Solving Echo Problems with ViewME
Echo in video conferences is frustrating for all parties involved. For users who use video conferencing often they have the proper equipment and their computer’s audio settings are optimized. The infrequent user is often frustrated or can bring down an entire meeting.
What causes echo?
There are a number of reasons why echo occurs in phone calls and video conferences. The largest culprit is audio that comes out of a computer’s speakers and picked back up by a microphone. This creates a loop that feeds an echo back into the meeting.
What is eZuce doing about echo in meetings?
We have built in Automatic Echo Cancellation (AEC) into the ViewME client. We have worked to optimize the current code and provided the ability for users to test audio settings before entering a meeting. We are also working on leverage some of the new AEC and noise cancellation code implemented as part of the WebRTC code.
What can participants do about echo?
There are several remedies for echo.
1. Use a headset. With headsets there is no way for the microphone to pickup sound from the speakers.
2. Adjust your microphone input level and your speaker output level to at most 80%. By having the microphone lower this allows our echo cancellation code a buffer to work with. This is done in different places on different operating systems.
3. If you are utilizing an external microphone and/or speakers consider increasing the distance between the two and lowering the volume of the speakers.
4. Some computers (mostly laptops) have echo cancellation built in but this could be compromised by a high load on the computer’s CPU. Closing a few applications can help reduce load and allow this feature to operate properly.
5. If you are going to have video conferences frequently, consider a web cam that has a good quality microphone as part of the camera. Cameras such as Logitech’s C920 or C930 cameras are excellent.
6. For larger areas (like a conference room) consider a quality echo cancelling microphone from a company like Phoenix. They have options for desktops to conference room.
What can infrequent users or guests who don’t use video conferencing often do?
Infrequent users can utilize our WebRTC client at
https://viewme.ezuce.com/webrtc. This is a simplified client for people who are just
dropping into a meeting and uses the AEC that we’re working to implement in the more
feature rich desktop client.
Why doesn’t XYZ vendor have trouble with echo?
We and others in the industry are working tirelessly on these issues. Other vendors do have the same sort of issues as can be seen in the technical support sections of their web sites.
Personal Computer Hardware and Operating System Requirements
To run viewme properly, your computer or mobile device should fulfill certain minimum hardware requirements, especially if you intend to send and receive quality video and audio. At a minimum your computer should have the following:
An Intel Core™ Duo CPU or better or AMD equivalent
Microsoft Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit) and later
Mac OS X (10.7 and later)
Linux distribution (not older than 2 years if possible)
A microphone and speakers
A web camera is optional, but highly recommended and can be either built-in, or connected via a USB port or an HDMI connection to a video grabber card.
Mobile Device Requirements
viewme supports Apple’s iOS devices version 4.3 or later on either an iPad 2 or iPhone 4S or later.
For Android devices (phones or tablets), viewme requires operating system version 2.3.2 or later and API level 9 or later with at least a dual-core microprocessor.
viewme will run better on mobile devices connected via Wi-Fi than on most carrier networks. Earphones are recommended for use on mobile devices.
Network Speed Requirements
A reliable Internet connection with a minimum of 1-megabit per second download speed and a 256-kilobit per second upload speed is required.
Network Connection Requirements
A hard-wired Internet connection is preferred when connecting a PC other than a mobile device since viewme streams each tile to the desktop unlike other solutions, WiFi may work for a single person but the high packet loss over WiFi makes HD videoconferencing a substandard experience on many PC.
Network Speed Requirements
An Internet connection of DSL speeds or better (1 Mbps download and 256kbps upload is a minimum requirement)
Firewall and Network Address Translation (NAT) Support
viewme Hybrid Cloud works fine in a Network Address Translation (NAT) environment, the local or institute firewall (if any) should permit communication on UDP and TCP port 36015 both in and out. Your network administrator can open up these ports in your organization’s firewall. These settings are different for viewme Research Network.
Running Windows Firewall or Antivirus Programs
With some versions of MS Windows the system or antivirus program will ask you whether to authorize or block the Internet access for some programs depending on your security settings. Please make sure that you authorize all programs started by the viewme application.
How do I report a problem or provide feedback?
Please check for your question in our technical FAQs before you ask a technical question. Please click here to send an email to our technical support team or visit this page to leave a message. Please provide the following information for technical questions:
- Describe the problem including where and when it appears
- Your hardware platform including brand, model, operating system version and CPU
- Your browser type and version (i.e. Chrome version 29.0)
- Your version of Java (i.e. version 1.6)
- Attach the viewme meeting log file if you were successful entering a viewme meeting before the problem occurred. Click here for instructions on how to locate the viewme meeting log file.
Where can I find my viewme meeting log file?
Once your are running viewme this file can be saved to any location from the viewme menu by selecting Menu/About/Copy-Log-File. You will find the file at the following locations depending upon your operating system.
Windows WinXP, Vista, 7 & 8:
Type the following line into your Windows Explorer (File Manager)
This will take you to the directory where you will find the log files. The most recent meeting log file is named “viewme.log” previous meetings are numbered sequentially (i.e. viewme.log.1, viewme.log,.2 etc.) with older meetings having a higher number.
Mac: To locate the file follow the following steps
- Open Finder/Application/Utility/Terminal
- Copy and paste the following command into the Terminal application and hit “Enter”: open $TMPDIR
- The Finder will open showing the viewme.log file
Linux: Use the /tmp command to find: ” ls -al /tmp/viewme.log*”.
viewme starts but fails when attempting to display the meeting.
If this happens it will likely occur after you have typed in your display name or you have accept your previous display name. The exact error message will vary, but OpenGL will be referenced in the text. The video component of the viewme application requires the OpenGL 3D software engine version 1.5 or greater, which is supported by nearly all graphic chip sets sold in the past 4 years. If viewme crashes or freezes attempting to join a meeting the probable cause is a graphic card that does not support OpenGL version 1.5 or greater. To solve this problem, download and install the latest version of your graphical card’s driver from the manufacturer. The three major graphic card manufacturers are listed below. Follow the appropriate manufacture’s link to update your graphic card driver.
viewme starts but hangs while loading at a point somewhere between 56 and 100 percent complete.
Alternately you may see an error message saying, “The viewme application is unable to connect to a server. See the technical FAQ on “Firewall and Network Address Translation (NAT) Support”. It is likely that you don’t have a port open on your firewall.
How do I remove the viewme directory on my Windows PC?
- Open the “Command Prompt” by going to “Menu” and selecting “All Programs” and then “Accessories”.
- Type the following command without the quotes, “DEL /Q /S /F .viewme*” and hit the “Enter” key
How do I remove the viewme directory from a Macintosh PC?
- Open the Finder
- Go to the folder: Applications/Utilities
- Open the Terminal Window
- Type the following command without the quotes: “rm -rf ~/.viewme*” and hit Enter
How do I remove the viewme directory from my Linux PC?
- Open the Terminal (shell)
- Type the following command without the quotes, “rm -rf ~/.viewme*”
How do I download the viewme Player
The viewme Player can be downloaded for free at this location. To activate the license after installation you must attend a live viewme meeting. Detailed documentation on the use of this player and its editing, conversion and export features can be found in the documentation located here.