Ideally, the display should be large enough for everyone in the meeting to easily see the shared content on the screen while also in proportion to the conference table and overall meeting space. The optimal display will be capable of displaying both camera video and content video at resolutions and a size that even text is readable. To determine the optimal display size, measure the distance between the wall where the display will mount and the furthest seating position. Divide the distance to the furthest position by 4 and that will give you the recommended minimum height of the screen. If you multiply the screen height by 1.8 then you will have the diagonal size, which is the dimension given for display sizes. Larger can sometimes be better and this is where some discretion may be used, but the method listed above should consistently produce good results.
Select a display mounting option based on the constraints and preferences for the meeting space. A common choice for larger conference rooms is to mount the display(s) on a wall for a professional appearance and increased visibility for everyone at the table.
When a single display is mounted on a wall, the center of the display should align with the center of the wall and the table. Dual display installations can be positioned either horizontally or vertically. For horizontal mounting, place the displays such that the center of the table aligns with the gap between the two displays. For vertical installations, follow the same rules as with a single display.
Keep camera placement in mind when positioning displays. If the camera is installed too high or too low it renders a suboptimal projection of the people in the room. Similarly, displays that are positioned too wide, too high, or too low can create an unnatural view for remote participants as the people in the room look to the screens. The optimal position for camera and displays is the one that best supports relaxed, natural eye contact between all meeting participants.
If there is a single individual being called then their head should be in the upper third of the image. For this reason, mounting the camera above the display will produce a more natural experience for these types of calls. If there is a group of people on the other side the participants will tend to occupy most, if not all, of the screen and mounting above or below the screen produce roughly the same experience. Remember that the best experience will keep the camera as close to eye level as possible. Eye level is relative to the seating in the room, but for standard seating this is 46-50” (116-127 cm) on average. This means that when mounting the camera below the display, keep in mind that the display will have to be elevated on the wall. If this works in a space is objective based on the users aesthetic desires for the room. When mounting the camera above the display, the bottom of the display should be as close to the surface height of the table as possible. In most cases the top surface of a standard conference room table is 30” (76 cm). This typically puts the camera above eye level, but may still provide for a better experience.
Mobile display carts can add portability and flexibility to where video meetings are held. A mobile cart can contain a complete system and be wheeled into open spaces or to different rooms with just a power cable and a networking jack as the only external connections needed. Stationary carts can be a good option in spaces where it is impractical or not possible to permanently install displays and other equipment. Whether mobile or stationary, a suitable cart should provide solid mounting options, cable management accommodations and a sturdy, functional design.
Look for a cart solution that has optional brackets and easy mounting options for the camera, computer, speakers, meeting room controller, power strip and other accessories. The Heckler AV Cart, for example, provides an optional MeetUp Bracket that securely mounts the device directly to the cart while maintaining a clean aesthetic and keeping cables managed.
Heckler Design offers an AV cart with an optional Logitech MeetUp Bracket
AV carts are available for single or dual displays, plus storage for accessories and mounting for devices such as the computer. When installing components that produce heat while operating, such as a computer, be sure to provide adequate ventilation. When permanently deploying an AV cart in a room, also take into account the shape of the legs and casters to ensure easy movement around the meeting space. You may also want to consider devices to secure the gear to the cart such as Kensington locks and optional locks for any storage drawers and doors.
Display settings determine important attributes of the video you see on screen, including display resolution, color saturation, and brightness/contrast. Settings should be reviewed and adjusted as needed during installation, in advance of the first live video meeting. In general, displays by default have many settings that process the video and audio in an attempt to optimize them for television. These settings should be disabled or set to the lowest level where disable is not an option, to ensure the best possible performance from your video and audio. If there is a video setting labeled “Game Mode” then this usually is the best performance for video settings with the least processing.
Interactive displays are touch-enabled video screens. For room layouts designed to support front-of-room collaboration for brainstorming and whiteboard use, an interactive display enables users to digitize their notes, illustrations, and other work enabling better real-time collaboration and to be saved for future access.
A video-enabled interactive display can be used for in-room collaboration as well as video meetings with remote participants. Multiple cloud-based video meeting platforms now support interactive displays for real time annotations and shared content, or even as a meeting controller. With Zoom Rooms, for example, one touch on the screen enables users to easily annotate, draw, highlight, erase, and record meeting content to the Zoom cloud.
The core of any ConferenceCam is the camera itself. The camera should be positioned at an optimal height, distance, and viewing angle in order to see everyone in the room.
Field of View (FOV) determines the side-to-side viewing capacity of the camera lens. This specification varies among Logitech video conference solutions as follows:
Logitech MeetUp: 120° FOV (diagonal)
Logitech BCC950: 78° FOV (diagonal)
The FOV of each Logitech lens is designed for optimal performance in its intended environment. The super-wide, low-distortion 120° diagonal field of view provided by MeetUp, for example, is ideal for huddle rooms where people are seated relatively close to the display and camera.
In addition to outstanding video, highly-intelligible audio is essential to successful video conferencing. Every Logitech video conference solution provides both.
MeetUp, Connect, and BCC950 are all-in-one systems that include both a speaker and microphones. MeetUp provides an 8’ radius range out of the box, which can be extended with an expansion mic an additional 3’ radius from where the expansion mic is placed. Connect offers a 50% wider range with a 6’ radius. BCC950 features an omnidirectional speakerphone with a 4’ radius mic range.
GROUP enables conference participants to converse within a 10’ (3m) radius around the speakerphone and be heard so clearly by remote participants that it seems like conversations are happening in the same room. Optional expansion mics extend the conversation area from 20’ to 28’ so anyone seated further away from the speaker phone can be clearly heard.
Rally maximizes audio performance and flexibility with individual mic pods that produce remarkably clear and natural conversational sound. Each mic pod contains multiple beamforming elements and RightSound™ technology that focuses on active speakers while automatically eliminating acoustic distractions. Up to seven mic pods work together to create consistent audio coverage for every seating position throughout large meeting spaces.
With a 4’ radius acoustic range, up to four BCC950 users will experience the best audio performance when seated near the all-in-one unit. Connect delivers the best audio results when 1-6 meeting participants are seated within a 6’ radius of the device.
MeetUp features three beamforming mics with an 8’ radius that collect sound in the direction it faces. MeetUp cannot pick up sound from behind it, so it should be positioned to face the people in the room. The optional, omnidirectional expansion mic provides a 3’ (1m) radius range from where it is placed.
GROUP features a full-duplex speakerphone that provides a center of table 360 degree audio experience with four omnidirectional mics. Beamforming technology helps focus on speech throughout a 10’ (3m) radius space [or 28’ (8.5m) with optional expansion mics].
Regardless of how good a quality audio system may be, every physical space has intrinsic acoustic properties, many of which can be managed. Types of materials used for room construction and furniture has the greatest impact on room acoustics. Try to avoid rooms with highly reflective surfaces such as metal, stone, glass or similarly hard materials. These materials tend to increase sound reflections that compromise audio quality. Glass windows can allow outside noise to leak in and cause distractions to people in the room and on the other side of the call.
Acoustic ceiling tiles can be very effective in absorbing sound and reducing echo and reverb. Acoustic panels that hang from the ceiling are an effective alternative.
Carpet is an ideal flooring material because it absorbs sound well. Generally, softer and loftier materials absorb sound best.
Acoustic panels can be used to absorb sound and reduce unwanted reflections. In general, the more surface area covered the better. Supplement the sound absorption of acoustic panels with bass traps in the corners of the room for even better results against low frequency problems.