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Group HD & Its Requirements

mmediaman
Listener

Does anyone know with certainty exactly what is required for the host to provide an HD video to the audience from the Zoom Meeting product?

 

I've read confusing statements at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/207347086-Group-HD and gotten similarly confusing statements from Zoom support about under what conditions HD video is achieved.  As best I can determine, the participating host machine must be a Quad Core CPU (although can't determine if i3, i4, i5 type etc is required) and of course the usual upload bandwidth (I think 2.5Mbps) etc.

 

But it is unclear whether if having checked the Group HD option in account settings and if hardware is up-to-snuff, that HD video is sent from the host as long as there are more than 3 people in the meeting.... or is it just if 2 people are meeting?  Very confusing.  Does anyone have any experience with this?

 

6 REPLIES 6

Sof
Community Champion

Hi @mmediaman, thank you for posting your interesting question in the Zoom Community!

 

Below, a few rules to make Group HD work as expected during a Zoom meeting/webinar:

1. Gallery view is not in HD quality

2. Shared content is not dependent on Group HD settings, it depends on the quality of the shared content and network limitations

3. In order to send HD video with the meeting client, the user must:
- Have full-screen mode of the meeting window
- Use active speaker mode
- Have HD setting enabled in the client under Settings → Video tab

- Have Group HD enabled in the profile settings (web portal)
- Meet the bandwidth requirements (see https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/207347086-Group-HD)
- At least one participant must be in full-screen mode

4. In order to receive HD video with the meeting client, the users must:
- Have full-screen mode of the meeting window
- Use active speaker mode
- Meet the bandwidth requirements (see https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/207347086-Group-HD)
- At least one participant must be meeting the requirements for sending HD, mentioned above.

5. Group HD works with maximum 2 video participants in the meeting. If three participants have video on, the quality will revert to non-HD

6. Full HD 1080p requires i7 Quad Core (physical core) CPU or higher. For Standard HD 720p, refer to the minimum system requirements to use Zoom (https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362023-System-requirements-for-Windows-macOS-and-Linux)

 

Hopefully, this clarifies what are the requirements for Group HD. Let us know if you have any other questions. 

Thank you for the reply @Sof .

 

The requirements for even standard HD (720p) seem quite extensive and almost impractical.  Assuming for the moment we are only concerned with 720p, it seems you are saying that only 2 participants could experience 720p if all the requirements are met.  

 

There are more distinctions to be made here such as what exactly is meant by, "If three participants have video on, the quality will revert to non-HD".   If we distinguish between the participant who is the sender of HD vs. the participant who is to receive (experience seeing) the HD video, does the statement mean that if a participant is sending HD video, that if all other participants were to turn their cameras OFF, they would see and HD of the one participant sending the HD video?

 

With regard to the Full Screen requirement, what does that mean for a meeting participant joining via Smartphone?  Since there is all this talk about CPU cores etc. I assume none of this applies to Smartphone participants.  

 

My use case that brought all of this up is the desire to share higher resolution graphics with a Zoom audience.  While I understand that the Zoom screen share feature allows for sharing high resolution graphics, the case uses 3rd party software such as OBS to feed Zoom's camera input.  This OBS source is providing a HD input as a camera would to Zoom.  While a video scene is sort of acceptable in SD via this input, graphics appear pretty ugly because its at 360p.   So this is the use case.   As a practical matter,  the participant who is presenting the graphic via the OBS HD input to Zoom would want any other participant to see it in HD, regardless of what device they are using.  Smartphones can certainly receive and show an HD video stream. 

 

Considering the use case, does the use of the OBS source meet the the stipulation of "At least one participant must be in full-screen mode" ?

 

Will be interested in your further comments.  And thanks again for responding. 

 

Sof
Community Champion

Hi @mmediaman,

 

Apologies if my description wasn't to clear. I'll try to explain better.

 

When I say 2 participants with video on, I mean participants sending video so with their camera on. All the participants can receive video, there are no limitations on that. Basically, only 2 participants can keep their camera on during the meeting to allow one of them to feed an HD video to the others.

 

The CPU requirements are all and only related to the participant that is sending video, not to the one receiving it. However, Group HD is not supported on mobile devices, neither in upload or download. Only the desktop client supports it.

 

As mentioned, if your connection bandwidth supports it and if the content that you are sharing is in HD, it should also be sent and received in HD quality. Mobile devices will always receive it in non-HD quality, I'm afraid. That's a limitation of the Zoom mobile app.

 

Regarding full screen statement, we are referring to the Zoom video window generated by the speaker camera. This has nothing to do to any shared screen, to be clear. It is the Zoom meeting window with the active speaker video that must be in full screen when talking about Group HD. The same is valid of the participants receiving the video, if they don't keep the Zoom window open at full screen they will not receive the video in HD.

If we talk of shared content, it is good to have it at full screen to increase the resolution, but that is not related to Group HD.

 

Hopefully I answered all your questions this time 🙂

mmediaman
Listener

@Sof  Thanks for the reply!

 

I'm afraid some parts are still just as unclear.  When you say "Basically, only 2 participants can keep their camera on during the meeting to allow one of them to feed an HD video to the others." it implies that if 40 participants are in a normal Zoom meeting and everyone has their cameras on,  38 participants will need to turn their cameras off.  This wouldn't make any practical sense.

 

For the Full Screen point, the requirement for the sender and recipients to have their Zoom clients opened at full screen makes no practical sense.  A 720p video stream is a 720p video stream as determined by the encoder (please refer back to the use case I described) and I've never seen a viewer that is receiving a 720p stream not be resizable, let alone require the viewing window to be full screen.  I could be wrong, but if this is the case, it is a weird implementation to me and at the end, makes HD in Zoom extremely cumbersome and impractical.   Perhaps you mean that only when the person sending HD video is the active speaker that their stream is encoded at 720p.  (First sentence of over view section here)

 

By the way, I had only mentioned screen share to differentiate between the features we are talking about since there aren't any issues with HD via screen share.

 

I appreciate the dialog and trying not to be difficult, but only get a proper understanding of Zoom HD. 

Sof
Community Champion

Hi @mmediaman,

 

Thank you for your comments, we appreciate your feedback.

 

We are sorry to hear that you consider the current solution impractical, but this is the design right now. It was chosen for network bandwidth limitations. Only two participants can have camera on and, as in your example with 40 participants, 38 would have to switch the camera off to allow one of the two to send HD video.

 

It is also by design that both who is sending HD video and who wants to receive it needs to have the speaker video window at full screen size.

 

We value constructive feedback as yours, so please submit any request for improvement at zoom.us/feed. If your recommendations are implementable, we will certainly consider to include them in our development plan.

 

Let me know if there is anything else we can help with.

 

It was chosen for whose network bandwidth limitations? The users' network bandwidth limitations, or the limitation of Zoom's servers? 

 

If it is the users, shouldn't it automatically downscale when it detects a low-quality connection, instead of imposing a limitation on all connections. If it is because the servers do not have enough capacity to provision more bandwidth for users who would like to use it, and the cost of the Pro license is not enough to provision that capacity, wouldn't it be good to have a license tier that had that capacity, at whatever price, particularly for business and enterprise customers?