BigBlueButton webinar requirements
Webinar is a software for conducting video conferences remotely. You can use webinars from various vendors in the Collaborator system. One option is the freeware webinar system BigBlueButton (abbreviated as BBB).
Read more about BigBlueButton here: http://docs.bigbluebutton.org
The project has been looking for its place for some time and today
it is focused on organizations that offer distance learning services, making it possible to conduct training via the Internet. A special role in this process is given to one of the functions - videoconferencing. But BBB can just as well be used for simple communication, briefings and webinars.
In 2009, Blindside Networks was organized to provide paid support to users of the product. The most serious impetus for the development of the product was participation in the Google Summer of Code in 2010. That's when an API was added to allow third-party applications, and today you can embed BBB in Sakai, WordPress, Moodle, Joomla, Redmine, Drupal, Matterhorn, LAMS and several others.
This feature is most in demand by BBB users, so the administrator interface has been removed from the server settings: the developers simply don't see the point in developing it, since management falls on the shoulders of the person who embeds the application. In the case of a separate server, all the settings can be made without problems using the BigBlueButton configuration files and the capabilities of the web server.
The project is under active development, and it should be noted a particular sensitivity in this matter. For example, the release of version 0.8 of Bailetti was preceded by four betas and three RCs. The project recently joined the WebFWD ("Web Forward") business incubator for open source projects, which is supported by Mozilla.
In order to work with a BigBlueButton webinar, it is usually sufficient to use a desktop computer with a normal configuration, have headphones with a microphone, and a regular webcam.
Computer configuration and hardware #
Minimum hardware requirements for a computer to work::
- Processor (CPU): 1,6 -2,4 GHz
- RAM: 1 Gb
- HDD/SSD: 300 Mb
To work with webinars you will need
- a headset (headphones with microphone),
- a webcam (320 × 240, 640 × 480, 1280 × 720 resolution is supported).
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3 и выше
- Ubuntu 10 and newer (Other Linux systems are also possible)
- Mac OS 10 and newer
- The Android client is being developed.
Web Browser :
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.0 and newer
- Mozilla Firefox 30 and newer
- Google Chrome 35 and newer
- Safary 8 and newer
- Opera 22 and newer
- Java(TM) Platform SE 8 - necessary for displaying the computer screen (Desktop)
Technical requirements for communication channels #
BBB does not impose any restrictions on the number of connections.
The number of users who can simultaneously communicate on the server depends on the capacity of the hardware and channel capacity.
Recommended speed of the Internet connection on the client: 1Mbit/s for downloading and 0.5 Mbit/s for transmitting. The user can check the speed of his connection, for example, using speedtest.net.
The firewall rules on the client computer must have ports open:
- 80 (HTTP),
- 935 (RTMP) and
- 9123 (common desktop).
Almost half of all attempts to implement video conferencing systems fail because the network infrastructure is not ready. Therefore, you need to assess your network capabilities and bandwidth requirements. An upgrade may be necessary to support the BBB at a level sufficient for videoconferencing. Each vendor will usually give you a rough estimate for a single channel. For a good connection 256 Kbps is desirable for each connection to the server. Although the client can choose a lower quality connection, reducing the requirement to 160 kbit/s. As a result for the server you need to provide (N - number of participants):
- incoming channel — (256 х N) Kbit/s;
- outgoing channel — ((256 х N х (N – 1)) Kbit/s.
For the client system:
- incoming channel — (256 х (N – 1)) Kbit/s;
- outgoing channel — 256 Кбит/с.
An individual stream in BBB requires 30-50 kb/s. Approximate calculations for the BBB can be found in the FAQ —goo.gl/Pii7Y.
For comparison, Skype recommends a wider channel for video conferencing - 4 Mbit/s (receiving) / 512 Kbps (transmitting). BBB will also feel fine on this channel.