How Does Zoom Degrade Video Quality?

The sudden surge in remote working and online classes due to the pandemic has made Zoom one of the most popular video conferencing platforms. However, users often complain about the degradation of video quality during their Zoom sessions. Let’s take a closer look at why this happens and what you can do to improve your experience.

What causes video degradation on Zoom?

1. Internet Speed: The quality of your Zoom call depends heavily on your internet connection. If you have a slow or unstable connection, it can cause video degradation, leading to pixelated or blurry images.

2. Device Performance: Your device’s performance also plays a significant role in maintaining the quality of your Zoom call. If you are using an old device that doesn’t have enough processing power, it can lead to video buffering or freezing.

3. Network Congestion: When multiple users are on the same network, it can cause network congestion, leading to slower internet speeds and poor quality videos.

How does Zoom handle video compression?

Zoom uses a technology called H.264 video compression to reduce the amount of data transmitted during a call. This technology compresses the video stream so that less bandwidth is required for transmission.

However, this compression has some drawbacks. It reduces the quality of the video being transmitted and leads to pixelation or blurring of images when there is movement in the frame.

How can you improve video quality on Zoom?

1. Check your Internet speed:
You can use online speed tests like Ookla Speedtest or to check your internet speed before starting a Zoom call. Make sure that you have a stable connection with at least 1 Mbps upload and download speed for standard definition and 3 Mbps for high definition calls.

2. Use a wired internet connection:
Wi-Fi connections are often unstable and can cause video degradation during Zoom calls. If possible, use a wired ethernet connection for a more stable internet connection.

3. Close unnecessary applications:
Closing all unnecessary applications on your device can free up processing power and improve the performance of your device during a Zoom call.

4. Use virtual backgrounds sparingly:
Virtual backgrounds require more processing power to render, so using them can lead to video buffering or freezing. Use them sparingly or turn off the feature if you experience video degradation during a call.


Zoom is an excellent tool for remote communication, but it’s not without its shortcomings. The quality of your Zoom call depends heavily on factors such as internet speed, device performance, and network congestion. By following the tips mentioned above, you can improve your video quality and have a better Zoom experience.