Using Jitsi with OBS

Are there any plans to provide better support for OBS with Jitsi? There are two approaches to consider:

  1. Support high resolution secondary camera with minimal lossy compression (presently Jitsi has issues sharing from a high resolution virtual camera, so does Zoom though)
  2. Share content from a second camera instead of a screen or window (this is what Zoom does)

The only thing keeping me on Zoom right now is this support for OBS (sharing content from a second camera).

What kind of problems? I’m able to pull in 1080p resolution into Jitsi from OBS. The tweaks necessary to compel 1080p resolution are done in OBS, not Jitsi.

I think this might be possible when the proposed enhancements to Jitsi are made (ability to send multiple streams). You should remember though that comparing Zoom and Jitsi is like comparing apples and oranges - they operate on different technologies. A more apt comparison would be with Google Meet, for instance, which is also a WebRTC solution.

@MadMartian have you tried the undocumented setting

_desktopSharingSourceDevice: "Screen Sharing"

in your config.js (or as a URL parameter, like https://meet.example.com/RoomName#config._desktopSharingSourceDevice="Screen Sharing" ? This works very well for me. Of course, you have to replace Screen Sharing with whatever your virtual camera device is called, i.e. if in your /etc/modprobe.d/v4l2loopback.conf, you have something like

options v4l2loopback devices=4 card_label="Virtual Camera,Screen Sharing,Background Matting,Avatarify" video_nr=2,3,8,9 exclusive_caps=1,1,1,1 max_buffers=10 max_openers=20

then the above config.js setting would use your /dev/video3 virtual camera for screen sharing. Hitting the “Desktop Sharing” button (or pressing the “D” shortcut) instantaneously switches between your primary camera and your virtual Screen Sharing one. Compared to the other software you mention, which requires several mouse moves and clicks and sometimes reveals parts of the screen it shouldn’t, this is a painless, smooth user experience.

The only thing I miss a better way to simultaneously share the primary video image in a thumbnail along with the screen share. I know I can use picture-in-picture mode, but that degrades video quality of the screen share. If only the lowest resolution video stream could continue to transmit your camera video which would then show in the film strip instead of the blank rectangle … but I guess that’s a restriction of WebRTC.

So what I do in this scenario is set up two browser windows in the same meeting room, one for the screen share (joining without audio) and another one for my primary camera picture. In the screen share session, I set the camera to use the same virtual device that is preset for screen sharing. That way, with the D shortcut, you can instantaneously switch between

  • having the OBS virtual camera show in desktop sharing mode with your primary camera image (from the other browser session) shown in the film strip and
  • having the virtual camera transmitted in a lower quality as a normal video stream along with the primary camera image.

Of course, this requires sufficient upstream bandwidth on your part, but is still much smoother than the competition’s screen sharing in my opinion.