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Bandwidth comparison: Zoom, Teams, Quicklink

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic, remote guests and video conferencing workflows have been a critical part of productions, and the usage of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video conferencing platforms has risen exponentially.

The advantages of remote guests are widely known, and this type of content is undoubtedly here to stay. Consumer video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and broadcast workflow solutions like Quicklink Studio (ST55), have cemented their place as the chosen platforms for introducing remote guests into productions. Each aforementioned platform has distinctly different approaches to allocating bandwidth, which ultimately results in the quality of your remote guests.

Both Zoom and Teams share a major limitation when it comes to broadcast workflows—they don’t allow custom bandwidth configuration. But what exactly is bandwidth, why is it important, and what does this mean for you?

Understanding Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data that can be transmitted over an internet connection in a given time. It represents the capacity of your network pipeline. In video conferencing, higher bandwidth allocation means more data (like higher-quality video) can flow without clogging the pipeline. Limited bandwidth results in delays, lag, and choppy video as the data overwhelms capacity.

Zoom’s Dynamic Allocation

Zoom detects who is speaking and dynamically shifts more bandwidth to showcase that person with HD video. This falters in larger group calls as non-speakers get downgraded to maintain the speaker’s quality.

In addition, Zoom makes bandwidth trade-offs behind the scenes to balance overall call quality. But it offers no control for administrators or users to customize allocation.

Teams’ Approach

Microsoft Teams works significantly differently by splitting a pool of bandwidth evenly, so all users share the same experience. Quality inevitably declines as more participants join and bandwidth gets stretched thin.

Similarly to Zoom, Teams makes its own optimization decisions without allowing customization. You get what you get based on their preset allocation scheme and defined algorithms.

Built for Conferencing, Not Broadcast

Fundamentally, Zoom and Teams are both designed and built for broad accessibility and performance from casual calls to workplace meetings. However, professional broadcast workflows have different needs that require fine-tuned allocation to be made fit-for-purpose within professional broadcast workflows.

Solutions That Are Fit for Purpose

As video usage evolves from conferencing into mission-critical workflows, the inability to customize allocation becomes one of many serious limitations. Solutions that offer configurable bandwidth can provide the precision and optimization that media organizations require.

QuickLink StudioCall is a professional solution for introducing high-quality remote guests into talk shows, entertainment shows, radio, and other productions. Quicklink’s award-winning solution is designed with broadcast workflows in mind and is widely used by the world’s leading brands, including BBC, ITV, Aljazeera, CNN, Bloomberg, CBS, Fox Sports, and more. Utilizing the Quicklink Manager, granular control of bandwidth helps deliver broadcast-grade quality that is not achievable with consumer and enterprise tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

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