SOLVED

Video blanks when switch focus to chat or meeting

Occasional Contributor

Hello, for the last week I have noticed on my Mac that when using the Web based version of teams (teams.microsoft.com) and are in a meeting that if you shift focus to respond to an external meeting chat or to view your calendar schedule that the video now blanks. This never occurred prior to this week. The blanking now results in attendees asking have you dropped off because they can no longer view your attendance.  To get the video back you need to focus on the minimised video and enlarge it and this brings the person video back. To ensure its not a individual Mac related issue i've have tried this on 4 different Macs including intel and M1 and all demonstrate the same behaviour. Is there some way to force a return to the old behaviour where the video is not turned black when focus is shifted? 

15 Replies
best response confirmed by Christopher Hoard (MVP)
Solution

@BradSP65 

 

There is a similar issue open on feedback

 

Teams meeting causes monitors to go black · Community (microsoft.com)

 

I would vote up on this, or raise a new issue on feedback if this isn't specifically what you are experiencing. Once done I would open a support ticket referencing the feedback item along with screenshots and OS versions 

 

I could suggest a few things such as updating the Teams client and ensuring all the devices are on the latest version, and clearing the cache of all the devices - and you may want to run through this,  but seeing that it occurred suddenly, and its happening in both the web and desktop client experience and to multiple users would suggest its a bug, or something is occurring on Microsoft's end. They will be able to run through all with you, but gathering the above data can shorten the interaction with support. 

 

Thanks for raising, and hope Microsoft resolve it. Once you open a ticket drop the ticket number here and I will raise to Microsoft engineering this end. No guarantees of a response but I can get it in front of them.

 

Best, Chris 

@Christopher Hoard unfortunately this is not the same issue or problem. With regards to version information this is the web based version from Teams.microsoft.com and as a result there is no version displayed within the settings. I'd assume that since it is the online version it is whatever version that Microsoft have published. 

 

To be clear. The video is only blanked if the focused is removed from the current meeting. It is returned by refocusing upon the current meeting. It is only the video of the person that has changed focus that is sent black and not the entire display. Hence, during a meeting you can no longer check your calendar within teams, or respond to other chat sessions without the meeting loosing your video. Perhaps some one thought it was good practice to disable your video when you were not 100% dedicated to just the current meeting and inhibited the view while participants were multi-tasking. 

 

I should have mentioned this occurs with safari, edge and chrome as browsers.

 

The web version does not appears to have any option of providing feedback. 

 

I guess it is a corporate ticket to microsoft thats required.

I just tested this on a windows machine and the same response is seen. It is not a Mac related issue. This is definitely a feature of the Teams web application now. I'll go through the process of a corp ticket.
Correct. The reason to refer to or open a feedback is often a step in the ticket and doing it pre-emptively saves time.

As explained above if it’s impacting the web and desktop it’s a Microsoft issue their end. Web typically means as you say - its not a device isolated issue. Providing the feedback and the screenshots and the OS just gives them everything they need. They may come back and ask for some logs too.

Best, Chris

For others that may have this issue.

Since posting this appears that the windows version of web teams has been fixed. Unfortunately MacOS is still not working properly.

We have isolated the cause of the issue down to use of back ground effects. If this is enabled then switching focus, or simply disabling and then re-enabling the video, you will be met with a black screen.

To rapidly reproduce.
1. go to calendar
2. select Meet Now, start meeting
3. settings, back ground effects, and turn those off and apply
4. Toggle video on/off and you will get a image
5. Settings background effects - select any other option and apply
6. Return and toggle video - you get a black screen upon re-enabling video.

This impacts user privacy of teams on intel and Apple Silicon Macs on MacOS12.3 and 12.4 that I have tried. To maintain video easily in a conference you need to disable the background effects, or switch to chat, which makes the video window small, then click the small window to maximize it again to get the video back.

Hope that assists any one else with the similar issue.
Due to this now being outstanding for the last couple of weeks I thought I would try and find a work around. This does now appear to be a Microsoft Edge issue. I've tried the stable and beta versions of Edge and they both have the same results with video calls with Teams web.
Safari does not have the options to have back ground blurring.
Mozilla has an open 2+yr old ticket with Microsoft for support of video with teams. However, if you add the 'Fix Teams Video Extension' to firefox and then configure the custom user agent string to be the same as the current Edge for Mac then the video in teams meetings works even with back grounds enabled. The current work around appear to be use firefox.
Just an update that while video outgoing works with firefox it does not have incoming video. All other chromium browsers suffer the same issue. I guess either turn off privacy or switch conferencing services is the solution.

@BradSP65 Unfortunately the behaviour of Teams Web app on a Mac has changed today for the worst. Now if you have backgrounds enabled you can not minimize and maximize the video window to get outgoing video to not be black. As of today this does not work and attempts to get the video to function results in Teams now stating that it can not work with the camera and removes all video attempts altogether and disables the camera. The only way to make Teams web now work is to disable all backgrounds removing your privacy. Time to update the ticket. 

Since there are now other mac users on mac forums reporting the same issue with the PWA I'll see if there is interest there in looking at the javascript code with teams web and see if anyone can identify the exact problem. As it is 100% reproducible on any Mac using teams web and Edge I suspect with the right skilled person that it should be easily identified.
I had an opportunity today to test a 2015 Intel Mac Air running 10.14.6 and an edge version of 99.0.1150.46. This has the exactly same issues with the backgrounds enabled that the video goes black. I suspect this removes the issue of being Edge related or Mac hardware or even OS related. Definitely appears to be an issue with the Teams web code and probably what is being used for the video effects.

@BradSP65 Appears part of Team web app has now been fixed. At least once your in a meeting the video remains even with background turned on on a MAC. The only issue now is that if you join a meeting with background effects you get black video. Need to switch to chat/messages to minimize the video then maximize it to get the video. 

@BradSP65 Well after yesterdays outage I thought I would try Teams PWA again. Apple silicon 2022, 2021 and intel 2017, 2015 are all the same. If you have back grounds enabled then the video is black when you join. Black when ever you switch the camera on/off and black whenever you change focus. Its a pointless position and simply means you can have no privacy and use PWA. Unfortunately my company has also closed the ticket as there is nothing they can do other than recognise it as Microsoft Issue and not in their control. My only solution is to now campaign for an alternative to teams i guess because it appears there is no way to provide feedback to get anything addressed. 

@BradSP65 Well since Macos 12.5 came out I upgraded the 2017 MBP to see if that would make any difference to teams PWA. unfortauntely no impact. Reverting Edge right back to 91 version also makes no difference as 91 does not support the background effects but every version in between also displays the exact same problem. So this appears to be aTeams js issue by the looks.

 

So I guess, time to start now debugging the microsoft javascript to try and get a working version of teams PWA in my spare time. So far I have noticed that babylon 4.2 is used to provide the back ground effects. That turning on the video momentarily flashes and then disappears to black when the following callback is received and logged as an error on the console.  

 

2022-07-23T00:42:57.514Z deviceManager: videoEffectStateChangedEvent onVideoAffectAppliedWeb Call back received

 

Babylon is only called when enabling the camera. Once the camera is working then switching to external chat or your calendar and then maximising the display does not result in babylon being called again and the video remains running. 

 

So rough estimate just by the console is that babylon.js 4.2 may be a good place to start further investigations within the javascript. 

@BradSP65 well today its back to completely broken with back grounds and nothing has changed on my 4 machines. I also confirmed with the mac rumors thread that is running and they confirm it does not work with back grounds. Guess it is up to me to spend my time to debug the microsoft java script and try and resolve what is going on that impacts the application globally. It was almost semi-working prior to the global outage this week. Even that has now gone.

Man, this thread is wild!

 

Best, Chris