There are a few issues that may prevent a user from sharing their webcam.
This article is written for the Help Desk agent diagnosing common webcam issues.
1. Unable to find available webcams
When the user clicks to share their webcam, the browser will first search for available webcams.
If none are available, you will see a NotReadableError: Could not start video source message.
This error is caused when there are no available webcam sources. The reasons for this are
- Another application (such as skype) is using the webcam and won't release it
- You have an older version of ManyCam installed (Windows 10)
First, if you have ManyCam installed, upgrade it to the latest version.
Second, restart your computer. This clears any access to you webcam so that the browser can access it.
2. Latest version of FireFox, Chrome, or Edge
While there are checks in BigBlueButton to warn the user, in general the user should use the latest version of Chrome, FireFox, or Edge (which as of version 18 is based on Chromium).
Users of the older version of Edge will have intermittent success sharing their webcam.
3. Permission not granted to share webcam
If the user didn't grant permission, there will be webcam icon on the browser's tool bar with a slash '/' through it. Click that icon will give the user another change to grant permissions (a refresh of the page may be needed).
4. Error Establishing Connection
If there is an error setting up a media connection with the BigBlueButton server, the user will get "Error 1020: media could not reach the server". The issue is network-related (usually due to a firewall).
Have them visit
and try sharing their webcam within a test session. This will test on a completely different server.
If they are unable to share webcam in both the BigBlueButton session and the test server, then the issue is likely network related, in that case
- Have them switch between FireFox or Chrome (sometimes one works and the other does not)
- If possible, have them setup a wireless hot pot with their phone and try the above test server again. This will keep everything the same, but use a different network path. If it works on the hot spot, but not on their default network, then explore if there is an option to use an alternative network.
If they are unable to share their webcam in a BigBlueButton session but can share it on https://test.bigbluebutto.org/ , then do one more test session from within the LMS to check again and, if they are unable to share, contact us.