Troubleshooting - video & voice sessions
Video and audio sessions
In order to have video and audio sessions on PlusGuidance, you need as a minimum:
- A fast computer
- A Chrome browser - NOTE: in rare cases, Chrome has a bug that interferes with PlusGuidance. Only in this case is it advised you use another fast browser such as Firefox
- A fast internet reception
- A fully functioning web cam, either in-built in your device or external and connected to your computer
- Fully functioning speakers, headphones or earphones
- To perform a video and audio test prior to all sessions, to allow you to deal with potential technical issues prior to session start
Instant-messaging (IM) sessions and 24/7 Messaging Therapy
In order to have these messaging sessions on PlusGuidance, you must as a minimum have:
- A fully functioning mobile device, tablet or computer
- Good internet reception
- A fully functioning keyboard on your device
Video and audio sessions
Please run the Local Video and Audio Test to check that your local device is set up properly. If this doesn’t help, use the following checklist.
- Are you on a mobile device? The video and audio platform does not run on mobile devices at the moment due to the limitations of mobile browsers. We will realease native apps for Android and iOS which will enable you to use audio and video on phones and tablets. These limitations are restricted to audio and video, all other session types and PlusGuidance features will work on mobile.
- Are you using Chrome? Please use Chrome to avoid problems, as this is the most efficient and fastest browser for PlusGuidance.
- Does your camera work in other applications, for example Skype? If not, check that your device has the correct drivers for you camera.
- If you are not getting any input from your microphone, make sure you have selected the correct microphone. Many modern desktops or laptops have more than one microphone, for example in a headset as well as a built-in one.
- Are you using the correct speakers, for example the internal or external speakers, a headset, earphones, etc.? If you are using a USB or Bluetooth headset or earphones, has the correct driver been installed?
- Make sure that your microphone and webcam are not being used by another application.
- Make sure your internet connection is fast enough. For video sessions, you will need at least 2Mbs upload speed and at least 2Mbs download speed. To test your internet connection, you can use www.speedtest.net
Hopefully, these suggestions will ensure that your local camera and microphone are supplying audio and video to the Plusguidance video application.
Communicate these steps with the remote participant
If you’re unable to see the other person’s video or hear their audio, ask them to go through these troubleshooting steps too.
The following advice assumes that both parties to the call have set up their devices correctly as described above.
Good audio but no, intermittent or poor quality video from the remote participant
It could be that one or other of the participants has a slow or variable network connection. Video uses far more data than audio so if the link is slow, the system will first attempt to lower the quality of the video. If this fails, it will fall back to audio only rather than dropping the connection altogether. There is not much that can be done about this other than contacting your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Sustained and high-quality 2-way audio and video requires around 4 Mb bandwidth (2Mbs upload speed and 2Mbs download speed).
If your video/audio quality varies at certain times, it could be that other users of the same router are competing for bandwidth.
To test your internet connection, you can use www.speedtest.net
Poor quality sound
This can be caused by:
- A poor quality microphone - often the one built in to a laptop.
- The microphone is too far away from the speaker’s mouth.
- Too much background noise.
- Feedback from the speakers. This can be eliminated by using a headset or separate microphone and earphones.
- A poor microphone connection - either the jack plug or socket or, as often is the case, a damaged cable.
- A very slow network connection which can cause drop-outs.
- A separate microphone picking up sounds from what it is resting on - a computer, for example.
- Both participants trying to talk at the same time.
Poor quality video
This can be caused by:
- A slow network connection leading very highly compressed images to appear very pixelated or ‘blocky’.
- Illumination from behind. It is better to face a window than have one behind you. The rule is to have the camera between you and the main light source.
- A poor quality camera with low resolution or poor auto-exposure.
Only one participant can see or hear the other
Please use Chrome and check your browser settings to see if you have allowed PlusGuidance to access your microphone or webcam. If your camera or microphone is set to 'default', please change this to the specific webcam or microphone name, as 'default' sometimes doesn't register the specific device you're using (even if you just have one microphone or webcam).
Inability to connect to the other person's audio and video
This can happen sometimes even if both participants' local camera and microphone are working correctly and they can send instant messages to each other. This is most often caused by a firewall blocking the network route. Our system uses a sophisticated system of routing servers that can find ways through most normal security. However, some institutions such as universities or companies with strict security requirements may prevent any traffic not explicitly permitted from passing through their firewalls. Special arrangements would be needed with the organisation’s IT department to allow this traffic through.
If you are still unable to take part in video or audio calls, please contact us and we will do our best to help.