With the rise of virtual meetings and remote work becoming the new norm, the quality of calls and meetings on Teams has become incredibly important. Microsoft is “committed to ongoing improvements to Teams audio and video quality, through user-facing features and settings, to cutting-edge codecs and AI.” With that, I am going to walk you through some of the cool new features and some others that are in the works at Microsoft.
AI-driven improvements to audio and video quality
Today, users require great call quality as the volume of virtual meetings increase. Nothing like getting on a call and you hear static noise in the background. Or, your network and connectivity fail because your bandwidth is low. The scenarios are endless and can contribute to the quality of a call. To assist with challenges like these, Microsoft has introduced Satin, a new audio codec that offers greater audio quality at a bitrate as low as 7kbps, making your meeting sound clear and natural.
Learn more about Satin Audio Codec here.
Background noise suppression – keep unwanted sounds out of the conversation
Who here thinks it is a pain to periodically hit the mute button during a meeting to ward of loud noises, such as a dog barking or a train passing by. These loud noises can be a big distraction taking the focus away from your meetings. Microsoft’s background noise suppression feature works by analyzing an individual’s audio feed and uses specifically trained neutral networks to filter out noise and retain speech.
To adjust Noise Suppression, go to the ellipsis (…) during your meeting and select Device settings, then click on Noise Suppression and select the High option.
Learn more about Noise Suppression.
Features Coming Soon
AI-based video and screen-sharing optimization – smooth, distraction-free video
Coming soon are some new video optimization features in Teams. AI-based video optimization with full HD 1080p support will adjust to network conditions and bandwidth constraints for a smooth, consistent experience. You will be able to control and adjust bitrate caps and allow IT admins to tailor video performance.
Your audience will not miss out in vital details with the new screen sharing optimizations. Teams will automatically optimize shared content based on characteristics such as video and small fonts. You will be able to focus on meetings instead of settings for content type.
Play music in Teams
Create a richer sound with High-Fidelity Music Mode in Teams. This new setting allows you to transmit music to listeners in a Team’s meeting or call with a better sound experience.
This functionality is expected to come later this year, so stay tuned.
Intelligent real-time user alerts
Sometimes user-level issues can lead to unpleasant call and meeting experiences. Teams can now alert users in real-time with recommendations to reduce disruptions to enable a smooth connection, such as:
- While joining a meeting Teams will automatically mute you; Teams can now alert you when it recognizes your voice and remind you that you are muted.
- Instead of dealing with technical issues, Teams now alerts you with a recommendation to get a “call me back” when you lose connection to your device. Teams can call you back on a mobile device. Learn more about the call me back feature.
- Automatically switch to another device while maintaining video and screen sharing when the quality of the network is poor. It is important to have a seamless transition from Wi-Fi to a cell phone or vice versa.
That covers some of the new features in Teams, as always, for more tips, tricks and new features subscribe to our blog.