BJN Video Call Quality Issues

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  • Updated 3 years ago
We rarely achieve the stated 720p @ 1024kbps max that BJN can offer. Additionally, we just asked BJN support to up the bandwidth cap for our desktops to 4Mbps. Still, we can't achieve anything close to the max quality. 

Most of my calls are 640x360 and max out at 400kbps. You're probably thinking it's my internet connection. Well if 538Mbps download and 308Mbps upload with a 3ms ping isn't fast enough, then we have a huge issue. I also tested this on our secondary internet connection which is 200Mbps/200Mbps. I'll also note that all other parties in these calls have had >100Mbps for both upload and download. 



Now, on to hardware. I have a brand new MacBook Pro 13" Retina with a 2.9Ghz i5 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. I have tried both the internal FaceTime Camera (720p) and an external Logitech BCC950 Conference Cam, I have still only been able to achieve 640x360 @ 400kbps. All other participants on these calls have had Logitech BCC950, a Logitech C930e, or a MacBook FaceTime Camera (720p). Additionally, they were all using a MacMini (2013 or later), MacBook Air 13" (2014 or later), MacBook Pro 13" (2014 or later) or MacBook Pro 15" (2014 or later). 

BlueJeans, what's going on here? Maybe we need to clue in @krishramakrishnan here. Everytime your account reps call us, it's perfect. Then after we get off the call with you and try to videoconference internally, it's bad quality again. 

We are not the only ones who have noted this problem. Take a look at this research study from Wainhouse Research published on Internet2. You'll note that on page 10 under "Connection Quality" it says:
Connection Quality – in general, all of our test calls provided acceptable video and audio quality. However, we did note that in some cases, the video resolution used was less than optimal given the systems in use and network conditions. For example, when connected with a web browser from our MacBook Air (Intel Core i5 processor with 10+ Mbps of Internet bandwidth), the maximum outgoing video resolution achieved was 640 x 360. With competing systems, this same notebook provided 720p or higher outgoing video. BJN is apparently working on this issue. Similarly, while connecting with a web browser from our Windows 7 test system (Intel Core i7), we noted that the call quality would increase and decrease significantly without any apparent reason. During one test call, the resolution increased 6-fold from 512 x 288 to 720p and then back again. 
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Cody Goodermote

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  • frustrated & annoyed.

Posted 3 years ago

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David Burkee

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I haven't been able to document our actual usage statistics yet, but we our experiencing similar issues.  Strictly from a perceived standpoint, the video quality of all of our meetings on campus has become incredibly poor in comparison from when we first started testing and implementing BlueJeans, about 5 or 6 months ago.  I can't think of one meeting that has taken place over the past few weeks that has not been plagued by choppy, low quality video.
Once our summer session begins and there is  time to explore this in greater detail we will be testing more thoroughly and documenting our results to send to BlueJeans.
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Cody Goodermote

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That mirrors our experience as well. I wasn't here when they tested it, but it was about 6 months ago and I'm told the quality was great. Over those 6 months the quality has degraded significantly. 
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Tedd Fox, Official Rep

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Thanks for the feedback and the tweet.  

This is not my area of expertise, but I want to help if I can.

Have you worked with your CSM or support?  Also, is the 640 resolution you are talking about sending or receiving?  Both? Those would be two different factors for our team to look into.  

Let me know.  

Thanks again, 

@teddfox
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Cody Goodermote

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We had a call with our CSM and Peter Verwayen. That call had awesome audio quality and adequate video quality (we were sending at 640x380 and receiving at 640x380 for all participants except the BlueJeans Room System that Peter was using). There were 4 of us, so the lower quality wasn't as noticeable due to the smaller window sizes.

The 640x380 is both sending and receiving. We don't have these issues with Google Hangouts, Skype or FaceTime. We send at full HD resolution for all of those services, except BlueJeans. This leads me to believe it is a problem with your backbone providers (Level3?) or something else within the BlueJeans network. Others have noted this issue, including David and those in the Wainhouse research document above.

I am happy to provide as much information as I can. Our executives are not at all pleased with the quality of BlueJeans, especially when we get better quality from a free service like Google Hangouts.

Best,
Cody
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John Lee

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I would like to add that we're also having the same issue. About 6 month ago, the video quality was decent but it was stable. In the past month, calls have been dropping and quality is poor with constant freezing. 

Called BlueJean and we determine that it's not our fast internet or polycom that was the issue. 
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Ash Azzopardi, Champion

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We are also seeing the same, although it does seem to vary based on the OS, i managed to get 720p on Fedora 22 but 640x380 on a windows machine sitting right next to it.
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Sean Simmons, Official Rep

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All, thank you for your feedback, and apologies that in some scenarios you are not able to get 720p video.  If the endpoint is not limited by bandwidth or CPU, then there are a few additional reasons you might see lower resolution video:

- Currently we have an issue with some Mac cameras where we are unable to determine their capability and default to 360p.  There is a fix for this in our next quality release and a workaround we can enable in the background until then.  If you suspect this issue, please work with our support team and they will help you enable it.

- There are some platforms, which we have found to have CPU issues with Blue Jeans.  Because of this, we cap the resolution on them in an effort to avoid these problems.  We have a big effort underway around CPU optimization and will deliver vast improvements over the next two quality releases.  This will help us raise this cap in the future. 

I believe some of you are already working with our support team to id and optimize these items.  Please let us know how else we can help and I will keep the group posted on our upcoming quality enhancements.

Thanks,
Sean
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Jeremy Hecker

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What's interesting is that the website that you referenced, internet2.edu uses go to meeting.
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Cody Goodermote

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They're simply hosting the results of the research study for others to view. The study was done by an independent third party company called Wainhouse Research.
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Tedd Fox, Official Rep

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Thanks Jeremy from Citrix. ;-)
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Jeremy Hecker

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You're welcome.  :)
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Nathan Maharaj

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It's funny: at the same time that the new Android app dropped support for slightly older tablets (eg. Kobo Arc from 2012) because they didn't meet BlueJeans' new hardware "requirements" (much to my annoyance), I noticed this same drop off to sub-SD video quality. Very frustrating.
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Joseph Ng

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From my experience of my regional offices, similar situation happened even though most are using room based VC endpoints already.  Video transmit rate shown at the endpoint is as high as we set (normally 1024k) but video receive rate is often ranged from 400k to 700k...

However, I do compliment that in extreme situation BJN still handles well with audio channel.

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Nathan Maharaj

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Agreed; audio is absolutely a strong point.