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ClearOne

ClearOne is a global company that designs, develops and sells conferencing, collaboration, streaming and digital signage solutions for audio and visual communications. The performance and simplicity of its advanced comprehensive solutions offer unprecedented levels of functionality, reliability and scalability. More information about the company can be found at www.clearone.com.

Recent Posts by ClearOne

The Case for Audio Making or Breaking Video Communications

 

It’s easy to see video conferencing and collaboration as the “next step” in communications, something beyond the world of audio conferencing. However, the truth is, a video conference is only as good as its audio. The occasional dropped frame or even severe video issues can still be forgiven in a conference without interrupting the flow.

 

However, if audio becomes choppy, it quickly becomes fatiguing to listen or to repeat statements or questions… and worse, if audio is missing, there simply is no conference to be had.

 

Tune in an find out why great video collaboration can only be built on a solid foundation of superior audio. Ron Lynch, ClearOne’s Supervisor Technical Trainer, provides an overview of why strong audio is an absolute necessity in video conferencing and collaboration, in conjunction with Commercial Integrator:

 

 

See the original post from Commercial Integrator here:

The Case for Audio Making or Breaking Video Communications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the 600 MHz Sky Falling for Wireless Microphones?

 

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.

 

What’s in a Name? Making Sense of CONVERGE Pro 2 SKUs

 

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.

 

 

 

Looking For Adventure? We’re Hiring!!

 

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: recruiting@clearone.com

 

 

NOTES FROM THE ROAD… CLEARONE SALES ROADSHOW TOUR

 

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.

 

HOUSTON – 1/12/17

This fabulous trek comes to an end in the Lone Star State. The Houston AV practitioners really helped us end on a high note, with unique interest in the Network Media Streaming solutions. The demos and even the networking of peers was a great ending to a productive series of meetings.  We hope to be on the road again in the near future, as we look ahead to more releases, and new innovations!

DALLAS – 1/10/17

 

We started off 2017 with the next-to-last Roadshow in Dallas – the mild weather in direct contrast to the high energy and interest of our attendees as we did hands-on demos of all the Pro Audio, Network Media Streaming, Wireless Mics, and Video Collaboration solutions. The UNITE 200 PTZ camera was of special interest, as well as the overall integration of products, bringing together the best in audio and visual communications with the flexibility to fit any environment!

 

SAN FRANCISCO – 12/8

Rainy San Francisco played home to our last Roadshow of 2016 (Seems strange to call it the last -but  we’ll  be back in January with more locations!)

 

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!

 ANAHEIM 12/6

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.

 

WASHINGTON DC – 11/10roadshow-dc

 

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

 

Wroadshow-torontoe 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

 

 

roadshow-nyc

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.

 

nyc-sm1

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.

roadshow-boston

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!