Discussion:
my video feed freezes sometimes in Zoom
(too old to reply)
OJ Oxford
2020-09-07 14:28:07 UTC
Permalink
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04 to talk to family
and friends. Everyone else seems to be running Zoom under Win except
me, and I am the only one who seems to keep freezing where I have to
stop and restart my camera several times during a session. Sometimes
I've even had a situation where right where I am connecting into a
session, everything is frozen and I have to shut down Zoom and start
again. This seems to be related to the number of people using Zoom at
once.

I'm using the built in webcam in my laptop for Zoom. I check with
Cheese and I never have freezing issues and such. Others are suggesting
I need a better webcam, an external one, but how does that relate to
the immediate freezing I'm having when trying to log into an active
session sometimes?

I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was
connecting to my router wirelessly, so last week I got a long enough
Ethernet cable so I can use the laptop anywhere in the house. I did a
Zoom test and I still had to stop and restart my video due to freezing
several times over a 45 min period.

Then I've thought maybe it was my internet speed, but tested it today
and it is 80 Mbps which, after reading Zoom requirements, is more than
enough even if talking with many people on Zoom.

I am using the latest Zoom and installed the DEB via command line.
Installation went smoothly with no reported issues. I also always try
and keep 16.04 up to date.

Next meeting is coming up this week, but after the brief tests I tried
yesterday with a single family member, I'm still going to have to stop
and start several times.

Any help would be more than welcome. Thank you.
David Catterall
2020-09-07 14:39:23 UTC
Permalink
I am the only one who seems to keep freezing where I have to stop and
restart my camera several times during a session.
To be clear: is it only your CAMERA and never your SCREEN which has freezes?

If so, have you been able to stream online video to people using any
other program?

If that doesn't work, surely we are talking about faults in camera or
firmware.

Cheers,
David
OJ Oxford
2020-09-07 15:23:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Catterall
I am the only one who seems to keep freezing where I have to stop and
restart my camera several times during a session.
To be clear: is it only your CAMERA and never your SCREEN which has freezes?
The video feed of the camera not the screen.
Post by David Catterall
If so, have you been able to stream online video to people using any
other program?
Have not tried. All the others use Zoom.
Post by David Catterall
If that doesn't work, surely we are talking about faults in camera or
firmware.
Is there any way of setting up some sort of a data log so when it
freezes in the future, I might be able to get a readout of what's going on?
Post by David Catterall
Cheers,
 David
Mike Scott
2020-09-07 18:04:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by David Catterall
I am the only one who seems to keep freezing where I have to stop and
restart my camera several times during a session.
To be clear: is it only your CAMERA and never your SCREEN which has freezes?
The video feed of the camera not the screen.
Just a thought, but if you're on adsl you might have a low upload speed,
while download can cope with the video you're seeing.

speedtest.net perhaps?
--
Mike Scott
Harlow, England
OJ Oxford
2020-09-07 18:12:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Scott
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by David Catterall
I am the only one who seems to keep freezing where I have to stop
and restart my camera several times during a session.
To be clear: is it only your CAMERA and never your SCREEN which has freezes?
The video feed of the camera not the screen.
Just a thought, but if you're on adsl you might have a low upload speed,
while download can cope with the video you're seeing.
speedtest.net perhaps?
Speedtest reports 28 ms ping, 80.34 Mbps download, 66.58 Mpbs upload
Henry Crun
2020-09-07 15:17:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04
^^^^^

Have you tried running something a trifle more up-to-date?
And if you have, have you then tried updating Zoom? There have been several updates recently.
... Just asking.
--
Mike R.
Home: http://alpha.mike-r.com/
QOTD: http://alpha.mike-r.com/qotd.php
No Micro$oft products were used in the URLs above, or in preparing this message.
Recommended reading: http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html#before
and: http://alpha.mike-r.com/jargon/T/top-post.html
Missile address: N31.7624/E34.9691
OJ Oxford
2020-09-07 16:20:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04
                                                   ^^^^^
Have you tried running something a trifle more up-to-date?
You mean other than 16.04? No.
And if you have, have you then tried updating Zoom? There have been
several updates recently.
... Just asking.
I am using the most recent Zoom though.
OJ Oxford
2020-09-07 16:30:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04
                                                    ^^^^^
Have you tried running something a trifle more up-to-date?
You mean other than 16.04? No.
However, since I have time today, I am in the process of making a back
up of my current system, then I'm going to try out the latest version
along with the latest version of Zoom and see how it goes. Can't hurt
and I'll just reinstall the back up if I have trouble.
Post by OJ Oxford
And if you have, have you then tried updating Zoom? There have been
several updates recently.
... Just asking.
I am using the most recent Zoom though.
Bit Twister
2020-09-07 16:39:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04
                                                    ^^^^^
Have you tried running something a trifle more up-to-date?
You mean other than 16.04? No.
However, since I have time today, I am in the process of making a back
up of my current system, then I'm going to try out the latest version
along with the latest version of Zoom and see how it goes. Can't hurt
and I'll just reinstall the back up if I have trouble.
I would be interested in knowing what your real Frames Per Second is
on your system.

I do not run ubuntu, but I ran teapot on my Mageia install, from the
mesa-demos rpm.

I was getting 60 fps on my Radeon video card.
Added vblank_mode=0 to my kernel boot line and now get around
Frame rate: 880.000000
with the help screen present. That gives realistic FPS seen in games.
OJ Oxford
2020-09-07 17:00:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bit Twister
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04
                                                    ^^^^^
Have you tried running something a trifle more up-to-date?
You mean other than 16.04? No.
However, since I have time today, I am in the process of making a back
up of my current system, then I'm going to try out the latest version
along with the latest version of Zoom and see how it goes. Can't hurt
and I'll just reinstall the back up if I have trouble.
I would be interested in knowing what your real Frames Per Second is
on your system.
Have plenty of time today, how would I obtain this value in Ubuntu while
running the integrated webcam? Would Cheese show it?
Post by Bit Twister
I do not run ubuntu, but I ran teapot on my Mageia install, from the
mesa-demos rpm.
I was getting 60 fps on my Radeon video card.
Added vblank_mode=0 to my kernel boot line and now get around
Frame rate: 880.000000
with the help screen present. That gives realistic FPS seen in games.
Bit Twister
2020-09-07 17:12:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by Bit Twister
I would be interested in knowing what your real Frames Per Second is
on your system.
Have plenty of time today, how would I obtain this value in Ubuntu while
running the integrated webcam? Would Cheese show it?
No idea, like I said, I do not run Ubuntu.

I picked teapot because other apps I tried like glxgears gave very large
frame rates, but a game like GL-117 was still showing something like 58 FPS.
OJ Oxford
2020-09-07 18:16:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04
                                                    ^^^^^
Have you tried running something a trifle more up-to-date?
You mean other than 16.04? No.
However, since I have time today, I am in the process of making a back
up of my current system, then I'm going to try out the latest version
along with the latest version of Zoom and see how it goes.  Can't hurt
and I'll just reinstall the back up if I have trouble.
Post by OJ Oxford
And if you have, have you then tried updating Zoom? There have been
several updates recently.
... Just asking.
I am using the most recent Zoom though.
Upgrade to 18.04 complete. I checked the Zoom website to be sure I
didn't have to update further, but still the 16.04+ download presented.
I won't be able to do any more checks until one of the family members
sets up a brief meeting tomorrow as I don't have a Zoom account, then
I'll see what happens.
Paul
2020-09-07 19:59:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by Henry Crun
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04
^^^^^
Have you tried running something a trifle more up-to-date?
You mean other than 16.04? No.
However, since I have time today, I am in the process of making a back
up of my current system, then I'm going to try out the latest version
along with the latest version of Zoom and see how it goes. Can't hurt
and I'll just reinstall the back up if I have trouble.
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by Henry Crun
And if you have, have you then tried updating Zoom? There have been
several updates recently.
... Just asking.
I am using the most recent Zoom though.
Upgrade to 18.04 complete. I checked the Zoom website to be sure I
didn't have to update further, but still the 16.04+ download presented.
I won't be able to do any more checks until one of the family members
sets up a brief meeting tomorrow as I don't have a Zoom account, then
I'll see what happens.
This web page provided a link to a test meeting.

https://it.umn.edu/services-technologies/how-tos/zoom-join-or-test-audio-video

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115002262083-Joining-a-Test-Meeting

Our health system has video like that, and it came
with a test page. The test page runs at 100Kbit/sec
while the real video session ran at 576Kbit/sec.
As a result, I now know the test page is not a
good indication of how well the session will run.
The test page on our setup, only stays up for a
matter of maybe eight seconds, it's hardly a
"bandwidth waster". But still, they turned down
the transmission rate anyway.

Paul
OJ Oxford
2020-09-09 00:10:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04 to talk to family
and friends.  Everyone else seems to be running Zoom under Win except
me, and I am the only one who seems to keep freezing where I have to
stop and restart my camera several times during a session.  Sometimes
I've even had a situation where right where I am connecting into a
session, everything is frozen and I have to shut down Zoom and start
again.  This seems to be related to the number of people using Zoom at
once.
I'm using the built in webcam in my laptop for Zoom.  I check with
Cheese and I never have freezing issues and such.  Others are suggesting
 I need a better webcam, an external one, but how does that relate to
the immediate freezing I'm having when trying to log into an active
session sometimes?
I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was
connecting to my router wirelessly, so last week I got a long enough
Ethernet cable so I can use the laptop anywhere in the house.  I did a
Zoom test and I still had to stop and restart my video due to freezing
several times over a 45 min period.
Then I've thought maybe it was my internet speed, but tested it today
and it is 80 Mbps which, after reading Zoom requirements, is more than
enough even if talking with many people on Zoom.
I am using the latest Zoom and installed the DEB via command line.
Installation went smoothly with no reported issues.  I also always try
and keep 16.04 up to date.
Next meeting is coming up this week, but after the brief tests I tried
yesterday with a single family member, I'm still going to have to stop
and start several times.
Any help would be more than welcome.  Thank you.
After coming across an old, non-functional laptop, I decided to try
extracting the integrated webcam, wire it up for USB and then try out
the Zoom meeting on my desktop. After some trial and error, after a
couple of hour, I had the webcam working well in Cheese.

Thanks to Paul's Zoom testing links, I got on and didn't find any
problems, but, as he pointed out, that's no guarantee. Tonight I had
the first chance to try the hacked webcam on Desktop in a Zoom meeting.
Performance was flawless, no freezing, glitching or anything else. And
on the desktop I still use 16.04.

I've been suspecting that my laptops were a bit sluggish either due to
the video cards and/or the CPU. The laptops have duo core, whereas the
desktop is quad. The laptops graphics could not be updated, but I
upgraded the desktop's within the last several years. Both have equal
amounts of memory and SSD drives though. All of the machines in his
house are just over a decade old.

A bit of unexpected performance with the hacked webcam though.
Apparently, the two audio wires for the mics output a digital signal and
not analog, therefore all I would get is a pulsating buzz when I tried
to wire the output into my desktop's mic input. For now, I've
repurposed an old Zoom H2 recorder for the use of its microphone via USB.

The webcam was nylon tied to a piece of wood and as much flexure between
the soldered USB cable and webcam wires was removed as possible. The
assembly was then coupled to an unused gooseneck lamp end. Worked good
tonight.

Now if anyone wants to suggest a fairly decent, but not expensive USB
webcam I could buy and use next time (meeting in a month), please share.
I see them from $5 -$100 and even HD ones seem to be low cost. Thanks
in advance and thanks for the help and suggestions here.
Bernie
2020-09-09 03:17:08 UTC
Permalink
For the most part all the webcams available these days are from China. I
bought one with rave reviews, and well, I paid $50.00 and it's worth
about $30.00.

Once in a great while Logitech webcams show up on Amazon, but if its not
Chinese it is at pandemic prices and not the old prices.

That's the best advice I have on webcams
OJ Oxford
2020-09-09 07:48:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bernie
For the most part all the webcams available these days are from China. I
bought one with rave reviews, and well, I paid $50.00 and it's worth
about $30.00.
Once in a great while Logitech webcams show up on Amazon, but if its not
Chinese it is at pandemic prices and not the old prices.
That's the best advice I have on webcams
Appreciate it, more than I want to pay though. If I have to, I'll just
continue using this extracted one as it is also HD, and pick up a cheap
electret condenser mic to use in place of the Zoom one. Or maybe find a
board webcam like mine except that the audio output feed works too.
Henry Crun
2020-09-09 09:29:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bernie
For the most part all the webcams available these days are from China. I
bought one with rave reviews, and well, I paid $50.00 and it's worth
about $30.00.
Once in a great while Logitech webcams show up on Amazon, but if its not
Chinese it is at pandemic prices and not the old prices.
That's the best advice I have on webcams
Appreciate it, more than I want to pay though.  If I have to, I'll just continue using this extracted one as it is also
HD, and pick up a cheap electret condenser mic to use in place of the Zoom one.  Or maybe find a board webcam like mine
except that the audio output feed works too.
If you hava a phone with a camera, and a wifi connection to your ubuntu, try software (on your phone) called 'IPwebcam"
which displays from your phone to your PC. (Disclosure: I tried it, it worked as an experiment, but Ive not used it in
anger)
--
Mike R.
Home: http://alpha.mike-r.com/
QOTD: http://alpha.mike-r.com/qotd.php
No Micro$oft products were used in the URLs above, or in preparing this message.
Recommended reading: http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html#before
and: http://alpha.mike-r.com/jargon/T/top-post.html
Missile address: N31.7624/E34.9691
OJ Oxford
2020-09-09 10:07:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Henry Crun
Post by Bernie
For the most part all the webcams available these days are from China. I
bought one with rave reviews, and well, I paid $50.00 and it's worth
about $30.00.
Once in a great while Logitech webcams show up on Amazon, but if its not
Chinese it is at pandemic prices and not the old prices.
That's the best advice I have on webcams
Appreciate it, more than I want to pay though.  If I have to, I'll
just continue using this extracted one as it is also HD, and pick up a
cheap electret condenser mic to use in place of the Zoom one.  Or
maybe find a board webcam like mine except that the audio output feed
works too.
If you hava a phone with a camera, and a wifi connection to your ubuntu,
try software (on your phone) called 'IPwebcam"
which displays from your phone to your PC. (Disclosure: I tried it, it
worked as an experiment, but Ive not used it in anger)
Thanks, but no phones here other than landlines!
Paul
2020-09-09 10:29:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04 to talk to
family and friends. Everyone else seems to be running Zoom under Win
except me, and I am the only one who seems to keep freezing where I
have to stop and restart my camera several times during a session.
Sometimes I've even had a situation where right where I am connecting
into a session, everything is frozen and I have to shut down Zoom and
start again. This seems to be related to the number of people using
Zoom at once.
I'm using the built in webcam in my laptop for Zoom. I check with
Cheese and I never have freezing issues and such. Others are
suggesting I need a better webcam, an external one, but how does
that relate to the immediate freezing I'm having when trying to log
into an active session sometimes?
I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was
connecting to my router wirelessly, so last week I got a long enough
Ethernet cable so I can use the laptop anywhere in the house. I did a
Zoom test and I still had to stop and restart my video due to freezing
several times over a 45 min period.
Then I've thought maybe it was my internet speed, but tested it today
and it is 80 Mbps which, after reading Zoom requirements, is more than
enough even if talking with many people on Zoom.
I am using the latest Zoom and installed the DEB via command line.
Installation went smoothly with no reported issues. I also always try
and keep 16.04 up to date.
Next meeting is coming up this week, but after the brief tests I tried
yesterday with a single family member, I'm still going to have to stop
and start several times.
Any help would be more than welcome. Thank you.
After coming across an old, non-functional laptop, I decided to try
extracting the integrated webcam, wire it up for USB and then try out
the Zoom meeting on my desktop. After some trial and error, after a
couple of hour, I had the webcam working well in Cheese.
Thanks to Paul's Zoom testing links, I got on and didn't find any
problems, but, as he pointed out, that's no guarantee. Tonight I had
the first chance to try the hacked webcam on Desktop in a Zoom meeting.
Performance was flawless, no freezing, glitching or anything else. And
on the desktop I still use 16.04.
I've been suspecting that my laptops were a bit sluggish either due to
the video cards and/or the CPU. The laptops have duo core, whereas the
desktop is quad. The laptops graphics could not be updated, but I
upgraded the desktop's within the last several years. Both have equal
amounts of memory and SSD drives though. All of the machines in his
house are just over a decade old.
A bit of unexpected performance with the hacked webcam though.
Apparently, the two audio wires for the mics output a digital signal and
not analog, therefore all I would get is a pulsating buzz when I tried
to wire the output into my desktop's mic input. For now, I've
repurposed an old Zoom H2 recorder for the use of its microphone via USB.
The webcam was nylon tied to a piece of wood and as much flexure between
the soldered USB cable and webcam wires was removed as possible. The
assembly was then coupled to an unused gooseneck lamp end. Worked good
tonight.
Now if anyone wants to suggest a fairly decent, but not expensive USB
webcam I could buy and use next time (meeting in a month), please share.
I see them from $5 -$100 and even HD ones seem to be low cost. Thanks
in advance and thanks for the help and suggestions here.
The microphone could be DMIC with I2S. Some laptops might have
that as an input option on the sound chip itself. I've seen DMIC
mentioned in datasheets before - what I haven't seen much of,
is digital mikes in the flesh.

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-i2s-stereo-decoder-uda1334a

They also make a microphone board. It's mono, and there's
some crazy way of running two of them for stereo. The hole on
one side of the PCB, is "where the sound goes in".

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-i2s-mems-microphone-breakout

*******

Analog electrets can be pesky. I suspect some
don't work right, because the bias voltage coming
from the PC microphone port isn't a high enough
voltage. But this isn't explained anywhere. For example,
I have a Logitech headset, where the microphone is
deads-ville, and it could be a bias issue.

The best electret I've got, is an electret followed
by a four pin amp chip. Whole thing runs off 5V and
it seems to have a nice fat signal. It's sitting
in front of my face right now, waiting for a Zoom
session later today. Not expecting miracles though
in terms of flawless operation during the meeting.
I'm sure the volume will be screwed up in the
meeting. That's just how video sessions go.

Paul
OJ Oxford
2020-09-09 12:25:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04 to talk to
family and friends.  Everyone else seems to be running Zoom under Win
except me, and I am the only one who seems to keep freezing where I
have to stop and restart my camera several times during a session.
Sometimes I've even had a situation where right where I am connecting
into a session, everything is frozen and I have to shut down Zoom and
start again.  This seems to be related to the number of people using
Zoom at once.
I'm using the built in webcam in my laptop for Zoom.  I check with
Cheese and I never have freezing issues and such.  Others are
suggesting   I need a better webcam, an external one, but how does
that relate to the immediate freezing I'm having when trying to log
into an active session sometimes?
I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was
connecting to my router wirelessly, so last week I got a long enough
Ethernet cable so I can use the laptop anywhere in the house.  I did
a Zoom test and I still had to stop and restart my video due to
freezing several times over a 45 min period.
Then I've thought maybe it was my internet speed, but tested it today
and it is 80 Mbps which, after reading Zoom requirements, is more
than enough even if talking with many people on Zoom.
I am using the latest Zoom and installed the DEB via command line.
Installation went smoothly with no reported issues.  I also always
try and keep 16.04 up to date.
Next meeting is coming up this week, but after the brief tests I
tried yesterday with a single family member, I'm still going to have
to stop and start several times.
Any help would be more than welcome.  Thank you.
After coming across an old, non-functional laptop, I decided to try
extracting the integrated webcam, wire it up for USB and then try out
the Zoom meeting on my desktop.  After some trial and error, after a
couple of hour, I had the webcam working well in Cheese.
Thanks to Paul's Zoom testing links, I got on and didn't find any
problems, but, as he pointed out, that's no guarantee.  Tonight I had
the first chance to try the hacked webcam on Desktop in a Zoom
meeting. Performance was flawless, no freezing, glitching or anything
else.  And on the desktop I still use 16.04.
I've been suspecting that my laptops were a bit sluggish either due to
the video cards and/or the CPU.  The laptops have duo core, whereas
the desktop is quad.  The laptops graphics could not be updated, but I
upgraded the desktop's within the last several years.   Both have
equal amounts of memory and SSD drives though.  All of the machines in
his house are just over a decade old.
A bit of unexpected performance with the hacked webcam though.
Apparently, the two audio wires for the mics output a digital signal
and not analog, therefore all I would get is a pulsating buzz when I
tried to wire the output into my desktop's mic input.  For now, I've
repurposed an old Zoom H2 recorder for the use of its microphone via USB.
The webcam was nylon tied to a piece of wood and as much flexure
between the soldered USB cable and webcam wires was removed as
possible.  The assembly was then coupled to an unused gooseneck lamp
end.  Worked good tonight.
Now if anyone wants to suggest a fairly decent, but not expensive USB
webcam I could buy and use next time (meeting in a month), please
share.  I see them from $5 -$100 and even HD ones seem to be low
cost.  Thanks in advance and thanks for the help and suggestions here.
The microphone could be DMIC with I2S. Some laptops might have
that as an input option on the sound chip itself. I've seen DMIC
mentioned in datasheets before - what I haven't seen much of,
is digital mikes in the flesh.
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-i2s-stereo-decoder-uda1334a
They also make a microphone board. It's mono, and there's
some crazy way of running two of them for stereo. The hole on
one side of the PCB, is "where the sound goes in".
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-i2s-mems-microphone-breakout
*******
Analog electrets can be pesky. I suspect some
don't work right, because the bias voltage coming
from the PC microphone port isn't a high enough
voltage. But this isn't explained anywhere. For example,
I have a Logitech headset, where the microphone is
deads-ville, and it could be a bias issue.
The best electret I've got, is an electret followed
by a four pin amp chip. Whole thing runs off 5V and
it seems to have a nice fat signal. It's sitting
in front of my face right now, waiting for a Zoom
session later today. Not expecting miracles though
in terms of flawless operation during the meeting.
I'm sure the volume will be screwed up in the
meeting. That's just how video sessions go.
   Paul
As I suspected I had, I just found a clip on electret in one of my
drawers. Looked like I had never used it, so decided to try it. Works
well, now I know what mic I'll be using for the next meeting. The Zoom
H2 did very well, but overkill really in this application. Just trying
to keep things simple. BTW, would you happen to know of any cheap
webcams on the market that work with Ubuntu that I might consider
investing in? At least 720p quality preferred. I can use this "hack
job" for a while, but the day will come where I will need a better
camera. I see prices all over the place. Thanks.
Paul
2020-09-09 13:38:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by Paul
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04 to talk to
family and friends. Everyone else seems to be running Zoom under
Win except me, and I am the only one who seems to keep freezing
where I have to stop and restart my camera several times during a
session. Sometimes I've even had a situation where right where I am
connecting into a session, everything is frozen and I have to shut
down Zoom and start again. This seems to be related to the number
of people using Zoom at once.
I'm using the built in webcam in my laptop for Zoom. I check with
Cheese and I never have freezing issues and such. Others are
suggesting I need a better webcam, an external one, but how does
that relate to the immediate freezing I'm having when trying to log
into an active session sometimes?
I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was
connecting to my router wirelessly, so last week I got a long enough
Ethernet cable so I can use the laptop anywhere in the house. I did
a Zoom test and I still had to stop and restart my video due to
freezing several times over a 45 min period.
Then I've thought maybe it was my internet speed, but tested it
today and it is 80 Mbps which, after reading Zoom requirements, is
more than enough even if talking with many people on Zoom.
I am using the latest Zoom and installed the DEB via command line.
Installation went smoothly with no reported issues. I also always
try and keep 16.04 up to date.
Next meeting is coming up this week, but after the brief tests I
tried yesterday with a single family member, I'm still going to have
to stop and start several times.
Any help would be more than welcome. Thank you.
After coming across an old, non-functional laptop, I decided to try
extracting the integrated webcam, wire it up for USB and then try out
the Zoom meeting on my desktop. After some trial and error, after a
couple of hour, I had the webcam working well in Cheese.
Thanks to Paul's Zoom testing links, I got on and didn't find any
problems, but, as he pointed out, that's no guarantee. Tonight I had
the first chance to try the hacked webcam on Desktop in a Zoom
meeting. Performance was flawless, no freezing, glitching or anything
else. And on the desktop I still use 16.04.
I've been suspecting that my laptops were a bit sluggish either due
to the video cards and/or the CPU. The laptops have duo core,
whereas the desktop is quad. The laptops graphics could not be
updated, but I upgraded the desktop's within the last several
years. Both have equal amounts of memory and SSD drives though.
All of the machines in his house are just over a decade old.
A bit of unexpected performance with the hacked webcam though.
Apparently, the two audio wires for the mics output a digital signal
and not analog, therefore all I would get is a pulsating buzz when I
tried to wire the output into my desktop's mic input. For now, I've
repurposed an old Zoom H2 recorder for the use of its microphone via USB.
The webcam was nylon tied to a piece of wood and as much flexure
between the soldered USB cable and webcam wires was removed as
possible. The assembly was then coupled to an unused gooseneck lamp
end. Worked good tonight.
Now if anyone wants to suggest a fairly decent, but not expensive USB
webcam I could buy and use next time (meeting in a month), please
share. I see them from $5 -$100 and even HD ones seem to be low
cost. Thanks in advance and thanks for the help and suggestions here.
The microphone could be DMIC with I2S. Some laptops might have
that as an input option on the sound chip itself. I've seen DMIC
mentioned in datasheets before - what I haven't seen much of,
is digital mikes in the flesh.
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-i2s-stereo-decoder-uda1334a
They also make a microphone board. It's mono, and there's
some crazy way of running two of them for stereo. The hole on
one side of the PCB, is "where the sound goes in".
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-i2s-mems-microphone-breakout
*******
Analog electrets can be pesky. I suspect some
don't work right, because the bias voltage coming
from the PC microphone port isn't a high enough
voltage. But this isn't explained anywhere. For example,
I have a Logitech headset, where the microphone is
deads-ville, and it could be a bias issue.
The best electret I've got, is an electret followed
by a four pin amp chip. Whole thing runs off 5V and
it seems to have a nice fat signal. It's sitting
in front of my face right now, waiting for a Zoom
session later today. Not expecting miracles though
in terms of flawless operation during the meeting.
I'm sure the volume will be screwed up in the
meeting. That's just how video sessions go.
Paul
As I suspected I had, I just found a clip on electret in one of my
drawers. Looked like I had never used it, so decided to try it. Works
well, now I know what mic I'll be using for the next meeting. The Zoom
H2 did very well, but overkill really in this application. Just trying
to keep things simple. BTW, would you happen to know of any cheap
webcams on the market that work with Ubuntu that I might consider
investing in? At least 720p quality preferred. I can use this "hack
job" for a while, but the day will come where I will need a better
camera. I see prices all over the place. Thanks.
This is a bad time to be shopping for webcams.

The supply hasn't come back yet.

There have been a few products that were available
the whole time, during COVID (maybe some Microsoft stuff).
And other stuff that disappeared in no time.

Start half way down the page:

https://www.tomshardware.com/best-picks/best-webcams

The C525 would be a cheaper one.

Anything which adheres to the UVC Class standard
should work. Where things get ugly, is with support
for autofocus or auto light compensation. In
guvcview, there's a panel that can control some
of those features. Whether on Linux or Windows,
that stuff (custom hardware features) is not handled
all that well.

To get a C525, I'd have to deal with a foreign
seller. Then wait however long for it to show up.
In a quick check, I'm not seeing stock in my local
stores. I checked a couple weeks ago, in the online
listing of my favorite computer store, and there
was *zero* stock. There were maybe fifteen or twenty
entries, and every one of them was "backorder".

The back-to-school rush, should have hoovered up
any stock if it was ever there. But even before
back-to-school, the supply was just as dire.
It was suspected that some of this was
caused by efforts to make a profit by reselling
them. The stock that should have been there, is
then all on Kijiji or Ebay or something.

And the new camera for RPi, even if you could
get that hooked up to a PC, the couple reviews
I saw, the picture from it just didn't look right.

And while there are other camera types out there,
the trick is getting them to be recognized by
Zoom or Skype. For example, I have two surveillance
cameras, but they're analog, I have a couple capture
cards with inputs to do the job, but then what ?
That's not the right standard for a Zoom session.

The same would go with using a camcorder (with HDMI
monitor port output), then an HDMI capture card,
then what ? Wrong standard.

Paul
OJ Oxford
2020-09-09 16:52:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by Paul
Post by OJ Oxford
Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04 to talk to
family and friends.  Everyone else seems to be running Zoom under
Win except me, and I am the only one who seems to keep freezing
where I have to stop and restart my camera several times during a
session. Sometimes I've even had a situation where right where I am
connecting into a session, everything is frozen and I have to shut
down Zoom and start again.  This seems to be related to the number
of people using Zoom at once.
I'm using the built in webcam in my laptop for Zoom.  I check with
Cheese and I never have freezing issues and such.  Others are
suggesting   I need a better webcam, an external one, but how does
that relate to the immediate freezing I'm having when trying to log
into an active session sometimes?
I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was
connecting to my router wirelessly, so last week I got a long
enough Ethernet cable so I can use the laptop anywhere in the
house.  I did a Zoom test and I still had to stop and restart my
video due to freezing several times over a 45 min period.
Then I've thought maybe it was my internet speed, but tested it
today and it is 80 Mbps which, after reading Zoom requirements, is
more than enough even if talking with many people on Zoom.
I am using the latest Zoom and installed the DEB via command line.
Installation went smoothly with no reported issues.  I also always
try and keep 16.04 up to date.
Next meeting is coming up this week, but after the brief tests I
tried yesterday with a single family member, I'm still going to
have to stop and start several times.
Any help would be more than welcome.  Thank you.
After coming across an old, non-functional laptop, I decided to try
extracting the integrated webcam, wire it up for USB and then try
out the Zoom meeting on my desktop.  After some trial and error,
after a couple of hour, I had the webcam working well in Cheese.
Thanks to Paul's Zoom testing links, I got on and didn't find any
problems, but, as he pointed out, that's no guarantee.  Tonight I
had the first chance to try the hacked webcam on Desktop in a Zoom
meeting. Performance was flawless, no freezing, glitching or
anything else.  And on the desktop I still use 16.04.
I've been suspecting that my laptops were a bit sluggish either due
to the video cards and/or the CPU.  The laptops have duo core,
whereas the desktop is quad.  The laptops graphics could not be
updated, but I upgraded the desktop's within the last several
years.   Both have equal amounts of memory and SSD drives though.
All of the machines in his house are just over a decade old.
A bit of unexpected performance with the hacked webcam though.
Apparently, the two audio wires for the mics output a digital signal
and not analog, therefore all I would get is a pulsating buzz when I
tried to wire the output into my desktop's mic input.  For now, I've
repurposed an old Zoom H2 recorder for the use of its microphone via USB.
The webcam was nylon tied to a piece of wood and as much flexure
between the soldered USB cable and webcam wires was removed as
possible.  The assembly was then coupled to an unused gooseneck lamp
end.  Worked good tonight.
Now if anyone wants to suggest a fairly decent, but not expensive
USB webcam I could buy and use next time (meeting in a month),
please share.  I see them from $5 -$100 and even HD ones seem to be
low cost.  Thanks in advance and thanks for the help and suggestions
here.
The microphone could be DMIC with I2S. Some laptops might have
that as an input option on the sound chip itself. I've seen DMIC
mentioned in datasheets before - what I haven't seen much of,
is digital mikes in the flesh.
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-i2s-stereo-decoder-uda1334a
They also make a microphone board. It's mono, and there's
some crazy way of running two of them for stereo. The hole on
one side of the PCB, is "where the sound goes in".
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-i2s-mems-microphone-breakout
*******
Analog electrets can be pesky. I suspect some
don't work right, because the bias voltage coming
from the PC microphone port isn't a high enough
voltage. But this isn't explained anywhere. For example,
I have a Logitech headset, where the microphone is
deads-ville, and it could be a bias issue.
The best electret I've got, is an electret followed
by a four pin amp chip. Whole thing runs off 5V and
it seems to have a nice fat signal. It's sitting
in front of my face right now, waiting for a Zoom
session later today. Not expecting miracles though
in terms of flawless operation during the meeting.
I'm sure the volume will be screwed up in the
meeting. That's just how video sessions go.
    Paul
As I suspected I had, I just found a clip on electret in one of my
drawers.  Looked like I had never used it, so decided to try it.
Works well, now I know what mic I'll be using for the next meeting.
The Zoom H2 did very well, but overkill really in this application.
Just trying to keep things simple.  BTW, would you happen to know of
any cheap webcams on the market that work with Ubuntu that I might
consider investing in?  At least 720p quality preferred.  I can use
this "hack job" for a while, but the day will come where I will need a
better camera.  I see prices all over the place.  Thanks.
This is a bad time to be shopping for webcams.
The supply hasn't come back yet.
There have been a few products that were available
the whole time, during COVID (maybe some Microsoft stuff).
And other stuff that disappeared in no time.
https://www.tomshardware.com/best-picks/best-webcams
The C525 would be a cheaper one.
Anything which adheres to the UVC Class standard
should work. Where things get ugly, is with support
for autofocus or auto light compensation. In
guvcview, there's a panel that can control some
of those features. Whether on Linux or Windows,
that stuff (custom hardware features) is not handled
all that well.
To get a C525, I'd have to deal with a foreign
seller. Then wait however long for it to show up.
In a quick check, I'm not seeing stock in my local
stores. I checked a couple weeks ago, in the online
listing of my favorite computer store, and there
was *zero* stock. There were maybe fifteen or twenty
entries, and every one of them was "backorder".
The back-to-school rush, should have hoovered up
any stock if it was ever there. But even before
back-to-school, the supply was just as dire.
It was suspected that some of this was
caused by efforts to make a profit by reselling
them. The stock that should have been there, is
then all on Kijiji or Ebay or something.
And the new camera for RPi, even if you could
get that hooked up to a PC, the couple reviews
I saw, the picture from it just didn't look right.
And while there are other camera types out there,
the trick is getting them to be recognized by
Zoom or Skype. For example, I have two surveillance
cameras, but they're analog, I have a couple capture
cards with inputs to do the job, but then what ?
That's not the right standard for a Zoom session.
The same would go with using a camcorder (with HDMI
monitor port output), then an HDMI capture card,
then what ? Wrong standard.
   Paul
Thanks for the info. I guess I'll stick with my hack job until the
supply becomes more plentiful. I remember the difficulty I had trying
to obtain isopropyl after all the mess started and it finally came back
at a real price, not the inflated bull****. The same will happen with
the webcams I suppose.

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