve the framerate markedly - if you are prepared to compromise on res.

 

BTW these experiments were all on Mac, with desktop apps at each end, and iOS clients as well

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Thanks. Are you on Windows or Mac. Does it make a difference though?
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@erimo I'm on Windows.  I don't have any experience on Mac.  I don't recall anything that states the Mac client would operate differently, but I tend to gloss over information related to Macs.  My memory may be faulty.

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There is a Uservoice item (several, actually) that cover this topic.  Please vote on this one (or search for one more specific to your video issues): https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/599053-schools-and-universities/suggestions/41165437-the...

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Centrally hosted and only relying on download speed. This is what I would have hoped was possible. It doesn't seem to be a widespread approach to synchronize web video, but if we host the video in Microsoft Stream, it would be great if we could share from the server to each attendee, rather than render the video on a machine and present a screen playing the video into the meeting.
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@Brounzer Our experience has been so long as sharing system audio, that frame rate would be acceptable (15 - 20 fps) however today it is back to 2 or 3 fps.  This used to be the case and Teams was not satisfactory for desktop video sharing, however Zoom was great.  I've checked Zoom today and it is still great - is Microsoft doing something with Teams this week that would explain the sudden change in performance??

 

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Same experience here. As far as we can tell, everything else is equal (same PC, same network, etc). It's just that in the past week, video framerates when screen sharing have slowed to a crawl.
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@DisputedPond  Even using Corei7 10th generation with 32GB memory and electronic HD, problem remains

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@DisputedPond 

 

Hi,

 

Could you specifiy what hardware requirements you were running in comparison to what you upgraded to in order to get this running smoothly? ANd where did your video original from, a video file or on YouTube or something similar?

 

I was doing some testing with a trainer today who wishes to use Teams for remote sharing video with audio for internal online training for some of our staff members. We were attempting 720p video file then reduced the video quality via HandBrake to 480p and then 360p - 360p much an improvement but still choppy and in my opinion not good enough.

 

Admittedly, the kit we are using isn't exactly new.. however it is what I would consider recommended specs for Teams under their hardware requirements.

 

His laptop - i5-6200U, 4GB RAM, 250GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 4000

My laptop - i7-4770HQ, 16GB RAM, 250GB SSD, Intel Iris Pro 520

 

No visual improvement over either spec, he shared his videos to me. I shared my videos to him. No different. He was at his house, I was at mine. We both have fibre running a minimum of 40MB/dl and 10MB/up.

 

Thanks,

Mike

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That is not working, stream has  a huge delay. which means the video shown is often 40-60seconds behind what the speakers are seeing