Yearly Archives: 2016
Written on December 16, 2016 at 11:58 am, by Ana Pena
Here at ClearOne, we strive for an environment that supports happy employees in a team atmosphere…the way we come together to produce exceptional products. Our Spain office has taken some great steps implementing fun concepts to further this goal that we’d like to share with you in this multi-part series.
The “happiness at work” concept is not new. If someone searches Google for “happiness at work,” there are at least one-hundred thousand references. So, this topic has been analyzed in detail, the main hurdle is actually applying it. The main problem is the association between happiness and the meaning of work.
Many people change from one job to another, looking for happiness as the “right” work and the “right” company. But it is an incorrect assumption to assume 100% of the motivation should be the company’s responsibility. It’s also incorrect to assume that a corporation can set their employee roles exactly as projects and tasks are fluid and change based on needs.
In general, with the current economic situation, where human forces and constant movements are not required, corporations need innovation and creativity. This is achieved with motivated and optimistic employees.
Luis Rojas Marcos, a professor of Psychiatry, said that one major factor of happiness is the work itself. Some people consider that work can identify them as an individual socially. It does not matter if an employee is a director or a cleaning person. If one agrees with what he/she does, devotes effort, values what the job means, and has money to do whatever he/she wants without sacrificing, happiness is achieved. A happy worker is profitable both intrinsically, and for the company.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, (The How of Happiness ) indicates that 50% of individual differences in happiness are governed by genes and 10 percent by life circumstances. This leaves a startling, and underdeveloped 40% of our capacity for happiness within our power to change.
TUNE IN FOR PART II, in which we’ll talk about the 12 ways to exploit your 40% capacity for happiness!
Written on December 6, 2016 at 6:25 am, by Grifiths Zachariah
Can a conference room truly be “intelligent,” to accommodate your connection, communication, and collaboration needs? Does such a conference room actually exist?
A conference room has to accommodate people at different levels, different skill sets, with different types of connection and communication needs – it could be a local connection point to locally present from your own device, or to bridge someone at a remote location for audio/video conferencing. The life of a conference room is always busy…it must be set up efficiently to accommodate a variety of user needs. This new conference room model has become known in the industry as the “all-in-one conference room”.
As an AV Integrator, what does it take to cover all these possibly functions of the all-in-one conference room? You may want to ask yourself the following questions:
In-Room Local Meetings
One of the major applications of these all-in-one conference rooms is local, in-room presentations and sharing. Wired connections are a thing of the past, legacy systems which also have the challenges of different formats, types of connectors, etc. Wireless collaboration technology has taken over the way participants share and collaborate information.
• Does your conference room support cross-platform Windows, Mac, iOS, Android devices for presentation?
• Can multiple users share and collaborate information simultaneously? 4-6 simultaneous participant connectivity is common.
• Do you need white boarding / annotation functions?
• Is your conference room content secured? Can it generate a dynamic PIN for your session?
• Can your conference room capture the content from this meeting? Does this capture include audio, video camera and data for future use?
• Can your room stream this content live and/or on-demand?
Audio calls are still a favored method of communication, to join a webinar or to connect with someone who does not have a video-enabled device.
• Do you have a professional audio system to handle modern room acoustic challenges?
• Is it designed to cover participants who stand/sit away from the conference room table?
• Does it support PSTN and/or VOIP Connectivity?
Can this all-in-one conference room host a web conference? Times have changed. Web conferencing is now much more productive with video and media collaboration, rather than simply being an audio call. The true advantage of web conferencing is its ability to accommodate a large number of participants.
• Does your room support simple plug-and-play connectivity from your laptop to host a conference?
• Does your cloud application support cross-platform BYOD?
• Do you have a professional camera and professional audio support to deliver your message loud and clear?
Video conferencing adoption has grown immensely in recent years and it will continue to do so. All of us are aware of the benefits of video conferencing.
• Your room must be capable of interoperating with other manufacturer’s solutions.
• H.323/SIP and H.460 support is required to ensure a smooth connectivity to legacy systems.
• Modern-age conference rooms require recording and archiving of conferences for future use.
• Streaming of conferences is often required for overflow rooms.
• Conference rooms must be equipped with multi-party capability to connect multiple locations at the same time.
ClearOne COLLABORATE® Pro 900 offers a complete media collaboration solution to meet today’s diverse organizational demands for conferencing, collaboration, and communication.
Its versatile design makes it ideal for multiple applications including videoconferencing, professional audio conferencing, wireless presentations and collaborations, training, corporate announcements, etc.
• Brings traditional SIP/H.323 videoconferencing and cloud video collaboration into a single appliance for multi-site collaboration with up to 25 sites.
• Award-winning Beamforming Microphone Array and market-leading CONVERGE® Pro DSP mixer for best-in-class professional audio.
• Perfect for both single-site and multi-site interactive collaboration.
• Multi-purpose solution for multiple applications – videoconferencing, professional audio conferencing, wireless presentation and collaboration, capture and recording station, streaming and distribution.
• Multi-source collaboration with simultaneous capture of up to 4 video input sources.
• Single point of support and maintenance for your complete collaboration and conferencing needs.
Written on November 18, 2016 at 3:16 pm, by ClearOne
The answer is: very probably. In 2016 the FCC intended to sell off 128 MHz of spectrum from 700 MHz all the way down to 572 MHz. And they started the initial auction of licenses in that spectrum in March 2016.
However the sky is falling very slowly at this point; due to disagreement between the sellers and buyers as to how much the 600 MHz licenses are worth. The sellers are broadcasters who use the spectrum for Digital Television Stations. The buyers are companies such as mobile carriers who want to add more subscribers and new services on this prime piece of RF Real estate.
The outcome of the FCC auction the first half of 2016 was a temporary impasse. The license holders wanted $86B for their spectrum; but the buyers only offered $22B. No deal that time.
So, a second auction started on September 13, 2016 and the FCC has reduced its goal to only sell 114 MHz of spectrum.
And if the round-two auction is not successful, the FCC will try another round with a goal of clearing 108 MHz.
But until the sellers and buyers agree on the price, the changes to the 600 MHz band won’t begin. And when the changes start, it will take 42 to 47 months to complete. Of course, some channels in some markets will be changed earlier than others.
So if a wireless microphone user purchased a 600 MHz system today they could possibly have over 4 years to use it before the planned changes would affect them. And that could be the right time for that user to upgrade to whatever the latest technology had to offer.
ClearOne and other wireless microphone manufacturers are working on new products that leverage new frequency bands such as 2.5, 5, and 6 GHz. Plus we are making systems that can tune over wider ranges and use smaller amounts of RF spectrum per wireless microphone channel. These new products will make the current 600 MHz and future FCC rulings less impactful to wireless mic users.
So yes, eventually most wireless microphone uses of the 600 MHz band will go away. But there is still time for the industry transition effectively.
Let us know what you think about this situation in the comments below.
Written on November 7, 2016 at 7:00 am, by ClearOne
InfoComm 2016 was the setting for a big announcement – the next generation of ClearOne’s flagship Pro Audio DSP product family, CONVERGE® Pro. The product name was already familiar across the AV industry, and it was important to retain this well-known name across the new group of SKUs. CONVERGE Pro had become synonymous with the term “Audio DSP mixer” for most AV practitioners. CONVERGE Pro 2 was now on the scene, with many new features and options, and the importance of naming conventions came to the forefront, to avoid confusion and make the transition as smooth as possible.
The new CONVERGE Pro 2 family includes an extensive list of additions to its powerful new architecture, including:
- New AEC algorithm, new NC algorithm,
- Acoustic Intelligence with faster convergence,
- Distributed Echo Cancellation on every mic input,
- Built-in feedback elimination advanced microphone gating,
- 2 VoIP lines plus additional 3 more lines through licensing,
- Built-in USB for web/UC conferencing applications,
- Built-in Telco or VoIP, built-in Dante for audio networking,
- New expansion bus (C-link) for connecting more our DSP units together for scalable system,
- New peripheral bus (P-link) for native integration with our new & 2nd generation Beamforming Microphone Array 2 and new DIALOG 20 2 channel Wireless Mics,
- New CONSOLE software with FlowView for visualized audio signal flow along with traditional MatrixView,
The list goes on and on, as this product redefines Pro Audio again!
To accommodate various scenarios and end-user expectations, and to provide more flexibility for integrators in choosing the proper SKUs, ClearOne created multiple SKUs for CONVERGE Pro 2 with various combinations of features and physical interfaces.
The trick was in naming the multiple versions to make them easy to identify.
The solution was a simple rule of thumb so that end-customers, consultants, distributors, integrators, resellers, sales staff – everyone could easily identify and remember each SKU’s features/interfaces by the model name.
The main features or interfaces that contribute for forming the model name of the CONVERGE Pro 2 SKUs are:
1) Number of Inputs (12 or 4)
2) Number of Outputs (8 or 0)
3) Telco (T) / VoIP (V)
4) Dante (D)
5) Sound Reinforcement (SR)
These points are very important when specifying and choosing DSP products for conferencing and reinforcement applications, projects are designed by using one or multiple sets of these features. So, that became the system for the model names.
All the SKUs have commin interfaces, with built-in USB audio interface, RS232, GPIO, Ethernet, C-link and P-link ports, USB for Connecting to PC to run software. But the differences in features listed above are now inherent in the model names themselves:
1) 128 – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs
2) 128D – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + Dante
3) 128T – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + Telco
4) 128TD – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + Telco + Dante
5) 128V – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + VoIP
6) 128VD – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + VoIP + Dante
7) 120 – Model name represents 12 inputs + 0 output
8) 48T – Model name represents 4 inputs + 8 outputs + Telco
9) 128SR – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + No-AEC
10) 128SRD – Model name represents 12 inputs + 8 outputs + No-AEC + Dante
We hope this system will make it easier to specify the right hardware for the right project and the combination of DSP features required!
If you have any questions, contact us today and we’ll be happy to help.
Written on November 2, 2016 at 11:04 am, by Michael BraithWaite
Traditionally, AV content is distributed using fixed hardware matrix solutions – a method still being used in some projects. This method will have one piece of hardware with fixed number of inputs and fixed number of outputs; all the sources and destinations being connected to this same box.
There are some major disadvantages in using this traditional method. To name just a few:
a) Multiple racks of equipment and more footprints are needed
b) Expensive, specialized, and source-dedicated cables are needed
c) Complex installation and maintenance is required
d) Cable restriction for length limitation is a consideration and even it may pick up noise and distortion
e) Rigidity is a reality – the system is neither scalable nor flexible. For example: Starting with one 16×16 (sources x destinations) unit, a customer would face purchasing another entire 16×16 system should they need to add just two more channels…a 32×32 system in which only 18×18 are being used.
The modern and new way of distributing AV contents is through TCP/IP Ethernet network. To explain simply, the source devices are connected to a device called an “Encoder.” The destination devices are connected with a device called a “Decoder.” The Encoders and Decoders are connected with an Ethernet Network Switch.
There are countless advantages in using this new method. To name just a few:
a) Highly scalable: Any source to any destination in any combination of the inputs/outputs can be connected in the system. Add a device when needed and if needed.
b) No distance limitation in the network.
c) Highly flexible, including video, audio, data, and control – all in the same network. Can extend the system by increment of 1 unit (unlike the purchasing scenario above!)
d) Highly reliable with high-quality signal transmission over standard Ethernet networks, using standard CAT5e/6 cables.
e) Internet Protocols are matured and standardized for interoperability and are future-proof.
f) Highly affordable, using the existing IP network infrastructure that includes the switches and cables.
g) Ease of installation and maintenance.
ClearOne’s StreamNet technology – a high-quality, AVoIP streaming solution that provides digital media distribution with unmatched scalability and ease of deployment on existing IP networks. It supports all types of AV sources to be distributed through existing Ethernet networks to all types of endpoints – from video wall screens to single, large-display screens and laptops or mobile devices.
ClearOne’s VIEW® Pro delivers the highest-quality multimedia streaming & distribution on an existing IP network with 1080p60 resolution, and an H.264 codec with ultra-high-quality 4:4:4 color-space video, ultra-low latency, low & adjustable network bandwidth, self-discovery, built-in control, RTSP/UDP streams for 3rd party products interoperability.
Written on October 26, 2016 at 9:08 pm, by ClearOne
We’re Hiring Sales Pros!
ClearOne is expanding its sales power and recruiting Regional and Technical Sales Managers for the Western and Southern United States.
Check out our newest solutions in professionally installed audio, professional microphones, network media streaming, and video conferencing/media collaboration.
If you’re a top producer, amp it up at clearone.com/career_opportunities
If you have a resume’ all ready to go, email it to us at: email@example.com
Written on October 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm, by ClearOne
We’re traveling the states showing off our newest products. Read about our adventure at each stop on the ClearOne Sales Roadshow Tour and be on the look out for us at a city near you.
SAN FRANCISCO – 12/8
Local Integrators and Consultants learned quite a bit about our latest solutions and found some very interesting possibilities with current projects that may now find some huge cost savings and a wealth of features with audio and video conferencing/collaboration. Many were introduced to the power of our streaming solutions, many not having previously done many of these types of installations. Wireless mics were of great interest with the simple integration and security offered with any pro audio installations. The simplicity and flexibility of ClearOne’s integrated options really helped open everyone’s world to new solutions!
Just next door to “the happiest place on earth” we found quite a few smiles of our own, as our local west-coast Integrators and Consultants were opening their worlds to all the newest ClearOne solutions.
The hands-on demos lasted quite a long time, as our attendees were finding more and more options for integrated solutions – adding industry-leading video collaboration to their pro audio installations, or vice versa, finding that video conferencing and media collaboration installations would be so much more natural and immersive with ClearOne professional audio integration.
Interest in streaming technology were answered with the unique ability to run powerful audio, video, and control over a single cable in a client’s existing TCP/IP network – something that opens up a lot of people’s worlds when no new wiring is required to have an easily installed mesh network for media streaming.
ClearOne’s wireless mics held everyone’s attention with the breadth of features and security found in such affordable packages. The flexibility of installations and the ease of use with field-upgradable products made the new wireless mics solutions a hit with everyone.
Our nation’s capital seems to be relatively calm after such a heated election season. We had a very productive meeting with attendees in Washington DC, with a session full of insightful questions and interactive dialogue. We heard from many consultants and integrators who were excited about all the newest ClearOne solutions and the expanded offerings they could provide for upcoming installations. Others now had the possibility of revisiting large projects already underway with the ability to offer clients solutions with the full range of features at a lower price than what may have been originally suggested.
All in all, we had a great time in Washington DC and will stay in close touch with our new contacts. Will we see you at the next stop?
TORONTO – 11/1
We reached the far north this week with a visit to Toronto as our team of AV experts ran through the demos of the latest CONVERGE® Pro 2 Pro Audio DSP innovations, Spontania and COLLABORATE® Pro cloud-based videoconferencing and media collaboration (respectively), our affordable – and more importantly, highly secure – new wireless microphones, and the powerful flexibility of VIEW® Pro and its ability to stream across existing TCP/IP Ethernet networks.
The Canadian stop was very well-received and we thank everyone who attended! We’ll stay in touch with contacts old and new to support everyone with the latest solutions as a one-stop manufacturing resource.
Now it’s on to the next stop – hopefully we’ll see you there!
NEW YORK – 10/20
The “Big Apple” of AV practitioners’ eyes
In the shadow of the Empire State Building, the historic Hotel Pennsylvania played host to ClearOne’s second Sales Roadshow. High above the never-ending NYC bustle, integrators and consultants learned all about ClearOne’s latest – ending with a hands-on tour of each major group of solutions.
Pro Audio has been redefined- AGAIN! A live-listening demo of CONVERGE® Pro 2’s noise cancellation provided real-time examples of the latest and most powerful adaptive audio DSP algorithms, including acoustic echo cancellation, noise cancellation, feedback elimination, gain and level control, and microphone gating.
The Beamforming Microphone Array 2 raised everyone’s brows, representing the second generation of the most powerful beamforming & adaptive steering technology in the industry – something others are just beginning to explore. The beautiful, sleek design was preserved, with some new back-panel updates and the addition of color-matched “feet” to completely blend in with the entire piece. In addition, a standard projector mount option is now available with different suspension column lengths.
The affordable new DIALOG® 20 wireless microphone system proved that good things come in small packages. Just two channels, it is the affordable choice for smaller venues requiring few wireless mics – with the option to daisy-chain to expand with more channels- or even be combined with options such as the Beamforming Mic Array 2 & CONVERGE Pro 2!
VIEW® Pro again displayed the ease of use with auto-discovery and AV over IP streaming on existing networks. The idea of creating a full video wall and video windowing configuration using PANORAMATM in minutes without running any new cable was astounding.
COLLABORATE® and Spontaniatrade; video collaboration solutions fit the new work environments with their multi-use appliance and built-in cloud-based conferencing. Huddle rooms and large conference rooms alike can easily add everything from simple in-room wireless presentation to full, remote media collaboration, all with a single appliance.
The UNITE® 200 PTZ camera represented the most flexible and future-proof PTZ solution for video conferencing & media collaboration, with options for USB, HDMI, and IP connections.
Our next stop will be Toronto – more updates to come!
BOSTON – 10/18
The ClearOne Sales Roadshow Tour is well underway, and Boston started off the series with a bang! Attendees learned all about the latest ClearOne solutions and experience hands-on demos of all the newest powerful technology.
The CONVERGE® Pro 2 and Beamforming Microphone 2 led the charge, as a double-shot of redefined Professional Installed Audio, providing, respectively, a completely new DSP mixer line and next-gen beamforming technology when any others are just beginning to explore the possibilities. Attendees listened in with headphone stations to experience the true power of unbeatable noise cancellation and pristine clarity.
DIALOG® 20 2-channel wireless mics represented a new market solution for environments requiring few wireless mics,; but still with the need for professional-quality sound. The mics were not only there to experiment, but had a starring role in the sound reinforcement for all the presenters.
VIEW® Pro Network Media Streaming showed the agility and power of it’s single-cable audio, video, and control streaming – with the latest PANORAMAS software for video walls and video composition. The simplicity of the software and it’s powerful self-discovery on existing IP networks could be shown on a tabletop – creating a video composition setup in minutes.
COLLABORATE® and SpontaniaTM provided live demos of video and cloud-based web conferencing for all attendees. The hybrid appliances now provide a full spectrum of possibilities from wireless presentation and full video conferencing- all within a single box! Attendees could download the Spontania app on mobile devices and immediately join a live conference as ad-hoc attendees at any point.
It’s on to New York for October 20th and more live demos – we’ll see you there!
Written on October 18, 2016 at 6:45 am, by Brad
We recently launched our second generation of the groundbreaking Beamforming Microphone Array and the progressive CONVERGE® Pro 2 Audio Conferencing Platform.
These products are redefining the professional audio space once again with extraordinary audio fidelity. The Beamforming Microphone Array continues to advance the art of voice conferencing and extraordinary audio fidelity with the industry’s most sophisticated audio beamforming, adaptive steering, acoustic echo cancellation, and noise cancellation technologies; and CONVERGE Pro 2 delivers the very latest and most powerful adaptive audio DSP algorithms for stunningly clear audio.
Together, these technologies deliver the world’s most advanced audio signal processing for a powerful 1, 2 knockout punch.
View for yourself and see how revolutionary these products truly are, and how they’ll give you and your clients a superior and world-class audio and video conferencing environment that will be the envy of all their friends.
Now that you’ve seen what these two great products can do, please let us know how we can help with any questions you may have about your pro audio and video conferencing needs.
Written on October 11, 2016 at 6:15 am, by Tom Searcy
Have you ever heard of HDCP? Ever wondered what it really means or why it exits?
HDCP is an acronym for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. It is a form of digital copy protection that was developed by Intel with the intention of preventing the copying of digital audio and video content as it travels across connections. Being that HDCP is a digital technology, HDMI and DVI cables are used.
HCDP becomes relevant when it comes to moving audio and video signals over a network…..AV over IP Video Distribution. If a signal is protected by HDCP, once that signal is put into a video distribution system, it will pass if the device the signal is flowing into is HDCP compliant. There are two general standards in the HDCP world….1.4 and 2.XX. Without getting into the details on either, suffice it to say that in a professional AV Distribution System, the equipment you use should be compliant with both in order to provide both a legal solution and one that is flexible for your clients needs.
In our industry one of the main challenges that integrators face is with Apple. Using an Apple device as a source into an Encoder can create an issue even if the content being played is not HDCP protected. AV Integrators have told me that their customers often call and say that their Apple Device is not passing audio and video even when the content being played is not HDCP encrypted. By default Apple has HDCP Content protection enabled on their devices. Apple has presumably taken this route so they will not be liable for the actions of an end user.
To get around this, some encoding and decoding devices have a switch that enables them to turn HDCP off. In theory this appears to be a viable solution. The reality however is that the HDCP licensing agreement that all manufactures who wish to be in compliance sign, does not allow for this work around.
With ClearOne’s View Pro System we fully support the HDCP standards of 1.4 and 2.XX. Our View Pro AV over IP Streaming Solution will never block protected or unprotected content. There is never a need to turn HDCP off. ClearOne has taken the position to comply with HDCP Licensing to the letter of the law.
For more information on HDCP, visit the link below.
As a leader in the AV community, we must provide equipment to our partners that protect their interests and their customers.
Written on September 27, 2016 at 2:33 pm, by Jason DiCampello
Why AV over IP?
Back when I first started my career in AV, signal distribution was much simpler. As we progressed in this exciting industry; along came the need of distributing signals further with much larger matrices. We then began to see the influx of UTP and Category cabling.
The AV industry thought these concepts and said, “Hey we can utilize this!” But this presented the problem of the number of pairs. Category cabling only has four pairs, which means distributing audio, video, and control at the same time becomes a challenge… four pairs just aren’t enough. In order to make things work, we needed to packetize. We needed to become digital – which, as you know is exactly what happened; and, to this day, works extremely well.
It begs the questions why haven’t we completely adopted this as an AV industry standard?
Here are a few points to think about when signal distribution is on your plate.
- Will my design need to expand in the future?
- Do I already have category cable in place?
- Will I need to control the device at the destination of the signal or the source for that matter?
- Do I have the need for a processing of my signal such as video wall modes?
All network media solutions are not the same. ClearOne’s VIEW® Pro allows you to design signal distribution systems that are completely future-proof and fully expandable. VIEW Pro gives you the ability to take any audio, video, or control signals and stream them to virtually any location. This is what you would expect; and what most manufactures offer. However, ClearOne solutions also have processing built right in that allows you to adjust virtually every single part of your signal. In addition, we also have other integrated options such as video-wall processing and composition modes.
Regardless of what your distribution needs may be, please take a moment and review ClearOne’s innovative Network Media Steaming offerings. You may just find yourself also asking why this isn’t the AV Industry standard!
We’re here to help. We’d love to hear from you and discuss your AV distribution needs.
Contact Us today and let’s chat!