3. Meet network troubleshooting

Unsatisfactory video or audio quality is often caused by insufficient bandwidth, network latency, or other network issues. If these network issues exist, Meet automatically reduces the video meeting quality. 

To verify that your network is properly deployed for Meet:

  1. Measure the bandwidth and latency in your network to verify they meet the requirements. If these are OK, the problems are not network-related. 
  2. If network problems exist, properly configure your network for Meet.
  3. Run the WebRTC test tool or Chromebox for Meetings diagnostic on the device that is having problems.

If problems continue, address the following specific issues. 

Users experience poor video quality
Poor video quality can be caused by factors ranging from network issues to lighting in the room. For example, make sure that both the sender and receiver devices have sufficient CPU power and memory. To further identify the problem:
  1. Narrow down the issue as much as possible, such as to a location or network segment. 
  2. Identify if the issue is on the sender or receiver side. For example, if all viewers are receiving poor video quality from the same participant, then it's likely to be a sender-side issue.
  3. Check the following possibilities for sender-side or receiver-side issues.
     

Sender-side issues

  • Check that the Send resolution (maximum) is set to High definition (720p) in the user’s Meet settings.
  • Check that the correct camera is selected in the Video settings.
  • Check if the camera and room lights impact video quality:
    • Make sure that the camera meets your video-quality requirements.
    • Make sure the room’s lighting can support high-quality video images.
    • Verify that the camera is working as intended by running test meeting in a controlled environment.
  • Check that the users device has sufficient CPU power and memory.
  • Measure the bandwidth and latency in your network to verify they meet the requirements.

Receiver-side issues

  • Check that Receive resolution (maximum) is set to High definition (720p) in the user’s Meet settings.
  • If the video freezes for a long period of time, an unstable network (such as Wi-Fi dropping) may be the issue.
  • At the receiver’s location, measure the bandwidth and latency in your network to verify they meet the requirements.
Users experience poor audio quality

Poor audio quality can be caused by several factors. 

Audio Peripherals

Make sure the users’ audio peripherals are set up properly. For example:

Computer and mobile devices

  • Check that the correct microphone and speaker is selected in the user’s Meet settings.
  • On a Mac, deselect Use ambient noise reduction from Settings and then Sound and then Input.

Speakermic

  • Always use a speakermic with Chromebox for Meetings to prevent echo and audio stuttering.
  • Place the speakermic close to participants and in their direct line of sight.

Custom camera or microphone setups

  • Do not use the camera’s microphone. This ensures that both audio paths have a synchronized audio clock, which is necessary for optimum echo cancellation. 
  • Make sure that the microphone volume and gain are set correctly:

    • Too little sensitivity prevents other users from hearing the participants. They might increase the playback volume, which can create an echo or stutter effect.
    • Too much sensitivity causes the speaker voice to be saturated and is a common cause cause of echo or stutter effect.
  • Check that the speaker volume and gain are set correctly. Too much gain can cause echo or audio stuttering.
  • Ensure that the microphone and the loudspeaker are connected to the same audio clock (soundcard or DSP/mixer) and that no other non-linear blocks are in the signal path (for example, no TV processing or extra mixers).

Tip: On a desktop computer, headsets can increase audio quality by isolating background noise and preventing audio leakage. 

Network issues

If the audio drops for a long period of time, an unstable network (Wi-Fi dropping) may be present. Narrow down the issue as much as possible, such as to a location or network segment. Then consider the following possibilities:

  • The performance of Bluetooth headsets can vary and might be impacted by the battery level. Ensure that the device is charged before starting a call.
  • If the audio quality problem goes away when some of the participants mute themselves while not speaking, it is likely an issue with the audio peripherals.
Users have no audio
Users can often resolve their own audio issues. For example:
  • Make sure that the microphone or speaker is not muted. If Audio Audio next to the person’s profile image is not moving, Meet is not receiving audio from that user.
    • If a user is muted, you’ll see Mute on Mute next to their profile image. A user is muted when they: 
      • Mute themselves
      • Join a meeting with more than 5 participants
      • Are remotely muted by another participant
    • The microphone or speaker can also be muted on a user’s device, such as in the system settings or physical mute button. 
  • Check that the correct microphone and speaker are selected in the settings. If a wireless headset is selected as a peripheral but is not used during a meeting, it can give the impression that audio is not working.
  • Check that the speaker volume is not muted. Does the user hear something when More More next to the person’s thumbnail image is moving?
  • On computers using macOS Mojave version 10.14 or later, you must allow Chrome Browser and Firefox® to access your computer’s microphone using the new privacy settings. Otherwise, Meet won’t include audio from your device. 

    1. Go to System Preferences and then Security & Privacy.
    2. Select Privacy and then Microphone.
    3. Check the box for the application used for Meet (Google Chrome or Firefox).
Users cannot join the meeting

Check the following if a user cannot join a meeting:

  • The user is on an unsupported browser.
  • The user entered the wrong meeting code or clicked the wrong link.
  • The user was not invited to the meeting or is joining anonymously and no one accepted the person to the meeting.
  • The meeting owner’s account has been deactivated.
Users are dropped from the meeting

This may be due to the fact that:

  • The network connection was dropped due to an unstable network (see Wi-Fi best practices).
  • Someone removed the participant from the meeting. The removed participant will see the message Someone has removed you from the meeting.
Measure and optimize network bandwidth

A variety of third-party network monitoring tools can be used to measure and track your bandwidth. Use these tools to identify bottlenecks for Meet traffic. Meet traffic can be identified by its protocol (UDP) and port range. The network egress/ingress points and the Wi-Fi access point are common bottlenecks.

If your network does not allow network monitoring tools, running a test meeting or the video bandwidth test tool at a different time and place can help you to identify bottlenecks. 

Measure and optimize network latency

While there are many ways to measure the latency between the Meet deployment and the Google infrastructure, the simplest solutions are:

  1. Run the network latency analysis tool.
  2. Ping the Hangout Meet media front-end server.

> ping lens.l.google.com
PING lens.l.google.com (74.125.143.127): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 74.125.143.127: icmp_seq=0 ttl=47 time=25.424 ms
64 bytes from 74.125.143.127: icmp_seq=1 ttl=47 time=25.271 ms
64 bytes from 74.125.143.127: icmp_seq=2 ttl=47 time=26.262 ms
64 bytes from 74.125.143.127: icmp_seq=3 ttl=47 time=26.085 ms
64 bytes from 74.125.143.127: icmp_seq=4 ttl=47 time=26.219 ms

Ping the Meet media front end for at least 4 hours. Then check latency and consistency. Don’t average the values, because it may hide spikes and intermediate latency problems.

If your latency is not within the required limits, check the network path from your Meet deployment to the Meet media front end. Use the traceroute utility to print out the network path from your current machine to the Meet media front end. This path should be as short as possible.

> traceroute lens.l.google.com

 

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