Personal Videoconferencing Troubleshooting Audio Issues

Personal Videoconferencing Troubleshooting Audio Issues
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Personal Videoconferencing:
Troubleshooting Audio Issues
This guide provides step by step instructions to overcome the most common audio
problems that can occur during a videoconference. We’re here to help make sure your
videoconferencing experience is a good one!
If you have a problem that does not match any of the conditions described below, or
you have attempted the corrective action and the problem persists, please contact
OTN Technical Support.
Table of Contents
1 Others Can’t Hear You.................................................................... 2
2 You Can’t Hear Others.................................................................... 3
3 You Hear an Echo or Audio Feedback......................................4
4 Poor Quality Sound.......................................................................... 5
For further assistance and technical support, contact OTN Technical Support:
Phone: 1-855-654-0888 (option 2) Email: [email protected]
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1
Others Can’t Hear You
The Short Answer: There might be a problem with your microphone
or the other caller’s speakers.
If there are multiple people on the call and none of them can hear
you, then it is a problem with your microphone.
1. If you are using an external microphone, check that it is
properly plugged into the correct socket on your computer.
2. Check that the Personal Videoconferencing software is using
the correct microphone.
i. Open your videoconferencing window’s Configuration
panel (
) and click the Devices tab (Figure 1).
ii. If there is a microphone listed with ‘Recommended’ in
parenthesis, select it.
Figure 1: Configuration, Devices, Microphone selection
iii. To apply the changes and close the panel, click the Save
button. Or to apply the changes and leave the panel
open, click the Apply button.
3. In your videoconference window, use the Microphone
control (
) to:
• Check that the microphone control is not muted (
• Increase the microphone volume (Figure 2).
).
If there is only one person that cannot hear you, then it could
be a problem with their speakers.
Ask them to check their speakers by following the instructions
in the next section, “You Can’t Hear Others” on page 3.
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Figure 2: Microphone volume slider
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2 You Can’t Hear Others
The Short Answer: There might be a problem with your speakers
or the other caller’s microphone.
If there are multiple people on the call and you are the only one
who can’t hear, then it is a problem with your speakers.
1. If you are using external speakers, check that they are
properly plugged into the correct socket on your computer.
2. Check that the Personal Videoconferencing software is
using the correct speaker device.
i. Open the videoconferencing window’s Configuration
panel (
) and click the Devices tab (Figure 3).
ii. If there is a speaker listed with ‘Recommended’ in
parenthesis, select this device.
iii. To apply the changes and close the panel, click the
Save button. Or to apply the changes and leave the
panel open, click the Apply button.
Figure 3: Configuration, Devices, Speaker selection
3. In your videoconference window, use the Speaker
control (
) to:
• Check that the speaker control is not muted (
• Increase the speaker volume (Figure 4).
).
4. Check that your computer’s main audio settings are not
muted or turned to a low setting.
Figure 4: Speaker volume slider
If there is only one person that you cannot hear, then it could be
a problem with their microphone.
Ask them to check their microphone by following the instructions
in the previous section of this guide, “Others Can’t Hear You” on
page 2.
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3 You Hear an Echo or Audio Feedback
The Short Answer: Echoing or audio feedback is usually caused when the sound from a caller’s speaker is
‘looping’ back into their microphone.
• If you hear your own voice echoing, the problem is on the other person’s side.
• If the other person hears their voice echoing, the problem is on your side.
• If an echo happens during a videoconference, stop and ask who hears it. The participant who does
not hear the echo is the source.
1. Verify that everyone on the call is using a
USB-based audio device which has either:
Sound looping from
speaker to microphone
causes echo at other end.
• Built in echo-cancellation (e.g. Chat50
speaker phone); or
• Physically separate microphone and speaker
(e.g. USB Headset with microphone).
2. To test whether or not you are using a
particular microphone:
i. First activate the mute control on the device itself.
ii. Then ask other participants if they can
still hear you.
Figure 5: If you hear the echo,
you’re not the source of the problem
iii. If they can still hear you, the software
is using a different microphone.
3. Ensure everyone is using a ‘recommended’ speaker and
microphone or has enabled the echo cancellation feature.
i. To see the list of devices recognized by the
videoconferencing application, open its Configuration
panel (
) and click the Devices tab.
ii. If a device has built-in echo cancellation,
‘Recommended’ will appear beside the name.
Select this device.
iii. If there are no ‘Recommended’ devices listed, select
the Echo Cancellation checkbox to enable the
videoconferencing software feature.
iv. To apply the changes and close the panel, click the
Save button. Or to apply the changes and leave the
panel open, click the Apply button.
Figure 6: Configuration and Status screen
4. To identify which participant is causing the echo:
i. Ask all participants to mute their own microphone
or as host, use the Global Meeting Controls toolbar to
Mute All.
ii. Have each user un-mute their microphone one at a time
until you find who is causing the echo.
5. If the caller causing the echo does not have the
recommended equipment, ask them to try:
• Moving their microphone as far away as possible from
their speakers.
• Lowering their speaker volume.
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4 Poor Quality Sound
The Short Answer: There are a number of factors that can affect the sound quality in a videoconference.
Review the symptoms below to find a matching solution.
Symptom
You hear background noise.
Suggested Solution
• Ask the person to move to a quieter location.
• Ask the person to move closer to their microphone when
they speak, and to mute when they are not speaking.
• Use OTN recommended headsets, speakerphones, and
webcams. Built-in equipment is more likely to pick up
background noise.
You hear the sound at a very
low volume.
• In your videoconference window, use the Speaker Volume
control (
) to increase the volume.
• If it is a specific participant you can’t hear well, ask them
to use the Microphone Volume control (
) in their
videoconference window to increase the volume.
There are dropped or cut-off
words.
• Your CPU may be intermittently working on other tasks.
• To free-up your CPU, close all applications except
those necessary for your videoconference. (For
example, shut down Outlook which can use a lot
of bandwidth and CPU if it is downloading large
attachments.)
• Your Internet connection may be poor or highly variable.
• If you share a connection with others, another
application or another computer streaming video or
file downloading might be consuming bandwidth.
• If you are connected via a wireless connection, you
can improve the quality in most cases by moving to a
wired connection.
• To test the quality of your Internet connection, open a
browser window and go to networktest.otn.ca.
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