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Using Scientific Tools on Zoom to Evaluate Video\Audio Meeting & Call Quality

Zoom provides millions of users all over the world with a high-level video conferencing solution. Furthermore, Zoom became a symbol during the COVID 19 days. Its customer satisfaction rates are very high, but for Zoom it wasn’t enough. It felt the need to complement its subjective, user-based validation with objective, research-based evaluation. Using scientific tools on Zoom is the perfect way to compare the platform to other leading vendors.

Scientific tools on Zoom require a valid analysis. To do so, Zoom reached out to Wainhouse Research, an independent firm devoted to UC & C (Unified Communications & Collaboration) research an analysis. Zoom asked the firm to design and implement a fully-independent study. This study would be able to provide an objective evaluation of its video, audio and performance parameters. In the meantime, Zoom played no role in the design of the study’s methodologies, structure or scoring system.

The Findings

Throughout the study, Wainhouse Research drew a multi-faceted comparison between six leading online meeting and phone vendors and ten different solutions. Over 2,000 (!) tests were designed. They tested calling experience and meeting experience parameters. These tests were expected to deliver an almost-impeccable objective analysis (96% objectivity).

Evaluation focus
Objectivity and science in action

The study of scientific tools on Zoom, done by Wainhouse, was published inJanuary of 2021. In the meantime, Zoom released two key scores that shed light on the methodologies used by Wainhouse Research, and their results:

VMAF Score: Measuring Meeting Video Quality

VMAF (Video Multimethod Assessment Fusion) is a video quality metric, and an effective way to use scientific tools on Zoom. VMAF can objectively measure the quality of video files that are sent and received by different parties, after those files have been processed via technological means (for example, compressed). Now, whenever a video file is transmitted online, it experiences some “packet loss”. Pacet loss is basically bits of data that are “shed” from the main file and do not arrive at their destination.

The study’s VMAF test findings show that Zoom, which has an excellent video quality rating at a normal packet loss rate, retains this excellent rating. It remains so even when packet loss rates jump to 5%, 20% and 40%. The same cannot be said of some of the other video platforms.

The best video quality on the VMAF score

Measuring Noise Suppression for Enterprise Calling Solutions

Noise suppression is a key feature for all enterprise calling platforms. It is meant to recognize and block background noises that interfere with audio call clarity. Just imagine, for example, that you are taking a call at the park and a group of children decided to play not far from where you are sitting. That’s background noise. 

This test used “brown noise” as its background noise, which is a loud, obtrusive sound that resembles a low-pitch roar. The test produced this noise with every enterprise calling solution, and measured their suppression performance.

Test results indicated that Zoom recognized the brown noise immediately. Also, it was able to significantly reduce it. The longer the sound persisted, the better Zoom was able to suppress it. The other enterprise calling solutions exhibited different results. Not all solutions were able to recognize the background noise immediately, and not all were able to perform effective suppression over time.

Noise suppression
Not giving up on noise suppression

Making the Right Choice for Naotech

For us at Naotech, this research proves what we’ve known right from the first days of working together with Zoom, in 2015: Zoom is the ideal collaboration platform for the perfect meeting. No wonder it became a household name. Its endurance to less-than-ideal conditions (namely, home environment during the COVID 19 crisis) speaks for itself. This recent research proves that we made the right choice by becoming Zoom’s reseller partners.

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