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Conference Room Setup Guide 2021

15 Nov 2021


In the age of Zoom calls and Microsoft teams meetings online, video conferencing has become the new normal for many working from home. Because of this change, the technology surrounding conference calling has evolved at a rapid rate. Let’s take a look at how you can set up a conference room with the latest technology to improve the quality of your conference calls at home or in the office!



Display


What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a conference room? The display or screen usually sits at the front of a conference table, showing all the graphs, presentations, and slides! The display or screen can generally be split into two options most of the time, a large-format monitor/display or a projector either mounted to the ceiling or sat on a conference table.


A monitor may be a more suitable option for a conference set up on the smaller side with fewer participants. Larger monitors with higher resolutions up to around 65 inches have become increasingly popular and offer good levels of brightness as well as generally better colour performance and vibrancy than a projector. Some brands also provide corporate displays in larger sizes around the 80-inch mark with conference-specific features such as touch support. Some specific brands that you may want to consider are BenQ and ViewSonic who both offer corporate displays, but if you are interested in a smaller consumer-grade large-format display then the LG 43UN700-B is worth looking into. It features a 43-inch IPS panel, USB Type-C connectivity and supports Picture-in-Picture for multitasking.


With larger-scale conference room setups, a projector is typically mounted to the ceiling and projected onto a screen. These days many projectors also include wireless presentation functions such as BenQ’s range of meeting room projectors. You want to pick a projector with as high a brightness level as possible, as well as a high resolution for clearer, sharper images, especially for larger projected screen sizes. 4K or Ultra-HD projectors are pretty common, and affordable units are widely available.



Conference Video


Video quality is obviously important when in conference calls, so having a quality video capture source will seriously improve a video conference. Logitech is a well-known contender in this space, with a good selection of ConferenceCams and other peripherals that are built well and provide good video quality. The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect is a solid portable option, with a built-in battery and Bluetooth connectivity. Another option for a permanently installed solution is the Logitech MeetUp 4K ConferenceCam. It features an integrated speaker system, RightSight computer vision technology, and a premium motorized pan/tilt lens. Check out the rest of the Logitech ConferenceCam range here.


Audio Input and Output


One of the biggest reasons for poor call quality is audio, specifically background noise and ambient sound. A good microphone to capture audio as well as a decent speaker system is key to call quality - picking up only the sound that you want to hear and reproducing it as clearly as possible.


There are many different types of microphones that work best in different situations. Ceiling mounted microphones, boundary microphones, and 360-degree desktop microphones are designed as a single unit to capture all the audio in the room. In contrast, something like a gooseneck microphone or lavalier microphone will only pick up the voice of a single speaker. Some of the Logitech range of ConferenceCams also feature built-in microphones that are good quality, so keep that in mind before purchasing!


In terms of audio output, most ‘TV’ speakers are of poor audio quality so picking up any external set of speaker(s) is the way to go.


An additional option is a speakerphone - it combines both a speaker and microphone for conference calls. This can be convenient, and something like the Beyerdynamic Phonum is a great choice with echo-cancellation and surprisingly clear sound despite its compact size.


Networking


An easily overlooked core component of a good conference call is a stable and fast internet connection. Suppose you have a desktop computer or laptop with wired connectivity that you are using for your calls. In that case, this is the optimal solution, as an Ethernet network connection is the most stable and reliable and usually the highest speed possible.


Although a wired connection is preferred where possible, we cannot deny that wireless connectivity is generally easier to use. There are a few things that you can do to ensure that you have the most stable connection possible. Having a solid wireless access point in the room is a good start as this will allow you to have multiple devices connected to the network while streaming video and audio during a call. If you need to cover a large area with many client devices, we recommend setting up a mesh network with a few mesh routers. Mesh routers make connecting to the network seamless across the entire region, and many brands such as Ubiquiti, Netgear, TP-Link, and Tenda have outstanding mesh connectivity kits available.


If you are interested in setting up your very own conference room check out our range of gear below, or have a chat with our sales team today!


Author:

Computer Lounge

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