At IU, what videoconferencing systems does UITS recommend?

At Indiana University, there are two approaches for equipping a conference room or classroom for videoconferencing: using a dedicated videoconferencing hardware appliance, typically from a manufacturer like Cisco or Polycom, or using a standard desktop computer with an external USB camera and microphones that are suitable for room coverage. Each approach offers its own advantages in terms of cost, flexibility, and ease of use. Because of the many variables in system offerings and features, user needs, and room conditions, UITS Collaboration Technologies recommends that you email Videoconferencing Support for consultation before you buy.

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Group videoconferencing systems

Recommended room configuration

While no single videoconferencing room configuration is appropriate for all conference rooms, consider these design guidelines:

  • Display size: As a general rule of thumb, consider a 52" flat-panel monitor for 4-8 seat rooms, 60"-65" for 8-15 seats, and 80"-90" for 15 seats or more, or for rooms where the displayed image is more than 15' from the farthest seated viewer. Remember that you may be viewing computer text as well as multi-pane views of remote conference participants.
  • Flat panel floor stands vs. wall mounting: Reinforcing walls to allow large LCD flat panels to be wall mounted is costly and time consuming. Certain free-standing flat panel solutions, such as the Premier PSD-TS60, can be assembled quickly and have a relatively shallow mounting depth (typically, the front plane of the LCD TV will stand out from the wall only about 11"). The stand and TV may be relocated without damage to existing walls.
  • Display and camera placement: The display should be centered on the tabletop so that each person has an unobstructed view of the screen, at a height that allows the camera to be placed on top of the display with the camera lens as close as possible to participants' seated eye level. In a videoconference, this camera mount position maintains optimal "eye contact" with remote participants. In some rooms, however, you may prefer to sacrifice optimal eye contact to improve seated participants' viewing angles by raising the display height and mounting the camera underneath the display.
  • Microphones: Physical proximity to the microphone is critical for optimal voice clarity. Microphones must be relatively unobstructed by laptops and other noisemakers. Wired microphones are much more reliable than wireless.
  • Computer presentation: The ability to present a computer image to both the local and the remote participants easily and reliably is critical. A laptop interface cable (with audio) at the tabletop should be considered a requirement, and power at the tabletop is highly desirable.

Email Videoconferencing Support to discuss videoconferencing purchases, installation/configuration, and room configuration.

Purchasing equipment

For recommendations on videoconferencing equipment, contact Collaboration Technologies at 812-856-2020, email Videoconferencing Support, or see the Collaboration Technologies website.

After consulting with Collaboration Technologies for the most appropriate solution, see Audio Visual Equipment & Supplies for purchasing information.

Getting help

For help or to learn more, contact UITS Classroom & Conferencing Support (cthelp@iu.edu, 812-856-2020, Skype for Business/Lync: cthelp).

This is document axor in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2017-05-24 17:06:11.

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