[Wikimedia-l] How lovely live communication works worldwide

Tilman Bayer tbayer at wikimedia.org
Wed Dec 4 19:15:18 UTC 2013

On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 5:57 AM, Manuel Schneider
<manuel.schneider at wikimedia.ch> wrote:
> We use BBB regularly for our staff and board meetings, weekly meetings
> with 4 - 5 participants. Works great.
> The biggest issues are people not having connected their mic or adjusted
> their mixer properly or not using a headset at all, causing background
> noises and echos. But no solution, neither Skype nor Mumble, can fix that.
Many solutions fix that using echo cancellation
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videoconferencing#Echo_cancellation ).

According to http://blogs.gnome.org/uraeus/2012/10/15/the-long-journey-towards-good-free-video-conferencing/
, the lack of good free echo cancellation code used to be the most
critical problem for free videoconferencing software. ("good echo
cancellation .... is required in order to avoid having an ugly echo
effect when trying to use your laptop built-in speakers and microphone
for a call. So people have been forced to use a headset to make things
work reasonably well. This was a quite hard issue to solve as there
was neither any great open source code available which implemented
echo cancellation or a good way to hook it into the system.")

That post goes on to say that the issue was mitigated last year when
"Google ended up releasing a quite good echo cancellation algorithm as
part of their WebRTC effort." I don't know if Mumble or BBB have since
made use of that, though.

Tilman Bayer
Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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