Written on July 13, 2017 at 11:58 am, by Tom Searcy
I recently read an article titled “Does 4K even matter?” It was a good article with some salient points. I would argue that 4K does matter for a variety of reasons; and I agree with the author that 4K is a tool…and the right tool is going to depend upon the job. 4K makes sense when all the parts in the entire system support 4K or when a customer wants to future-proof an installation and install as many 4K-compatible devices as possible in the project.
Just as our currently-shipping 2K version of VIEW® Pro; the 4k version supports all of the awesome licensed features that make our ecosystem unique. We offer a composition feature that allows the user to create video walls and/or multi-viewer compositions. The number of sources that can be shown on a video wall or even a single screen is virtually unlimited — and it’s incredibly scalable with no requirement for a video wall processor. Applications span almost any vertical market- from Command and Control Centers to medical appliactions; any customer that requires the highest resolution, best color space (4:4:4), and finest detail.
Using both H.264 and H.265 video coding compression, VIEW Pro 4K can ride on existing networks. These streams are 1/10 to 1/100 the size of comparable streams using Motion JPEG or Uncompressed Video offering incredible scalability. In addition, our current VIEW Pro 2K solutions can be intermingled and work in the same installations as our 4K solutions.
Another important feature of VIEW Pro is the ability to both ingest and create RTSP streams to work with 3rd-party decoders like VLC. 4K video playback on VLC does have some specific requirements for it to work successfully, including enabling the GPU accelerated feature in VLC. By using the processing power of the graphics card, it will reduce the load on the processer. Newer operating systems with the latest drivers will be required for 4K decoding to work smoothly. Consider an application in a medical or dental school where a professor streams 4K via RTSP for students to pick up on their laptops. Through a 3rd-party control, the professor can switch these streams at will.
ClearOne’s 4K VIEW Pro continues the lineage of providing the best value, greatest flexibility, and interoperability with 3rd-party control systems that earns it’s moniker of being the only “true video DSP” in the streaming marketplace.
4K encoders and decoders have their places in the AV world, and adoption will continue to grow as the entire industry matures and expands, with all pieces in the chain become 4k-enabled.
Learn more about the ClearOne VIEW® Pro 4K Multimedia Networked AV Streaming Solution that was Awarded InfoComm 2017 – Best of Show.
Written on July 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm, by Jason DiCampello
Why remain seated?
Let’s face it, when it comes to most meetings, conferencing etiquette is not a top priority. No matter how much everyone tries, most attendees can’t sit with perfect posture while speaking up; and some may even be a little shy. While there are many ceiling-style microphone solutions to choose from; they are all very different and far from equal.
Here are a few bullet points to think about when you are about to choose a ceiling microphone solution:
- Do I need microphone coverage across the entire meeting space?
- Are there members who speak extremely quietly most times?
- Is my room multipurpose and will the furniture need to be moved around depending on the meeting style?
Despite the large variety of ceiling-style microphones available; today’s most popular are beamforming arrays such as the ClearOne’s Beamforming Mic Arrays. Beamforming technology has been around for quite a long time; however, ClearOne was the first to innovate this technology into a conferencing environment with powerful echo cancellation.
One of the most important features— still not to be found anywhere else—is the incorporation of adaptive steering (thinks of it as “smart beam selection”) into the ClearOne Beamforming Mic solution. This important feature truly makes the array very different from any other offerings. It’s very important to note this feature, and how it moves far beyond static beams that are simply focused in any one area.
The Beamforming Array’s adaptive steering allows the microphone’s beams to adapt to attendees in a meeting in real-time, as they move around the room, without ever being lost. Despite speakers who may be on their feet, moving around as they speak, they are never “out” of the pickup pattern of the microphone. Arrays that do not have this technology certainly work well; but they only pick up the static, given area which has been pre-programmed for coverage. There may be scenarios in which these static coverage areas may be desired; but certainly not ideal for most audio or video conferencing environments.
It seems that the point of using a Beamforming Mic Array in a conferencing environment is to know your participants’ audio will be picked up no matter where they are or how softly they talk. Using a ClearOne Beamforming Mic Array gives you piece of mind knowing that you won’t miss a word during that all important conference call.
If you are thinking of using a beamforming style microphone array please take a moment and review ClearOne’s innovative offerings and don’t hesitate to ask for a demo!
Written on June 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm, by Tom Searcy
One of the interesting things about AV over IP is that it offers a unique way to accomplish AV communication goals. The rules change when your sources and end points are routed over a network; and this offers a great deal of flexibility. An integrator recently presented some design requirements that allow an advantage with this flexibility.
The system called for 16 IP cameras on a network that needed to be routed to and controlled from a separate network without any Ethernet connection between the two networks.
The 16 cameras are connected to a layer-3 switch. The IP addresses of each of those cameras are entered as a proxy on the decoder which has an RTSP license for hosting 3rd-party streams. Each IP camera can provide different resolutions; and by using lower-resolution streams, the decoder does not to scale the video. With the decoder hosting these RTSP Streams, the decoder now becomes the source into the encoder. Usually we think of the decoder as the end point, but not in this scenario. The connection between the two is an HDMI cable. This addresses one of the primary requirements of the system which is security. The customer does not want the IP cameras accessible from the network on which they are being viewed.
The encoder that is connected to the switch has an RTSP license that allows it to send RTSP streams to 3rd-party devices. Viewers with access to the “viewing” network can use a soft decoder like VLC to pick up the stream via a URL. The viewer sees whatever is on that URL which could be any of the 16 camera feeds or a combination of multiple cameras in a layout created in the VIEW® Pro Panorama Software. The switching between these sources and layouts is accomplished using our VIEW Virtual Matrix software (see links to sample videos below) or our free Virtual Control software. This GUI can even be accessed via a mobile device. For more extensive control we offer free modules for all of the popular control systems.
From the ClearOne side, all this requires is a single Encoder with and RTSP License and a Single Decoder with both and RTSP and a Composition license. While it’s not something you run into every day, it is a unique way to solve a problem. The end result is a very flexible, scalable and certainly a very cost effective solution.
See all of our VIEW® Pro Streaming solutions.
Written on June 12, 2017 at 4:05 pm, by Brad
We know that you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting in anticipation for the announcement of the winner of the ‘MEDIA COLLABORATION KIT’.
Ladies and gentleman with out further ado, we give you the winner, Colby Cox!!!!
All of these awesome prizes are yours! You’re now the talk of town and super famous.
Thank you to all who entered our Facebook Contest. It was really fun and was a raving success.
Be on the look our for the next contest with even more great prizes to give away and you too can be cast into the limelight of the Pro AV industry.
Written on June 8, 2017 at 10:15 am, by Brad
It can seem daunting – creating content on such a large canvas for public consumption. Video walls make a huge impression (pun intended) for lobby areas, informative signage, or even retail use. Even with the hardware setup, just configuring the sources to appear as desired can be a time-consuming task… at least until now.
Auto-discovery of sources can be key to saving time — and sanity — with a video-wall project. The foundation of a fully expandable mesh network of sources and endpoints makes the concept nearly nirvana, and VIEW® Pro delivers. It’s really that simple, with one screen or many, and the PANORAMA software license, you can add a video wall to your existing network, and configure it literally in minutes.
Watch these examples, to see just how easy it can be with our latest VIEW Pro Features and Tips:
(4 videos in Playlist)
Written on May 26, 2017 at 11:35 am, by Brent Johnson
Corporate AV has become ubiquitous in almost every setting, as digital devices seem to be constantly in-hand, and the expectations of immediacy and flexibility in sharing information is driving our business decisions more than ever. Meetings with remote participants have evolved not only to include video with an unfailing audio foundation; but also the flexibility to share content from multiple people— and multiple devices —with an assumed ease-of-use.
Flexible Cloud and Room systems are the key to true adoption, and efficient remote meetings in which key decisions can be made. Users require the full gamut of media collaboration from rich video and web conferencing Cloud-only services, to total solutions for huddle spaces and conference rooms that also include Cloud plus multi-user wireless presentation, recording and streaming, traditional video conferencing— all with audio conferencing & PTZ camera endpoints. Solutions for “bring-your-own familiar app” are a new necessity for true adoption of conferencing spaces.
For conference spaces to truly be used to their full potential, systems need to include Cloud access, as well as flexible and intuitive room systems with built-in Cloud collaboration; the foundation of ClearOne’s COLLABORATE® Pro and Spontania™. With true ease-of-use and flexibility, conference spaces become busy and utilized for small ad-hoc meetings and large, formal meetings alike. User needs are satisfied- from the ability to share content from more than one person simultaneously, to more flexibility for content sharing with smartphones and tablets. The ClearOne lineup delivers a host of features that are right-sized for any collaboration space or need.
This InfoComm International infographic (used with permission) hits some key points in this burgeoning age of video collaboration, the need for flexible systems that can handle audio conferencing, traditional video conferencing, Cloud video collaboration with familiar web applications, BYOD, wireless presentation, and even the needs for recording and streaming. We’ve become so attuned to video, that we stay more focused when non-verbal visual cues are present in meetings – with a higher likelihood of watching video or visual content than reading documents.
Written on May 11, 2017 at 11:05 am, by ClearOne
The term ‘Huddle Room’ is relatively new…the concept, not so much.
We’ve been equipping spaces used for video collaboration for several years and we’ve seen all it all, from small utility closets outfitted with folding chairs to world class large venues.
Huddle rooms are simply 2- to 4-person conference rooms outfitted with audio, video, and display technology. They’re often used by small groups for quick collaboration on projects with the aim of a more focused work environment with flexible and easy-to-use hardware and software that enables the team a quick way exchange ideas, images, video and other data.
Now businesses have the option to design extravagant boardrooms with the latest technology for premier sound and crystal-clear video which is impressive for new hires and potential clients or they can create several huddle rooms for their collaboration needs. Some organizations adopt both conference space options for the ultimate atmosphere of communication and innovation.
Huddle rooms are great for flexibility; where a team can meet immediately with remote clients and/or colleagues. Communication is more focused and involved in a smaller setting which makes members of the group more attentive and ultimately more productive. Finally, huddle rooms are great for their low cost of entry; and depending on the needs of the organization creating it, they’re easy to equip.
As businesses find ways to lower their budgets, it looks as though huddle rooms are the future of collaboration…..or in our world, small conference spaces that have always existed and have already collaborated with the future.
See how our COLLABORATE® Pro Series, integrated with our full line of UC Voice and Pro Audio solutions, creates a flexible platform that can drive small huddle rooms as well as be able to scale to a large scale, professional conference spaces.
Let us know your thoughts on huddle rooms and if you think they’re here to stay or just a modern trend on a classic concept.
Written on April 26, 2017 at 12:38 pm, by Rob Schumacher
Many AV installers have multiple systems they run into a single amplifier, using a single, integrated control system for room volume. The amp is often one of the longer-lasting pieces of room equipment, and once set, most AV techs know not to “mess” with it.
When using Clearone professional audio DSPs, AV techs almost always connect to an existing amplifier. However, many amps that were in use with legacy equipment or non-conference applications are turned up far too high for use with a DSP and conference audio.
This isn’t because the volume in the room is too high. In fact, it will often sound great to the installers. It’s actually because the DSP functions best when the signal sent to the amp is at 0 dB on average. It’s tempting on new installs to turn down channels in the DSP to conform to an existing amp that’s set at 50% or higher, but this will degrade the DSP’s acoustic echo cancellation and cause choppy RX audio from the conference.
Always calibrate a DSP to 0 dB for all inputs, and outputs, and tune the amp down accordingly. It’s not uncommon for an amp to be at 30% or lower when used with an AEC-enabled system like the CONVERGE® Pro 2.
If you have any comments, questions, and/or suggestions, please leave a comment below and let’s chat!
Written on April 5, 2017 at 10:58 am, by Mario Rimini
You probably get this familiar type of call quite frequently:
Mr. Customer is searching for a wireless data-sharing solution – and the strangest part is that he may reference a specific brand-name of solution instead of the technology itself.
Those of us who are not quite so young anymore might remember those types of calls, in the end of last century, when customers were inquiring about a specific brand of conferencing solution when a more general executive phone was actually needed for simple audio-conferencing activities.
That is a sign that a technology has “made it.” It has gone mainstream!
One vendor discovered and delivered a much-needed new product concept in the market, found a new intuitive and natural way in which people can collaborate. A new niche, a new opportunity for business has surfaced.
Wireless data sharing became a fundamental component in meeting rooms of the new millennium. Employees and business guests expect it…it should simply be there for agile and productive collaboration.
And now Mr. Customer calls in, knowing he should be prepared to spend a couple thousand for even the most basic configuration – all his budget will allow.
What Mr. Customer does not know yet, and you may want to inform him, is that the wireless-data-sharing-box concept he is looking for has been by far surpassed by the new outstanding ClearOne COLLABORATE® Share!
For almost the same price, Mr. Customer would receive so many features that a sophisticated sales pitch simply isn’t needed. With COLLABORATE® Share, he is not only increasing the potential of his buy, but he is also getting, basically for free, a state-of-the-art H.323 codec and cloud collaboration suite – all three fully integrated in one, simple, intuitive user and administration interface.
Help your client take their media collaboration to the next level. LEARN MORE about ClearOne COLLABORATE® Share.
Written on March 15, 2017 at 5:45 am, by Tom Searcy
In the AV industry we pride ourselves on providing the best-quality audio and visual communication to our clients. One way in which we can do that is to offer video solutions in 4:4:4 color.
When digital video was first introduced, video files sizes were large in relation to storage and transmission capabilities. One of the ways to address these larger file sizes was to introduce “chroma sub sampling.” In digital video there are two main components; Luminance and Chrominance. Luminance (or contrast) is the difference between the lightest and darkest parts of an image. Chrominance is the color saturation of an image. The human eye is very sensitive to small changes in contrast (Luminance) and is less sensitive to changes in color saturation (Chrominance).
To make digital video files more manageable, compression was introduced. A true-color video signal (4:4:4) includes all of the red, green, and blue color information of each pixel. In a 24-bit system, there are 8 pixels for each color and thus 24 bits in true color. Chroma subsampling reduces file size by removing color. In the AV world, the most common color space is 4:2:0, which is DVD quality. However, with 4:2:0 quality, the viewer is only seeing 50% of the available color. To make up for that loss of color, the pixels that were removed are recreated by borrowing or “interpolating” from the adjacent pixels. In some instances 4:2:0 quality is perfectly acceptable. In other instances however the chroma sub sampling provides the viewer an experience that is less than optimal.
I can think of at least three instances in which 4:4:4 color is required:
- Telemedicine: Surgical procedures streamed over a network require extremely accurate color information on the receiving end.
- Spreadsheets: Small text on a spreadsheet in color is virtually unreadable at anything other than 4:4:4 quality.
- Corporate Branding: Accurate color representation in a company logo. Think of how some iconic brands might appear if the colors were not accurate represented.
If two video streams with identical content are placed next to each other, one at 720P 4:4:4 color and the other at 1080P 4:2:0, chances are extremely high that the average viewer will choose the lower resolution image with the true color as the more impactful. Color trumps resolution pretty much every time. So the next time you are specifying a streaming solution make sure to factor in which color space is most appropriate for the application.
Learn More about our VIEW® Pro streaming product lines and see the difference.