In today’s age of ultra HD video capability, why not use the best resolution out there for your conference video? Shouldn’t we we promoting the hottest tech out there?
Well, the answer is complicated, but basically “no”, and I’d like to explain this for the curious.
1- Server Space:
Server space is not perhaps what you think it is. You have a home computer with perhaps 1000 GB of space on the hard drive, so you expect that web servers have more, right? GCMAS2022 is hosted with a well known company, SiteGround on their GrowBig plan.
Note that this allows us 20 GB of space and runs about $25/mo. If we were to upgrade to the biggest plan, we’d still get only 40 GB of space. We could go to their cloud offerings, but that would give us 160 GB of space – not a lot when it comes to video. So how do Amazon and Google have such storage spaces? They own server farms. We could rent space and do some complicated configuration, but let’s just say that’s really expensive. Ultimately, we host video files elsewhere for play since our provider, like most, requests that we dont stream from their servers.
2 – Local Network Performance
Generally your internet provider gives you much better downstream bandwidth than upstream bandwidth. In our neck of the woods (West Chester, PA), one provider gives us about 8-10 Mbs upstream while another gives about 10-14 Mbs upstream. The later claims they give 100 Mbs upstream, but measurements show otherwise. Even with commercial grade connections, upstream is limited. So if Natalie (who has a good connection) is trying to play your video and its really HD, it may hit some bumps in the road due to bandwidth. Remember that we haven’t paid the ISPs to have that fast lane like Netflix and Hulu have. So such high bandwidth may be throttled. This also can show up at your end, even if you have a high speed connection at your institution.
3 – Zoom Performance
Now remember that Zoom is trying to interact with this and is sharing CPU cycles with the broadcasting computer. This invariable leads to more glitches when there are more demands. This may lead to frame dropping, loss of sound or both. From a conference standpoint, these are undesirable.
4 – Screen Resolution
Remember that most of us aren’t actually watching on a 54″ plasma screen that can do justice to HD video formats. So all that extra information and detail in the video is lost. Also remember that most of us are presenting slides, not detailed videos, so the extra detail offered by all those extra pixels is not needed. It’s possible that some folks may even be logged on from their cell phones.
So if you haven’t submitted your video yet (required of poster authors, but optional for podium authors), you’ve missed the deadline – but we’ll still take it. However, poster authors who are late will run the risk of people passing your work by to look at posters with videos available. A standard definition video will do just fine and actually work quite well for video conferencing. Our limits are 120 MB for podium and 100 MB for poster videos.
Good luck, and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks.