Introduction to ZipDX QA Reporting

In addition to the post-conference summary and event logs, ZipDX maintains a quality assurance (QA) log that tracks any potential issue with network connectivity during a conference.

The QA log is available to the conference organizer once the conference has ended.

To access the QA report:

  • Find the conference in your list of Completed Conferences.
  • Click on the conference title to access the summary.
  • Click on View Event Logs in the upper right corner of the page.
  • Click on View QA.

The QA page include an overview of the how we collect and track connection quality.

Use this tool to see if a network problem may have impacted this meeting.

All audio streams (web or phone connections) in ZipDX are processed in packet form, typically at a rate of 50 packets per second. Each packet in each stream is sequentially numbered, so we can detect if any packets are missing. We continuously monitor every stream and record a “hit” if there are 50 or more packets missing from a given stream within a 30-second period.

We group those hits into “event windows.” An event window is a period in which there were one or more affected connections within the same meeting, all adjacent or overlapping each other in time.

Not all audio issues will be detected as hits. For example, some mobile connections (indicated by /M in the Access Method column) impacted by wireless network failures will be detected, but many others will not. Similarly, sometimes a hit will be shown here, but inaudible to those in the meeting. That will particularly be true if the connection was “quiet” (not talking) at the time of the hit.

We strive for every meeting to be perfect (no hits on any connections), but practical realities make that impossible. Hits are common on mobile and VoIP connections and usually stem from issues local to the participant. An event window affecting many connections results from issues at hub locations within the global network and are much less frequent.

This explanation is followed by a list of any Event Windows recorded for this conference.

No Events Found

No Events Found

The QA report shows “No Event Found” when the system did not record any network interruption with any connection involved in this conference.QA Report 0It’s entirely possible a conference might have suffered poor quality audio while reporting no QA events. This can happen for a numbers of reasons, but they all amount to problems with the call media (sound) that are not caused by network trouble.

QA Sample #1

QA Sample #1

The following is an example of a typical QA event:

QA Report 1

Here’s how we interpret this information:

  1. Between 02:42:30 and 02:43:21 (51 seconds) there was packet loss noted on a connection from one participant.
  2. The duration being between 30 seconds and 1 minute, we count this as 2 “hits.”
  3. The participant impacted was connection #3 to the conference.
  4. UsrDial Toll-CN means the system was set to dial out to their phone number.
  5. China Mobile is the name of their phone company.
  6. Beyond the name of the carrier, a /M indicates a mobile phone connection.
  7. The participant was “Talking” when the interruption occurred.

Cross referencing the call summary, we see that connection #3 was sustained for 61 minutes. It suffered only these two “hits” which were just 1 second each, in a 1 minute window. Technically, 699 packets were lost on a connection that spanned 181,000 packets. That’s just 0.386% packet loss.

This we would regard a momentary disruption. Since it occurred while the participant was talking, it was likely heard by all. However, it was brief and transient, so not enough to appreciably degrade the conference experience.

QA Sample #2

QA Sample #2

The following is an example of a typical QA event involving a VoIP connection:

QA Report 2

Here’s how we interpret this information:

  1. “Tony” was initially connection #3 to the conference.
  2. At various times between 11:51:04 and 12:08:48 his connection suffered packet loss.
  3. In the first instance it occurred while he was talking.
  4. The remaining instances it occurred while he was silent, so would not have impacted the rest of the conference.
  5. D:NotResponding means that in each case his browser lost connection to ZipDX for more than 30 seconds.
  6. After 30 seconds without a response, ZipDX assumes the connection is lost, so he had to reconnect.
  7. Others were also joining the conference, so when he connected for the third time Tony became connection #7.

This is a clear case of a problem with the participant’s internet connection or computer. We have no way of knowing exactly what occurred, we can only make an educated guess.

It could be that he was using Wi-Fi that was shared with many others, resulting in network congestion. Perhaps he minimized the web phone window, which caused it to be suspended. Chrome does this to conserve battery life.


Tips on sleuthing out problems

VoIP Connections – A VoIP connection, such as our web phone, is established over the public internet. The quality of connection will depend upon things local to the the participant’s computer or network. Are they connected over Wi-Fi? Are they sharing their connection in a business home/office? Are they doing other tasks (email) such that their computer cannot reliably sustain the voice connection?

Mobile Phones – There are two aspects to a mobile connection; (1) The wireless link from the handset to the tower and (2) the fixed link between the carriers core network and ZipDX. The carriers core network is typically very good. Even though there may be trouble with the wireless link, the technical measurement of the link from carrier to ZipDX can be perfect. No QA events are recorded, but the call audio is clearly degraded. This is typical of mobile phone networks.

We also have a more detailed look at the issues involved with using mobile phones for conference calls.

Speakerphones / Conference phones – There are many makes/models of these devices. Some sound quite good. Others sound terrible. They are typically associated with office phone systems. On that basis, they would not be indicated as a mobile phone.

Production Audio issues – Where ZipDX is used as part of a hybrid live/remote event there can be issues with the audio delivered to ZipDX. If the level is too high, it may be distorted. If too low, it may be gated (muted) when a quiet talker has the podium.

We offer this information so that ZipDX users who are inclined to better understand the system can be as self-sufficient as they like. That said, we’re here to help. If you have any questions please contact

Related Pages: Post-Conference Reporting