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InfoComm Recap: These Products Turned Heads and Earned Honors

Written on June 20, 2018 at 2:51 pm, by

 
It’s a wrap on another successful InfoComm. It was great to meet so many customers and talk about ClearOne’s exciting new audiovisual products. Every company wants to simplify and improve collaboration and these products were designed to do exactly that.
 
Two ClearOne solutions received the AV Technology Best of Show Award: the new team collaboration solution, COLLABORATE® Space, and the cost-effective VIEW Lite AV over IP streaming solution.
 
Here’s some of what booth visitors had to say about these and other ClearOne product debuts:
 
 
AV Solutions that Simplify Connection and Collaboration
 
Ceiling Microphone Array Dante™
The best-selling Ceiling Microphone Array Analog got even better with the addition of a built-in Dante digital audio network interface. In addition to this unique Dante compatibility, users also liked the mic’s mute feature, the capability to daisy-chain up to four ceiling mic arrays, and the ability to bundle three microphones for full 360-degree audio coverage. This new ceiling microphone array is compatible with ClearOne and third-party Dante DSP mixers as well.
 
CONVERGE Huddle
For the integrators and systems engineers, the most popular feature of the new CONVERGE Huddle conferencing solution was its ease of use. The solution is pre-programmed to work right out of the box, and installers make just a couple of physical connections. It is also a true BYOD solution, with the ability to connect to laptops, tablets, and smartphones with a single cable. Bluetooth connectivity will be available by the end of the year.
 
COLLABORATE® Space
The award-winning COLLABORATE® Space combines multiple team tools in one place, including video conferencing, whiteboarding, real-time chat, and the ability to leave people messages when they are offline. COLLABORATE® Space also stores notes, recordings and chats related to the same task in a centralized place that can be made public or private. And, unlike other team collaboration tools on the market, it saves old conversations. The amount of information users need to keep track of is growing, and COLLABORATE® Space makes it manageable, searchable, and scalable. COLLABORATE® Space is the ideal solution for versatile meeting spaces as it can accommodate large meetings as well as one-on-one collaboration.
 
Whether you are a system designer, engineer, integrator, or IT pro, ClearOne has the simple, efficient and affordable choices you need. Check out our latest training schedule to increase your skill in acoustic design fundamentals, product knowledge, & configuring ClearOne Professional solutions.

 

New ClearOne Collaboration Tool Supports Virtual Project Workspaces

Written on June 4, 2018 at 2:40 pm, by

 

The traditional workplace hierarchy, where individuals were assigned to specific functions, is rapidly fading. Today’s workplace is made up of dynamic teams, each organized around a specific goal or project. The number of teams in the workplace has doubled over the past five years and, according to Deloitte, only 38 percent of all companies are functionally organized today. However, today’s workplace solutions have not kept up. Most collaboration tools are still organized around meetings, not teams and projects.  That means that documents, minutes and recordings created in a meeting about a specific project end up in one place, while all the other documents, emails, and instant messages not created in that meeting but related to that same project end up somewhere else.

 

Creating a Centralized, Searchable Project Workspace
 
Think of all the ways you communicate and collaborate with your team members on a specific project. They probably include:
 

  • Emails
  • Instant messages and chats
  • Video conferences
  • Face-to-face-meetings
  • Whiteboarding and annotation
  • Meeting minutes
  • Document and screen sharing
  • Real-time document editing and co-authoring

 
Now imagine if you could keep those conversations going no matter where you were and no matter what device you were using. Team collaboration tools, like our new product COLLABORATE® Space, are the next step in the evolution of unified communications. They let you both perform and store all your project-related content in the same place, and help you move your collaboration beyond just messaging your team members back and forth.

 

COLLABORATE Space brings the messaging and document storage functionality of solutions like Slack or Microsoft Teams, and combines it with best-in-class cloud-based audio and video conferencing to give you a complete team collaboration app. So instead of leaving your collaboration space to launch an audio or video call—for example, leaving your Slack channel to launch a video meeting through a third-party—you can move seamlessly from chat to document sharing to video conference all within the same project space. And since it all happens in the same place, it’s all recorded in the same place meaning everything related to a single project—from notes to documents to meetings to video recordings—is centralized, easy to find, and easy to search.

 

A Collaboration Solution with All the Answers
 
COLLABORATE Space makes team collaboration more productive and easier, and that makes it an obvious choice for users and IT managers as well. Additional features include:

 

  • Real-time and non-real-time communication. Use chat for real-time conversations or leave messages that team members can read and respond to later.
  • On-premise and on-cloud hosting. Choose to deploy COLLABORATE Space on-premise or access through the cloud from any device, anywhere.
  • Public/private channels. Create public or private workspaces for your teams or projects where you can store all the data related to that project, including associated meetings.
  • Application Programming Interface. Potential to integrate with third-party apps.

 

Helping teams connect and collaborate has never been so seamless and easy. Sign up for our press releases to be the first to know more. Then be the first to see COLLABORATE Space at InfoComm Booth N1628.
 

Can Huddle Room Solutions be Easy, Affordable, and Professional Grade?

Written on May 18, 2018 at 4:03 pm, by

 
Huddle rooms are no longer a new concept. The dominance of this type of meeting space is well established. The marketplace is full of solutions designed to equip huddle rooms for collaboration. Yet challenges remain not only for end users but also for those who sell and integrate the solutions. There are many factors that contribute to these challenges, but this much is clear—there is still an opportunity to improve upon huddle room technology.
 
Why Huddle Rooms Remain Challenging
 
Collaboration is a broad category regardless of whether you’re equipping a huddle room or a conference room. Indeed, having such a wide range of choices can make it hard to determine which option will best meet your customer’s unique requirements. Commercial Integrator also finds that user demographic differences—which include technology preferences and work styles—add a layer of complexity that makes it difficult for one solution to meet every need.
 
For many organizations, the expectations for huddle room functionality far exceed simple audio conferencing. Wainhouse Research finds that typical expectations for huddle room use include audio conferencing, presentation capabilities, and video conferencing. While Wainhouse doesn’t emphasize the need for performance or flexibility, other analysts find that huddle rooms are now being used for serious collaboration, which means they need professional-grade audio and video and the ability to integrate with third-party applications such as Skype for Business, WebEx®, GoToMeeting™, and Spontania®.
 
But, as noted in a recent ComputerWorld article, today’s huddle room solutions often come with a trade-off or compromise. High-quality audio and video solutions tend to be expensive and more difficult to set up, while an inexpensive solution can cost you in user experience and ease of use. Wainhouse Research suggests the criteria for huddle room solutions be “low cost, ease of installation, ease of use, and availability.”
 
Why Huddle Rooms Mean Opportunity
 
Thanks to the shift to activity-based workspaces and the influx of millennial workers, the trend toward multi-use huddle rooms shows no sign of slowing down. This presents new opportunity to design huddle room environments that meet customers’ ever-increasing expectations for versatility, professional quality audio and video, third-party app integration, and ease of use. The key, however, to capitalizing on the opportunity will be delivering on these requirements at a price point that fits their budget.
 
To date, a huddle room solution that lines up where all these requirements converge has proved elusive. But that’s all about to change.
 
Making connections with ClearOne has never been easier or more affordable. Sign up for our press releases to be the first to know. Then be the first to see at InfoComm Booth N1628.
 

ClearOne To Show Complete Workplace Collaboration Solutions at UC Expo

Written on May 11, 2018 at 3:32 pm, by

ClearOne will be joining other AV industry leaders at the UC Expo May 16-17 to discuss the future of workplace collaboration technology and how businesses can use collaboration solutions to meet—and exceed—employee expectations.
 
Andrew Loadman, ClearOne ‘s EMEA sales director, will be on hand to provide demonstrations and answer questions about our complete end-to-end collaboration solutions that simplify and unify the user experience. ClearOne will be sharing a stand with RGB Communications, a technical AV distributor.
 
Stop by to see the Collaborate Pro product line, which brings videoconferencing, Skype for Business, Spontania cloud web conferencing and multi-user wireless presentation into a single appliance all with consistent user interface and user experience. Collaborate Pro allows teams to effectively collaborate no matter where they are located.
 
Workplace collaboration is increasingly critical to employee satisfaction and workplace productivity. Through the more than 100 seminars included in this year’s UC Expo, you can learn about the latest workplace collaboration trends and how you can leverage existing and evolving technology to the benefit of your organization and employees.
 
UC Expo is coming right up, so register today. We look forward to seeing you at Stand C102 to talk about how we can help meet your workplace collaboration needs.

Streaming Technology Increases Engagement and Sales – A Case Study

Written on April 17, 2018 at 7:45 am, by

Entertainment venues are always looking for the ways to improve their audience’s experiences which ultimately lead to increased sales from the higher value added of those experiences.

 

Dolphinaris Arizona was searching for modern methods that could help educate and amaze their guests and ClearOne was there to help transform their visitors from passive guest to interactive ones with the implementation of a large video wall streaming content driven with VIEW Pro encoders and decoders and flexible layout  control with our PANARMA video wall software.

 

Dolphinaris was able to display content that helped their audience take proactive interaction with the staff for shows and events driving sales up and customer enjoyment even higher.

 

Read the Full Case Study Here!

 

 

If you’re interested in learning how a VIEW Pro Streaming Solution can help your venue reach new levels, contact us today for and we’d be happy to discuss your project.

 

The 2018 ClearOne Connections Tour for Commercial AV Integrators and End-User Customers has Begun!

Written on January 16, 2018 at 12:23 pm, by

 

The 2018 ClearOne Connections Tour has begun. We’ll be touring the Western U.S. visiting 18 cities from January through May 2018 in our 36-foot ClearOne Tour Bus that’s stocked full with our complete line of conferencing, collaboration and streaming solutions directly to you, our commercial AV practitioners and your customers.

 

Here’s What You’ll Experience!

 

  • See live demos of our latest products.
  • Watch full product set-ups and configurations.
  • Meet with a ClearOne rep about new product features and benefits.
  • Get a hands on approach and interact with the products and see how they’ll fit into your next project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2018 ClearOne Connections Tour has been created to make it easy and convenient for systems integrators and end-users across the country who can’t always get to larger trade shows and conferences to experience first hand our entire line of diverse AV communications solutions.

 

 

Here’s What’s Installed

 

  • CONVERGE Pro 2
  • Beamforming Microphone Array 2
  • WS800 Wireless Microphone System
  • DIALOG 20 Wireless Microphone System
  • Ceiling Microphone Array
  • Touch Panel Controller for CP2
  • USB Expander for CP2
  • GPIO Expander for CP2

 

  • COLLABORATE Pro 900
  • COLLABORATE Pro 300
  • COLLABORATE Versa 150
  • COLLABORATE Share
  • UNITE Cameras
  • Spontania

 

  • VIEW Pro Encoders
  • VIEW Pro Decoders

 

  • INTERACT AT
  • MAX IP
  • MAX EX
  • CHAT 150
  • CHAT 50

 

 

 

 

 

The tour will include presentations, trainings, question and answer sessions, networking opportunities, and product demonstrations of ClearOne’s solutions in video conferencing and collaboration, pro audio and network media streaming.

 

 

The ClearOne Connections Tour Schedule:

 

Salt Lake City, UT January 4 – January 5
Sacramento, CA January 15 – January 16
Northern CA January 18 – January 24
LA Metro  CA January 29 – January 31
Orange County CA February 1 – February 5
San Diego, CA February 6 – February 9
Las Vegas, NV February 12 – February 15
Phoenix, AZ February 19 – February 23
Albuquerque, NM February 26 – March 2
Oklahoma City, OK March 5 – March 9
Dallas, TX March 12 – March 16
Austin, TX March 19 – March 23
Houston, TX March 26 – March 30
New Orleans, LA April 2 – April 6
Memphis, TN April 9 – April 13
St. Louis, MO April 16 – April 20
Kansas City, MO April 23 – April 27
Denver, CO April 30 – May 4

 

Eastern U.S. dates coming soon…

 

Visit the dedicated ClearOne Connections Tour web page where you can stay on top of where we are and where we’re going next..

 

Come Experience the Fun and We’ll See You There!

 

 

 

 

 

Using Video DSP to allow Augmented Reality for your video wall

Written on January 12, 2018 at 9:44 am, by

 

VIEW ® Pro is an award winning line of video streaming products by ClearOne.

 

Using the free software, PANORAMA, you can create any unlimited number of video layouts.  In these layouts, users can augment any live video streams based on common requirements.  For example, we have some casino customers who have large sports books and show live video throughout their facilities.  Usually they’re showing live sports on these displays; and sometimes it’s just the highlight shows like ESPN’s SportsCenter.  One requirement many of these gaming operators have is to minimize outside branding elements, including channel identifiers.  Another requirement is to eliminate, wherever possible, any current time information such as clocks.

 

With these two requirements in mind, VIEW Pro can help you create this augmented reality.  Using PANORAMA, users can create a video layout for each channel of content they would like to distribute. A single layout could be created for each new channel typically used, and these layouts could then be uploaded into the VIEW Pro encoders or decoders.  Each layout will have specific regions of the video that would be cut out, and/or replaced with the specific content that a client would like to use.

 

Since PANORAMA allows you to mix media types; you could replace the channel logo with the client’s logo image.  Using transparent .png files will work best; and can be done in such a way that the viewers will not notice any difference. This would cover the first requirement.  You can use the same method for removing any time information or even entire lines of text no matter where it’s located on the screen;  satisfying the second “display of time” requirement.

 

In a more advanced layout, you could displace the live crawl line with the client’s own crawl line.  If done well, letters of the same size and color will again make this augmented part of the live video stream look the same as the original; but now you can control the text that is crawling and remove any time references.  Using simple digital signage for your custom crawl, such as ClearOne MagicBox, could not be any easier.

 

 

To illustrate the above requirements, let’s look at this live video image in PANORAMA. Keep in mind this is not a file, this is live streaming video. We first cut the red highlighted area of the screen, cloned this stream, and then cropped the area just above the red highlight, making a layer, and placing it on top of the original cut-out area.

This kind of augmented reality is easy to do and easy to manage from any control system using simple ASCII commands over IP.  Inside the blue highlight, below, we simply create another layer to place the client’s logo image.  Again, you can make as many of these layouts as required and it can be automated with the content schedule.

 

 

 

Below are the results as played out from any VIEW Pro decoder.

 

 

Notice on the live output of the augmented results, there is no more clock in the upper left-hand corner, and no more ESPN logo. It has been replaced by the client’s logo.  Again, this layout would be one of many layouts on the decoder (or encoder) and can be changed within a single frame, so when another program is playing, and or a different channel or program is on, the layout(s) can change as well.

 

With VIEW Pro and PANORAMA software, the possibilities of layout and design are endless.

 

If you have a video project that has special layout requirements, we’d love to chat with you and see if we can help.

 

 

 

Be the best presenter you can

Written on November 16, 2017 at 3:20 pm, by

 
After more than 37 years of eating out of every bowl of dog food in the equation (End-User, AV Integrator and Manufacturer), I have watched presentations and the technology used evolve from tin can & string to NASA technology.

 

By no fault of anyone involved, 8 out of 10 primary “presenters” in fact have drawn the short straw and are as nervous as cats when they walk up to the podium. And, for all the advancements and money we spend to outfit a conference room with the best ClearOne equipment money can buy, it will only work as good as the person speaking and how prepared they are.

 

So, this is the first installment of just a few of the best practices and common sense tips I’ve picked up from hundreds of articles and real world experience along the ways to improve your presentation:

 

  1. Realize 90% of Nervousness Doesn’t Show: The audience usually can’t see the butterflies, or shaky hands, or sweaty palms. The problem occurs when we start thinking about these symptoms rather than focusing on the audience and our topic. By human nature, most people are focused on themselves not on you. Focus on them and two things will happen: 1) they will like you more, and 2) much of the nervousness that you feel will go away.

 

  1. Butterflies are Normal: At this point, as you practice, you might start to feel butterflies in your stomach or other symptoms of public speaking fear. Don’t worry. This is normal. However, as you practice once or twice, the nervousness should drop pretty dramatically.

 

  1. Learn from Mistakes: When you or your team has challenges, tell the story about the challenge or mistake, and then add the moral at the end to show how you learned from it. A lot of times, this can add some self-deprecating humor as well.

 

  1. Lose Train of Thought?If you lose your train of thought and feel some panic, then one of a couple of things might be happening. You likely have a bunch of bullet points that are difficult to remember. If so, go back through the earlier tips and design your speech differently. If you are feeling light headed and confused, though…

 

  1. Energy and Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is the absolute most important public speaking secret. If you have energy and enthusiasm, your audience will love you. Be excited about your topic, and your audience will be excited about your presentation.

 

  1. Talk with Your Hands: We all naturally speak with our hands, but for some reason, when we stand up to speak, we tend lock up our body language and lose a lot of our natural energy. Drop your hands when you start a speech, then use them to explain you points. (By the way, if you tell a lot of stories, this will happen naturally.)

 

  1. Make Your Gestures Bigger than Your Body: Small gestures below the shoulders and close to your body make you look weak and timid. The higher and wider your gestures are, the more confident you appear. When we get nervous, we want a barrier between us and the threat, so the small gestures show the audience that you are threatened by them. Make the gestures bigger.

 

  1. Breathe: When we get nervous, we tend to breathe more shallowly. When this happens, the speaker will not have enough oxygen which makes the panic even greater… Which alters the breathing even more. When you feel this happening, just stop, and take a deep breath from the diaphragm. To keep this from happening, take a nice deep breath before you say your first sentence.

 

  1. Props can Add Showmanship: When legislators were trying to get people upset about the healthcare legislation in 2009, they just printed out the thousands of documents that made up the bill. The piles and piles of unreadable pages was pretty overwhelming and made a valid point. When I was starting out teaching leadership classes, I found a toy that was a tiny shipping box that, when I pushed a button, shook and said, “Let me out of here!” I used it as a prop when I talked about self-confidence saying, “we all have that confident person inside of us who is struggling to get out and be seen.”

 

  1. Have a Contest: Divide the audience into small groups and have a contest of some kind. This could be a test to see what they remember from the speeches from previous presenters or it could be a contest to see who can come up with the most creative solution to a challenge or problem that you are experiencing. Get creative, because people learn more when they are having fun

 

The Seven Deadly Sins of Presenting
 

  1. Thou Shan’t Not Go Overtime without Consent
  2. To “uh” is Human, but Too Many is Annoying
  3. Thou Shall Not Speak Monotone
  4. Thou Shall Not Use Shop-Talk
  5. Thou Shall Not Speak Whilst the Audience Reads Thy Slide
  6. Thou Shall Not Read Endless Excerpts to Thine Audience
  7. Thou Shall Not Dump Endless Data Upon Thine Audience

 
The good news is that if you follow the prior tips, you will never violate any of these deadly sins!
 
 
 

All about Power over Ethernet (PoE) – ClearOne Tech Note

Written on September 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm, by

The purpose of this tech note (full link below) is to describe information related to Power over Ethernet (PoE) and ClearOne’s PoE supported CONVERGE Pro 2 (CP2) P-Link Peripheral Pro Audio products.

 

Power over Ethernet or PoE refers to passing of electric power through twisted-pair Ethernet cable, allowing  a single Ethernet cable to provide both a data connection and electric power to devices; giving new flexibility to installations.

 

Powered Devices (PD’s) that can operate within the power specification of PoE can be located almost anywhere, without the need for electrical outlets. Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) all provide DC power on the Ethernet cable (such as PoE Ethernet Network Switches, and PoE Power Injectors).

 

PoE has been standardized by IEEE 802.3 standards, and has two types:

  • PoE: This is covered by the 802.3af standard and provides up to 15.4 Watts of DC power.
  • PoE+ or PoE Plus: This is covered by the 802.at standard and provides up to 25.5 Watts of DC Power (over two pairs).

 

ClearOne’s CONVERGE® Pro 2 peripheral connections are supported by PoE, with the ability to daisy-chain multiple peripherals with mixers through our P-LINK connections, sharing resources and power.

 

 

Two standard PoE modes exist – A, and B, which differ as:

 

Mode A:

  • Delivers power on the data pairs of 100-BASE-TX or 10-BASE-T cable.
  • That is, pins 1 & 2 form one side of the DC supply and pins 3 & 6 form the other side.
  • These are the same two pairs used for data transmission. That is, mixed data and power.
  • This is similar to the phantom power technique used for powering microphones.
  • In summary, this mode A uses only 2 pairs for data and power.

 

Mode B:

  • Delivers power on the spare pairs of 100-BASE-TX or 10-BASE-T cable.
  • That is, pins 4 & 5 form one side of the DC supply and pins 7 & 8 provide the return.
  • These are spare pairs and these spare pairs are used for power. That is, no mix of data and power.
  • In summary, this mode B uses 4 pairs for data and power.

 

The table below shows ClearOne products that support PoE (i.e., PD’s), PoE modes supported for powering from PSE, PoE Power injectors (i.e., PSE’s) that we offer and the number of PD devices that can be supported.

 

S. No.

ClearOne PD’s

Supported PoE Modes

ClearOne PSE’s

PoE Power Injector
(910-001-004)

PoE+ Power Injector
(910-3200-202)

Product

Part Number

Mode A

Mode B

Mode A or
Mode B

Support
One PD

Support
Daisy-Chain
up to 3 PD’s

Support
One PD

Support
Daisy-Chain
up to 3 PD’s

1

Beamforming Mic Array 1 (White)

910-001-003

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

NO

2

Beamforming Mic Array 1 (Black)

910-001-003-B

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

NO

3

Beamforming Mic Array 2 (White)

910-3200-201

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

4

Beamforming Mic Array 2 (Black)

910-3200-201-B

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

5

CONVERGE Pro 2 GPIO Expander

910-3200-301

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

6

CONVERGE Pro 2 USB Expander

910-3200-302

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

7

DIALOG 20 Wireless Receiver

910-6100-201

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

8

Touch Panel Controller *

910-3200-501

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

NO

* This must  be the last device in the P-link chain when daisy-chained with other PD’s.

 

For the full, downloadable tech note, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONVERGE Pro 2’s New Control Modules

Written on August 29, 2017 at 8:30 am, by

 

As part of our ongoing commitment to provide commercial AV integrators with solutions that are easy to adopt and integrate into all of their AV system designs, we recently engaged Control Concepts, a leading AV software and services provider, to create a suite of AMX, Crestron and Extron control platform modules for our new CONVERGE® Pro 2 series of DSP Mixers, which we believe are the industry’s most advanced professional audio DSP platform for conferencing and sound reinforcement applications.

 

Control Concepts was uniquely positioned to support us in this capacity because of their ability to deliver a consistent solution across multiple control systems platforms precisely because they are an authorized solutions provider of Crestron, AMX, and Extron control systems.  The modules that were developed by Control Concepts allow our consultants, resellers, programmers and users to have a uniform and standardized experience regardless of the platform they prefer to work with.

 

The ClearOne CONVERGE Pro 2 outperforms in any size room, audio environment and application and is optimized to work with 2nd generation Beamforming Mic Array 2 and DIALOG® 20 2-Channel Wireless Microphone System through its native connection.

 

From the perspective of Control Concepts the newly developed modules help to simplify control system programming and integration of the CONVERGE Pro 2, ultimately

ClearOne CONVERGE Pro 2 Digital Signal Processor- Crestron Controller

creating more effective and adaptable solutions for consultants, integrators, and programmers working with the equipment.  In fact, this partnership provided Control Concepts with a valuable opportunity to collaborate with us during the critically important development stage, which helped to ensure that their clients’ control system needs are fully supported upon product release. Having multi-platform, consistent modules and a support relationship will help us to increase adoption and integration of their products.

 

The CONVERGE Pro 2 DSP mixers give further flexibility and affordability in choosing features and functionality. Scalable connectivity and powerful architecture provide up to 12 mic/line inputs, each with next-generation Acoustic Echo Cancellation®. Noise Cancellation with Adaptive Ambience with advanced microphone gating, and faster convergence span the full line, with different options for built-in VoIP, Telco, USB, and Dante. It creates a neat, economical solution to what might otherwise require a more expensive design.