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Tech Showcase: Videoconferencing System Solutions

An overview of several different products that support videoconferencing.

This month we take a look at several different innovative products that support the videoconference market including streaming services, videoconference systems, cameras, and projection screens. These interesting offerings are great solutions from some of the leading manufactures in the videoconference marketplace.

Array Telepresence presents its Equal-i 2S (pictured left) dual camera and Image Improvement Processor (IIP) that dramatically improve the experience of traditional videoconferencing systems in regular conference rooms with regular furniture. Its technology powers a large-format, dual-screen display using a single videoconferencing codec and bitstream. It also combines dual video cameras using video “stitching” to provide a widescreen, telepresence-like view from conventional videoconference equipment.

Blue Jeans Network (BJN) is a leader in interoperable videoconferencing services. Built for the cloud from the ground up, the Blue Jeans service was created as an alternative to hardware-based videoconferencing that was difficult to deploy and expensive to purchase. In recent months, it released a slate of new features, including cloud-based recording capabilities, the ability to host meetings with up to 100 participants, a customer community platform, and on Sept. 18, announced Command Center–a service intelligence tool that enables IT administrators to visualize, measure, and manage their Blue Jeans service.

The Cisco TelePresence MX Series consists of four fully integrated videoconferencing systems capable of turning a room into a video collaboration hub. The MX200G2 and MX300G2 offer easy installation/deployment and cost efficiency for broad scale and ease of use. Designed for small-to-medium conference rooms, the systems can be quickly and easily set up. The TelePresence SX10 Quick Set is a video collaboration set-top solution offering business-quality video communications for small team or huddle room meetings. With simplicity in mind, the SX10 is designed so that users can connect it to a screen and speakers, register to the network, and be on their first call in just a few minutes. TelePresence SX80 Codec is a robust audio and video engine that enables high-definition video collaboration applications in large meeting rooms, boardrooms, and purpose-built or vertical application rooms such as training, briefing, and demo rooms, and auditoriums. The SX80 delivers up to 1080p60 end-to-end high-definition (HD) video. It offers industry support for H.265, which lays the foundation for future bandwidth efficiencies made possible by the new standard. TelePresence SpeakerTrack 60 is a dual-camera system for active speaker tracking with direct, fast, and intelligent switching between speakers in a video conference. With one camera, it quickly locates the active speaker and presents a close-up of that speaker. At the same time, the other camera readies to seek and display the next active speaker. This results in very fast camera switching and an uninterrupted meeting experience.

<caption>Cisco TelePresence MX Series</caption>

CiscoTelePresenceSX10 QuickSet

Cisco TelePresence SpeakerTrack 60

Crestron RL

Crestron SmartSpace

The new Crestron RL is an all-in-one videoconferencing and telepresence solution that combines the power of Crestron conference room control with the collaborative features of Microsoft Lync to provide simple unified group collaboration capability. Now, an unlimited number of users are able to connect, collaborate, and share, regardless of their geographic location. Developed in alliance with Microsoft, Crestron RL includes high-definition, multi-party video and powerful group collaboration capabilities like presenting PowerPoint and sharing desktop or applications–as well as interactive white-boarding—in a complete solution tailored for the meeting room. Crestron’s SmartSpace is the new multi-person, multi-display solution that delivers enterprise-wide communication and HD videoconferencing. Smart Space is a tested and validated open architecture turnkey solution. It features an all-in-one, plug-and-play design that provides simple setup and operation. A repeatable, flexible, and scalable solution, Smart Space is simple to integrate, manage, and maintain. The code is already written, so no programming is required.

Discover Video Streamsie H.264 Software Encoder

Discover Video’s Streamsie H.264 Software Encoder can be used on PCs and Macs for live streaming and recording in HD quality H.264 format. Streamsie offers an easy-to-use app for your iPad/iPhone that captures live audio and video from the device’s camera and microphone and streams it live or records it locally. Once recorded, it can be automatically uploaded to a server, the DEVOS media server, or ARCUS CDN for instant delivery to viewers worldwide. Streamsie can even be used with third party CDNs and streaming servers. It is well-suited for webcasting presentations, lecture capture, and streaming videoconferences.

Draper Dual Roller Video Conferencing Backgrounds

Draper’s Dual Roller Videoconferencing Backgrounds are a useful solution when you need your videoconferencing to be flexible, or when you operate in a multi-use facility. With Dual Roller backgrounds, you combine two backgrounds in one unit. On one roller, convey a brand message, give your telepresence an air of professionalism, or even communicate more clearly between international branch offices within your company with a custom printed background. On the other roller, you can have another printed background, chroma key, or even a projection screen.

Lifesize delivers end-to-end cloud-based videoconferencing, connecting room video systems and mobile apps to a very simple cloud service. The cloud supports up to 25 video participants per call. Easily connect any Lifesize Icon video system to the Internet and connect it with Lifesize Cloud. From there, anyone can be invited to the meeting. Once Lifesize Cloud is downloaded onto a laptop and/or mobile device, users can connect to your meetings anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Pexip Infinity

Pexip Infinity is a scalable software platform providing personal meeting rooms for any number of users on video, voice, and mobile. Pexip Infinity’s architecture is purely software-based and virtualized, meaning it can be deployed quickly with the flexibility to scale as required. The complementary Pexip App allows users to control the conference and view presentations from their own personal devices. The foundation of Pexip Infinity is a single software file that is deployed remotely as two or more virtual machines in about 15 minutes. This saves time, cost, and logistics of delivering custom hardware to different locations. As a software-only solution, new features and technologies such as H.265, SVC, and WebRTC support will be available through ongoing software upgrades.

The Polycom RealPresence Group Series (300, 500, and 700) brings standards of efficiency and productivity for various size room-based group collaboration systems. The series delivers full 1080p60 high-definition video, content sharing at up to 1080p60, plus full-motion HD people at the same time, helping to eliminate compromises when sharing across distances. Included is Polycom VisualBoard technology for simple, real-time content annotation. Audio is processed with Polycom Constant Clarity, an audio technology that dramatically improves the sense of realism, resulting in more productive meetings. Each system features native interoperability with other unified communications (UC) platforms, such as Microsoft Lync 2013 and 2010 without the need for gateways, extending the benefits of the platform investment while simplifying the experience for users.

Stewart Filmscreen VCS Video Conference Screen

The VCS Video Conference Screen by Stewart Filmscreen is a versatile electric screen that delivers both a projection screen and video conference camera housing in one interoperable unit. A customized solution ideal for boardrooms, conference rooms, executive briefing centers, and other dynamic environments, VCS features a dual-motor system that enables the screen to be deployed with or with- out the camera, depending on the task at hand. VCS is designed to deploy and retract quickly and silently, and when not in use, the entire system is completely concealed behind an in-ceiling trapdoor. The VCS is equipped with Stewart’s proprietary Tab-Guy tensioning system designed to ensure a smooth, flat surface and prevent edge curl, while matte black over-scan borders provide a perfectly masked image area. Screens are available with all Stewart Filmscreen flexible front-projection materials.

If you need a videoconference camera, Vaddio is likely to have one to suit your needs. The company’s line of High Definition PTZ cameras comes in a variety of models with various capabilities. Models include conventional digital outputs as well as USB versions. The multi-format PTZ camera delivers component HD in 1080p, 1080i, or 720p, and simultaneous SD video. Camera control runs via VISCA command protocol or the IR remote that is supplied. High-torque, micro-stepper precision robotics enhance performance with smooth pan/tilt operation for accurate camera movement and control. Many models are directly compatible with Polycom or TAND- BERG videoconferencing codecs.

Christopher Maione is a recognized leader and expert in the AV industry with more than 28 years of audiovisual expertise. His forward- thinking and progressive approach to business has led him to found and become the managing partner of one of the world’s leading AV consulting firms, earning the company accolades as a leader in AV solutions and technologies. Maione now focuses his attention in two areas: representing the end-user on large-scale AV projects and helping companies grow their business within the AV market. He assists his clients in identifying strategic ways of handling clients, products, services and projects. Maione has a talent for forecasting trends and identifying emerging technologies that substantially impact the AV industry. Based on his own business model, he encourages colleagues to strive for excellence and consistently challenges the AV industry to improve its practices, grow its services, and develop better products in an effort to set a higher standard and respond to the changing needs of clients. Well versed in all aspects of AV, IT, integrated technologies, AV industry standards, green AV, and best practices and protocols, Maione is an adjunct InfoComm faculty member and an accredited CTS RU provider and serves on a variety of key industry standard committees. In doing so, he continues to set industry benchmarks for quality. For more info please contact [email protected] or vist

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