Zoom allows you to stream video to meeting participants through screen sharing. Sometimes the video appears choppy or pixelated, or it fails to play at all. There may also be audio issues such as low volume, or audio that cuts out during playback. What is the best way to share video through Zoom?
This is a difficult question because you cannot assume that each participant will have equally capable hardware, internet connection speed or reliability, or access to services. There may also be copyright protection that prevents some video players from sharing video during screen sharing.
For the best results, make sure you are turning on computer audio sharing and enabling video optimization before sharing your screen. Connect your computer to the internet via a wired connection instead of wireless if possible, or move as close to your wireless router as possible to ensure a strong network connection. Close any apps and web browser windows you aren't using to free up resources, and ask participants to disable their camera to reduce bandwidth usage. Play the video at a reduced resolution if possible.
If you still experience poor results, you can also try using a service like watch2gether or SyncTube to share video outside of Zoom in real time. These services do not rely on Zoom to stream video content which can be problematic because:
- Zoom relies on your computer to process the meeting, the video you are sharing, and any other apps working in the background.
- It requires your internet connection upload speed to be extremely fast - we have the luxury of a high bandwidth connection on campus but most home internet connections have upload speeds that are only a fraction of the available bandwidth on campus.
- It relies on the network speed of your meeting participants - unlike streaming a video from a service like YouTube, Zoom calls happen in real time - there is no opportunity for the computer to 'buffer' the video (that is, download the video before playing it), which means that any network interruption, slowdown in speed, etc. will cause the video to skip, drop, or become overly compressed.
Instead, we would recommend using a service like YouTube to share your video before or after your meeting, or if you have the file on your computer, you can upload it to Google Drive and then share a link to the video.