This document contains important information for early users of the BigBlueButton HTML5 client.
Earlier this year we announced that we will be transitioning all users to the BigBlueButton HTML5 client (no more Flash client) for (see blog post).
This document contains the latest information on the BigBlueButton HTML5 client (referred hereafter as simply "HTML5 client").
Table of Contents:
- Recommended browsers
- Minimum bandwidth requirements
- Features still in development
- Differences from the Flash client
- Known issues/bugs
The following article is actively updated, please be sure to check back regularly to ensure you are up to date. Last update: April 12, 2019
The recommended browsers are
- Desktop/Laptop: Chrome or Firefox (latest versions)
- Mobile iOS (11+): Safari
- Mobile Android (6.0+): Chrome
At this time IE and EDGE browsers are not supported browsers.
Java is no longer required for screen sharing.
Minimum Bandwidth Requirements
For the all users, we recommend (a minimum of)
- 0.5 Mbits/s upload bandwidth
- 1.0 Mbits/sec download bandwidth
For instructors wanting to share their screen, we recommend (a minimum of)
- 1.0 Mbits/s upload bandwidth
- 1.0 Mbits/sec download bandwidth
The same bandwidth recommendations apply to mobile devices:
- For data network, we recommended 4G LTE for best results or minimum 3G Network to use audio, view presentation content and receive screen sharing.
- For connection via wireless, we recommend private versus public networks where possible.
- To reduce bandwidth usage, users can turn off webcams on their mobile devices (see below).
For a list of recommended settings for Desktop/Laptop users see: https://blindsidenetworks.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360025284251.
Features still in development
- Live closed Captioning: Viewers can view a live closed captioning; however, we are still currently in development for the capability for a moderator/stenographer to enter the captions live.
- Show Slide Thumbnails: At this time the slide navigation does not show thumbnails when using the slide menu to navigate to specific slides.
Differences from the Flash client
- Polling: The Flash Client would show the presenter a visual graph of results as users responded to polls. The HTML5 client does not show the graphing until the results have been published to the slide as an annotation.
- Layout Dropdown: The Flash client had a layout menu that let moderators push down layout changes in windows to all viewers. The HMTL5 client does not use windows (it uses panels that show/hide). We are going to add capabilities for the moderator to show/hide the presentation area in a future update.
Currently, when webcams are shared in a session, a user can minimize the presentation area and have the shared webcams take over the presentation area (which is good for creating a video chat-type session).
To close the presentation, select the "X" located in the upper right hand corner of the presentation.
Once closed the webcam streams will take up the full screen of the BigBlueButton interface.
To restore the presentation and minimize the webcams, select the Presentation Icon located in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
If no webcams are being shared in the meeting, the user cannot close the presentation window.
- Managing webcams: The Flash client allowed users to individually close webcams. This feature is not yet implemented in the HTML5 client.
There is no limit on the number of webcams that can be shared, but there is a practical limit in terms of bandwidth. At higher number of webcams you may see some webcams stop updating.
A user can disable all incoming webcam streams using the by selecting the Settings menu.
and then choose "Data savings" and turn off "Enable webcams".
Clicking the "Save" button will then turn off all webcams (which is good when on a mobile device with limited bandwidth).
- Shared Notes: shared notes are now located in the side panel to the left of the presentation area where the users list and chat messaging are located. To view and edit the shared notes, click on the "Shared Notes" link.
- Moderator Unmute: Due to privacy concerns moderators are no longer able to unmute viewers who are muted in the session; viewers must unmute themselves to use their mic in the session.
- Multiuser Whiteboard: Currently, multiuser whiteboard only applies to the current slide. When the presenter changes to another slide, they need to re-engage multi-user whiteboard.
We are actively working to address the following known issues or bugs.
- Screen sharing: in some cases where the presenter is sharing dynamic content or is scrolling through content the incoming screen sharing for users will pixelate (see below), this image is not captured in the recording and has been determined to only affect incoming screen sharing transmissions:
- Audible notifications for chat: at this time when audio alerts for chat are enabled they do not alert the user unless pop up alerts for chat are also enabled.
- Firefox media streams and late user joins: in some cases when a user in Firefox browser joins late to a session where media streams such as webcams or screen share are being transmitted the user (who joined late) is unable to see the incoming streams until they are restarted/re-shared.
- Chrome screen sharing: specifically when sharing a Microsoft Application window (such as Excel) updates do not transmit to viewers. This is a known issue with Chrome 73 and will be fixed in 74 (https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=838062)
- Breakout Rooms: in some cases the breakout rooms "randomly assign" users function does not evenly distribute users into rooms. We are currently addressing this issue, the best workaround is to drag and drop attendees into the respective rooms.
- Links in slides not clickable: when uploading slides with clickable links, they could be clicked in the Flash client. Currently, they are not clickable in the HTML5 client.
If you encounter an issue that is not listed above, please let us know by submitting a support ticket titled "HTML5 client issue" to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Description of the bug or steps to take to reproduce
- Screen shots; if able to capture
- Title, date and time of the session where issue was encountered
The HTML5 client is under active development and we appreciate your feedback!