Pixelating video

Question: Rather than use our fixed-room videoconferencing equipment for an interactive class project, one of our teachers has started using Yahoo instant messenger. However, during some of her connections the video image appears very pixelated. What should we do to fix this problem?

The IT Guy says:
Pixelation in a videoconference image is typically caused by inadequate available bandwidth or packet collisions. Make sure the hardwired network port utilized by the computer is the fastest available on the building switch (generally 100BT). Also make sure the NIC settings for the computer are set properly, either to 100 full or 100 half. If the NIC settings do not match the actual port settings, the computer is probably experiencing a high level of packet collisions that are degrading the video image quality.

However, the problem could be with the downstream videoconference endpoint. In this case, there is little you can do at your end to improve the quality of the video. You might encourage the teacher to try the videoconference at a different time of the day, like in the morning, when commodity Internet use tends to be lower. This may improve the quality of your connection. Another option is to ask the other end-user to change the Internet connection settings. If they are using a wireless Internet connection, have them switch to the fastest wired Internet connection available in their building.

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