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Video Conferencing Bandwidth

Posted by Patrick Kirby on Jul 16, 2014 4:40:00 PM

Bandwidth vs Computing Power

When you are looking for ways to ensure smooth online meetings without pixelation, audio hiccups and frame skipping you need to check 2 things. Your available bandwidth and the CPU capabilities of the computer you are using to host the meeting. The Catch 22 is the fastest computer will look horrible without adequate bandwidth and vice versa for the ultimate download/upload speeds without a fast CPU. Cloud based video conferencing has started to take more processing power to the cloud and allowing host computers to get by with minimal requirement which we will look over soon. As a rule of thumb smooth bandwidth pipelines are more important than processing power. With that said all computers, tablets and smart phones using a given USB Video Conferencing software will have to meet the minimum specifications for reliable video conferencing. Even 3G and 4G speeds are now appropriate to join video conferencing calls on the cloud. Let's compare 3 popular cloud based video conferencing softwares minimum CPU and Bandwidth requirements.

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Example Minimum Requirements


gotomeeting requirements

Minimum Requirements

PC: Windows XP/OSX 1.6 or greater

Processor: 2.4Ghz (core duo)

Ram: 2GB

Bandwidth: 700Kbps



Minimum Requirements

PC: Windows XP/OSX 1.6 or greater

Processor: 1Ghz

Ram: 250MB

Bandwidth: 100Kbps-2GBs

Google Hangout

google hangouts

Minimum Requirements

Browsers: Chromes, IE, Firefox, Safari

Processor: 1Ghz

Ram: n/a

Bandwidth: 1MBs-2MBs



Minimum Requirements

PC: Windows XP/OSX 1.6 or greater

Processor: 1Ghz

Bandwidth: For group video calling: 600kbps/1.2Mbps (up/down) for HQ video. For gallery view: 1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps (up/down).

This video conferencing bandwidth overview from H.323, Cloud & USB software based solutions. We review video conferencing bandwidth speed requirements and recommendations from Polycom, Google Hangouts, Skype, WebEX, Cisco Jabber, MS Lync, HD video call and simple screen sharing. We cover traditional video conferencing where strict bandwidth requirements for video and content sharing are almost double software based solutions.


H.323 and SIP Bandwidth H.323 and SIP Bandwidth

H.323 / SIP Video Conferencing Bandwidth

H.323 and SIP Bandwidth requirements can range for 4-5Mbs all the way down to just 200Kbs for 4SIF video quality. At this point video resolutions under 720p are almost unacceptable especially if you have invested in a H.323 Polycom or Cisco Video Conferencing solution. The big difference H.323 & SIP video conferencing vs Cloud Based video conferencing is the fact that H.323 and SIP require a direct connection. While this approach provides superior security the bandwidth requirements and expenses for hardware suffer. Using the cloud as a middle point allows web based video conferencing solutions to optimize the bandwidth needed especially for multi-party video calls.

Cloud Based Video Conferencing

cloud based bandwidth video confernecing

Cloud based video conferencing allows for the cloud "middle point" to optimize video conferencing bandwidth. This is especially important for webinars and online meetings with multiple participants. Cloud based video conferencing services can take all the incoming streams and send them out to the individual clients optimized. Cloud based solutions can also provide dynamic bandwidth performance optimizations such as lowering video quality before sacrificing audio degradation. Sharing Content is also much superior when bandwidth is concerned with cloud based video conferencing. Most cloud video conference solutions will combine both video streams and content streams to reduce bandwidth concerns. With H.323 and SIP solutions each video stream is separate.


cloud based video bandwidth cloud based video bandwidth

Paul Richards

Paul Richards
Google + Authorship

About the Author:
Audio Visual and USB Cloud Based Video Conferencing expert. Experienced implementing affordable & effective unified communications for video conferencing, audio conferencing, online meetings, video surveillance, sound masking and streaming video.

Specialties: System design, contract negotiation, proposal development and presentation, prospecting, market analysis, business development and mentoring.

Learn more about latest in USB video conferencing and online meeting software by reviewing my SlideShare page and feel to reach out with new products, ideas and information that can help us better serve the "Accelerating Evolution of the Conference Room". Join one of our Friday Webinars here and bring any questions, concerns and new ideas to the table for thoughtful conversation.


Topics: Video Conferencing, Web Video Conferencing, Audio Visual Advice


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