We recently completed a project in sunny Tucson, AZ. Our client, SinfoniaRX, reached out to us with a request that mirrors the objectives of the vast majority of our corporate clients. They wanted to improve their remote meeting technology. Their existing system consisted of the typical tabletop telephone/microphone/speaker combination and was not cutting it. Our goal was to make several significant changes in each of their 3 conference rooms.
What’s New In Video Conference Rooms?
Most if not all business owners have used some form of video conferencing and collaboration hardware. As of late, this product category has experienced a significant increase in attention. Our clients want to know more, and our manufacturing partners are stepping up their game. As a result, we would like to share our thoughts on how new technology can elevate your abilities.
Clients wishing to upgrade their video conference systems primarily ask us for THREE THINGS.
- They want us to improve how they sound to their clients on the far side of the conference call.
- They want to be able to hear their clients clearly.
- They want their clients to be able to see them clearly.
While these requests seem like a “No Brainer,” in most cases, our clients have issues in all three categories. Their reference point is often an older tabletop system that combines a telephone, speaker, and a couple of small tethered mics. Cameras are often an off the shelf entry level variety.
Why is a Great Microphone So Important?
We often get calls from new clients indicating that during conference calls, the guys and gals at the other end of the call can’t hear them very well. This is common, especially in conference rooms where several people need to be heard clearly. Quite often, ambient room noise, such as the air conditioning, is adding to the problem by masking the people that need to be heard.
Why is this happening? Unfortunately, most out of the box solutions use boundary microphones. These microphones are excellent at picking up any sound in the room, including the AC.
Here’s what we do differently. Every client is different and every solution we offer is designed specifically for the client. With microphone systems, we start by taking into account the number of staff sitting at the conference room table, the size of the conference table, and the size of the room. Using these parameters we work with our manufacturing partners to design the best possible system for the client.
In the case of our client, SinfoniaRX, we partnered with Shure, a leading manufacturer of precision microphones. We chose the Shure MXA310 Table Array Microphone
for all three conference rooms. What’s amazing about these microphones is that we can digitally aim the internal microphones in each unit at specific areas of the conference room table. This ensures that only the people speaking are heard. All other room noise simply doesn’t register with the microphone.
Why you Need Great Speakers
Another typical complaint we get from clients is that they cannot hear the conference call from their seating position at the conference room table. The small speaker located in the tabletop conference phone just isn’t cutting it.
Our solution starts with measuring the room dimensions, including the heigh of the conference room. We also measure the conference room table and determine the number of seating positions. Once we have this basic information, we can load it into a software program from JBL to determine exactly which speakers to use, how many to use, and exactly where to locate them in the room. The end result is an immersive sound experience that everyone can hear clearly.
For SinfoniaRX we chose Control 128 Premium In-Wall Loudspeakers from JBL. Now everyone in the room can hear the conference call clearly.
Why you Need a Great Camera
How the system sounds is important, but what about how the call looks to your clients? As video conference call technology such as Zoom, Teams, WebEx, etc. have improved their ability to handle high resolution video content, our clients have been stepping it up with the quality of the camera they are using.
Here, we take a custom approach to finding the perfect camera for the space. We start by measuring the room and determining where everyone is going to be sitting. We want to make sure that all meeting participants can be seen clearly. Once we have these basic parameters in place, we work with our manufacturing partners to find the perfect camera for each client.
SinfoniaRX got the latest from Marshall Pro A/V. These guys build commercial cameras that are up to the task. We chose the CV610-UB HD PTZ camera which is located above the TV’s in each of the 3 conference rooms.