video conferencing

Why is my Chromebook dropping out during a Zoom call?

Duet Chromebook

Episode 1716

Pente from Thousand Oaks, CA

Pente's Chromebook has an issue of stalling during a Zoom meeting. Leo says that the Chromebook could be underpowered for video conferencing and as such, have problems keeping up. But it could also be an issue with the Chromebook's radio or network card. You get what you pay for and if the Chromebook is a budget model, it may not be able to handle the bandwidth. You can help by making sure there's no other tab or extension running. 

A higher-priced Chromebook will have a faster processor, more memory, and better quality parts. 

Why Won't My Webcam Work in Zoom?

Zoom

Episode 1713

Joe from Bellflower, CA

Joe does Zoom with his friends, but he can't see his video. Leo says to check the video settings and make sure it has the right camera selected. Make sure the camera is turned on and any shutters are open. Some webcams have one on the lid for privacy. Also, look in the settings to make sure your camera is actually enabled. The camera may be turned off as a security feature. Double-check in another camera app to see if it works to be sure. 

Is Zoom still a security risk?

Zoom

Episode 1704

Alan from North Hollywood, CA

Alan wants to know if Zoom is still a security risk? Leo says he's becoming less and less trusting of Zoom because they are giving law enforcement backdoor access to user accounts, and has canceled the account of an American activist. They have also done little to fix the security issues that have been cropping up, short of just requiring a password. Leo prefers JITSI, an open-source video conferencing solution that's free and you can start your own server for even more privacy. It's very easy to do. 

What's the best video conferencing for musicians?

Jammr

Episode 1702

Don from Dallas, TX

Don is trying to use both Skype and Zoom for his music rehearsals. But the latency is terrible. So he's been using another option called Jamulus. Why does that work, but Skype doesn't?  Leo says that distance is a factor, but there's also networks, bandwidth, the kind of network, network connection speeds, ISPs, switches, all contribute to latency. Jamulus is nice because it's open-source and free. But there are also commercial options like Jammr.

What is a Good Mic for Video Calling?

zoom

Episode 1695

"Chef Guy" from Agua Caliente, CA

Chef Guy agrees with Leo that the so-called "Zoom fatigue" is setting in. Could it be due to bad audio quality?  Leo says that could definitely be a contributing factor. The better quality audio you provide, the better. But most people Zoom using their computer laptop microphones. Would a lav and earbud microphones help? Leo says that a better choice is a Plantronics Model 540 or 478 USB headset. But good luck getting them these days.

Is the Facebook Portal good for keeping in touch with family?

Facebook Portal

Episode 1692

Jason from Henrico County, VA

Jason wants to know if the Facebook Portal is safe to use for Grandma keeping in touch with family. Leo says that the Portal is very easy to use and comes in three models. It's also really easy to make calls. You just say "call [name]," and it calls. It will also zoom in on the speaker and follow them as they move around. Great for talking to grandkids. And if everyone is on Facebook anyway, it's a great way to keep in touch. 

What's a good open source video conferencing option for Chromebooks?

Jitsi

Episode 1688

Michael from Luka, Italy

Michael wants to know how to video conference with his computer and Chromebook. Leo says that Skype will work just fine with it. They have their own plugin for Chromebooks. But Leo also recommends a new open-source utility called JITSI, which will set up an unlimited number of callers in a grid and it's very easy to set up your own JITSI server. Secure. Fast. And yours. You send your callers a web address, they go to it and they're talking. Nothing to install.

Can I create other user IDs on Zoom?

Zoom

Episode 1688

Lene from Canada

Lene has a Zoom account for video conferencing at work, and she will be setting up meetings while isolating at home. She's worried, though, about using a personal ID for the meeting and giving that ID to other colleagues for creating meetings. Leo recommends creating a separate user ID and pass that along to your colleagues to create other meetings. Leo also says that each user should have their own IDs.