Professional AV systems designed around leading platforms like Zoom and Teams.
Whether you're a start up for Fortune 500, conference room technology should be an asset- not a pain point.
Our hands-on approach and extensive expertise produces reliable, easy-to-use video conferencing solutions for the professional environment.
Whether you’re using Zoom, Teams or need recommendations for a new platform, we can help. Neurilink is a one-stop-shop for AV design, integration and support. You’ll get a solution designed for you, your space, and your needs.
The first component to a video conferencing solution is the platform like Zoom, Teams and Cisco. BlueJeans, StarLeaf, Lifesize and Pexip offer video conferencing platforms as well.
Most software platforms, including Zoom and Cisco, are standards-based H.323 or SIP systems. It means they all function on the same protocol allowing a user to join calls regardless of the platform. Zoom can dial into a Cisco call, Polycom can dial into Zoom- they’re all based on the same platform so it works back and forth.
Teams runs off a proprietary video platform that creates issues with interoperability that has only recently been addressed. Historically you could not call into a Teams meeting from Zoom, Cisco or another standards-based H.323 or SIP system.
Microsoft recently announced that Teams Rooms can support a one-touch experience for joining third-party online meetings hosted on Cisco WebEx and Zoom. Neurilink is currently testing this capability with a variety of hardware to better assess its functionality.
We’re happy to share our insights and recommendations on software platforms with those organizations that are still assessing which system is best for them. Many companies that have already chosen a software standard, like Zoom or Teams, and already have the needed licenses. In that case we build the in-room AV solution around the selected platform, creating a seamless user experience.
Microphones and speakers take on a few different forms including in- ceiling, hanging, on-table, or handheld/lapel which are typically for larger presentation spaces. Mics made for meeting room environments feature echo-canceling, steerable lobes and even autofocus technology.
Speaker technology has also advanced, boasting functionality like auto-gaining, which intelligently adjusts the volume level so all participants on your video call can be heard at a consistent level.
Larger rooms will also require a Digital Signal Processor (DSP). DSP manages the audio routing and processing for the room and the far end. DSPs are excellent for large conference rooms as they are made for managing echo-canceling across multiple mics and speakers.
For large spaces we often recommend Dante, which digitally connects all the AV components onto the same network and manages them using sophisticated software. Instead of running long dedicated cabling through floors and walls each analog audio device is plugged into a tiny Dante-enabled box that converts analog audio to networked audio that can be carried via Cat 5 ethernet cabling.
The recommended audio hardware and location depends on the room size, layout, number of participants, aesthetics and budget. Audio is not the place to cut costs in your project. Quality mics and speakers mitigate common audio issues like echo due to audio loops and background noise.
Cameras are getting smarter. New solutions feature speaker tracking and auto-zoom. Speaker tracking cameras find the active speaker and zoom in on that individual. Auto-zoom functionality ‘right sizes’ the level of zoom based on the number of people in the room. If a twelve person conference room is being used by four, the camera will intelligently zoom in on the four participants. The right camera for your video conferencing system will depend on the room size, desired functionality, and budget.
You may require single, double, or triple displays to provide the desired experience during your video conference.
In conference rooms multiple displays can be arranged next to each other at the front of the room. This allows attendees to see both the people on the other side of the call as well as any shared content. It’s also common for a display to be positioned on a side wall for ease of viewing from the opposite side of the table.
Commercial LCD displays typically range form 55”-98” and most are 4K. We highly recommend commercial displays over consumer to avoid integration issues due to lack of inputs, short life spans, and voided warranties. Zoom Room subscriptions include unlimited digital signage software. The display works overtime as it presents your organization’s messaging while not being actively used, making it even more critical to choose a commercial grade display.
Some organizations opt for an interactive display in their conference room. Interactive displays are available in standard sizes similar to LCD displays. They’re often 4K and powered by android or PC. Interactive displays provide additional flexibility for digital whiteboarding, either during a video call or locally while brainstorming. They feature the same presentation capability as standard LCD displays.
Some organizations opt for Direct View LED video walls in their board rooms. Direct View LED creates a seamless, no-bezel experience. Bezels are the black frame around a standard display. When LCD displays are grouped together the bezels form lines between each display- not ideal for looking at reports and financials. Direct View LED displays are made of bezel-less panels with small LEDs. Each LED is an individual pixel that make up the image itself. The panels are grouped together to create large video walls while maintaining a completely seamless, bezel free view.
The control panel runs the room. It lets you start a video conference at the push of a button, adjust the volume, and share your screen. Some control systems, like those from Poly and Crestron, can feature a native Zoom or Teams experience. The interface features a similar look and feel as the desktop app.
If your organization has standardized on a single platform, these native integrations can provide an excellent experience. If you team typically uses one platform but occasionally join meetings from another it gets more complicated. This requires additional technologies and design to create the desired experience. You can learn more about using Zoom and Teams in the Conference room here.
One thing to note, the Zoom Room platform runs off a PC in most cases. Depending on the control system chosen, your AV partner may design in a dedicated in-room PC to power the system. Your end-users can still control the room via the interface.
Don’t forget, no video conferencing software can overcome low bandwidth. Ensure your IT team has designated sufficient bandwidth for your conference rooms. Equally as important, make sure you have data drops at the locations specified by your AV partner to minimize unsightly wires.
Incorporating a power box into the conference table enables your team to take notes or drive the meeting in a BYOD situation without running out of battery. Like data drops, ensure you have power drops in the locations specified by your AV integrator (typically behind displays and under tables) to avoid wires running up walls and across floors.
There are many factors that go into determining the right solution for your space and drive the price.
- Workflow– How many people usually meet in the room? What video conferencing software is used to make and receive calls? Is there any flexibility required for furniture reconfiguration?
- Desired user experience– Who typically uses the system? What do they need to be able to do? What’s important to them?
Standardization – How many different room types exist? Creating a consistent interface across rooms is critical for ease of use and for employees to feel confident running the technology.
- Physical office environment– What are the walls made of? How important are aesthetics? Where are windows and HVAC located?
- Audio considerations– How loud is the HVAC? What kind of background noise exists? is the room mostly hard surfaces?
- Overall strategy– What are your priorities? Do you want everything cutting-edge? Is user experience or flexibility a higher priority? How do you balance aesthetics and budget?
These are just a few of the considerations that go into designing a solution tailored to your business.
If you’re partnering with an AV integrator for your meeting spaces (which we highly recommend), you’ll receive a proposal which includes:
* Remember, workplace AV isn’t a one-time cost. Subscriptions and service agreements will need to be renewed annually, so make sure you’re budgeting accordingly.
Budgeting Phase –
Request a complimentary, no obligation ROM for price estimates based on your project. Available for offices in Idaho, Washington and Montana.