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ClearOne University – Insights of a Technical Trainer

Written on February 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm, by

 

As a Technical Trainer here at ClearOne, I always ask my students what they are seeing as far as current market trends and requirements in their respective geographic areas.

Some responses are specific to their region, however the list of three trending topics below represent global trends as indicated by the multiple responses I received from many classes that I’ve taught.

Let’s take a look.

 

  1. Huddle rooms – these are relatively small areas designed to accommodate smaller collaborative sessions. They are typically equipped with audio, video and display systems. These areas are often used by teams to get together for meetings or to collaborate on projects. Organizations are opting to install multiple huddle rooms in a given floor space, as opposed to one or two larger conference rooms.
  2. Dante – in the past year or so of my un-scientific verbal survey, the percentage of students who have indicated that they regularly work with Dante products has increased from ~20% or so to well over 50% per class. Typical applications include conferencing, as well as digital audio networks spread over large geographic areas (such as campuses or large corporate environments). The ubiquity of Dante enabled equipment, combined with the ease of use and installation benefits of using CAT 5 cabling to support multiple Dante audio channels – are two of the benefits driving this adoption.
  3. USB Audio inputs and outputs – the emergence of huddle rooms mentioned above, combined with the growing use of “Bring Your Own” video solutions on laptops is driving the requirement for an increased number of USB audio inputs and outputs for conferencing. Typical “BYO” applications include a soft client for webconfernecing/videoconferening, as well as soft UC clients for audio or multimedia presentations.

 

ClearOne’s portfolio is well positioned to address these global trends with our COLLABORATE® Pro 900 and COLLABORATE® Versa 150 packages. Combine these with expanded native Dante support and increased USB capacity via USB expanders in CONVERGE® Pro 2 products – and you have complete solutions to meet today’s diverse organizational demands for huddle rooms, conferencing, collaboration, and communication.

 

 

More On ClearOne University Trainings

 
To meet this increased need for a wider range of training options, we have doubled the size of our training staff and set a goal of hosting 175 training events during the course of 2018, utilizing a mix of traditional, regional in-person classes with an increased number of webinar-style classes that are open to Pro AV practitioners everywhere. We will even custom design a training schedule for consultants and specific groups on an as-needed basis.
 
VIEW TRAINING SCHEDULE
 
What trends and topics you’re seeing in the Pro AV industry? Comment below!
 
I look forward to seeing you at one of your training events.
 
Pete
 
 
 

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.

 

 

 

Video Codecs, they’re not all created equal

Written on December 8, 2017 at 2:29 pm, by

 

We see h.264 used in so many applications.

 

 

This is one of the most incredible things about ClearOne’s ViewPro AV over IP solution.  ViewPro can decode streams that some other device encodes, or native H.264/265 devices like IP cameras.  Or, send a stream to ViewPro directly from a PC/Mac, iOS or android device or others.

 

Same is true at the other end, you don’t need one of our ViewPro decoders, simple devices like an AppleTV, or an IPTV set-top box can decode our streams.  Recording or playback on an NVR (network video recorder) is easy, watching streams on a PC/Mac/iOS/Android, etc is easy too.

 

 

It’s the beauty of being standards based.  But h.264 isn’t known for its high quality streaming, or so we are conditioned to think.  H.264 and 265 High Profile, in both 4:2:0 and 4:4:4 variants are what we use in ViewPro. With High Profile h.264 compression, you would be hard pressed to notice any difference in signal or image quality, with fast motion video, or fine text like spreadsheets.  Whatever the content, High Profile, h.264 encoding and decoding will give you an output that looks just as good as your original content.

 

 

High Profile H.264 is the codec used on BluRay discs, and most often in broadcast/Cable TV, it is extremely powerful in its compression capability, and the key is, within ViewPro we put the priority on low latency, latency that comes extremely close to some of the other AV over IP products that require 10 times, or even 100 times the bandwidth of ViewPro.

 

 

When you come across a project that needs long-distance signal distribution, and/or a large number of sources or displays, you really should give ViewPro a chance.  Once you see everything ViewPro is capable of, I’m sure you will agree it is ideally suited for the Pro A/V community.  And we haven’t even discussed advanced features like TRUE VideoWall processing.  We can save that for next time.

 

Please share your comments below and if you have any questions on how VIEW Pro streaming encoders and decoders can integrate into your business, contact us today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flexible Frequencies – Versatility and Security of ClearOne Wireless Mic Systems

Written on September 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm, by

View for yourself the power behind the WS800 Wireless Microphone System, and join such discriminating users as the U.S. Department of Justice.

ClearOne’s WS800 Wireless Micophone System is the most economical, versatile, and easily scalable wireless system in the market today with unprecedented ease-of-use and simple installation.

 

This system has a Receiver, all types of Transmitters (Microphones) Boundary Tabletop, Gooseneck Podium, Beltpack, Handheld Microphones, Charging Station and Extension Antenna kits. WS800 Receiver comes with and without Dante built-in audio networking.

 

The WS800 and DIALOG® 20 systems complement other professional audio products from ClearOne including CONVERGE® Pro 1 & 2 Mixers, INTERACT® Mixers, and CONVERGE® Matrix products.

 

Learn more about the WS800 Wireless Microphone System today!

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case Study: VIEW® AV Network Streaming at Unilever Singapore

Written on August 15, 2017 at 11:25 am, by

 

 

ClearOne® VIEW® AV Streaming System Powers AV System at New Unilever Singapore Training Facility

 

 

With 24 AV zones spread throughout two buildings, the company now has full, simple control of its expansive AV system.

 

 

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, August 15, 2017 — When Unilever, the world’s largest consumer goods company, built its new training facility in Singapore, perhaps the most crucial component was a robust audio/video system that would be easy to use, had no audio lag and could deliver multiple sources to a total of 49 endpoints including digital signage displays. Working with Principle One, a leading technology integration firm with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo, the company turned to ClearOne (NASDAQ:CLRO), the leading global provider of audio and visual communication solutions, and the ClearOne VIEW network streaming system based on Streamnet®-patented technology TCP/IP solution to provide the 24-zone, four-source system that makes the training center more efficient and enjoyable for both employees and trainees…

 

Download the full article

 

 

 

Yes, 4K Really DOES Matter!

Written on July 13, 2017 at 11:58 am, by

 

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.

 

VIEW® Pro 4K – Encoder

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Creative With AV over IP

Written on June 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm, by

 

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.

 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B0sUvEZJUaAMMnhIOThUTmRtVWc

 

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.

 

 

 

We Have a Facebook Contest Winner!

Written on June 12, 2017 at 4:05 pm, by

 

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!!!!

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

 

 

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.