Written on August 1, 2016 at 12:09 pm, by Greg Westiner
As an AV products manufacturer we are asked by end-users and AV Integrators to help provide input and design assist the best audio conferencing solution for conference rooms. Of course there could be more than one individual solution or several options, depending upon certain preferences (e.g. wired vs. wireless mics, etc.) and budget considerations. But, let’s put budget aside for now and assume the user simply wants the best possible audio experience for a conference room.
The next course of action is to gather pertinent information about the room. There are the basics – room dimensions, ceiling height, wall materials, floor materials, acoustic ceiling tiles or drywall, etc. – in other words learning about the acoustic properties of the room. We are then provided some additional information such as: “we only need mics to cover the conference room table, we will have remote callers in home offices and using cell phones, and we have an analog phone system in the conference room.” At this point some folks may think this is enough information to make recommendations based on the basic data gathered.
However, some additional information will help to truly provide the best solution. What is the functionality of the room? How many people will be in the room? Consider the popular, ever-changing, multi-purpose conference rooms today…is it possible that the table layout of the room could change? With the additional particulars the ClearOne University Calculator can be utilized to calculate Reverb Time, Critical Distance, Signal to Noise and Mic Placement, etc. Now we have a much clearer picture of the audio requirements for the room and the ability to provide possible solutions.
But there is one extra question that could be asked:
“has it ever happened, as folks are sitting around the conference room table, that the door suddenly opens and an executive, temporarily, but actively, joins the meeting while standing by the door just inside the room? ”
At that point, the executive is one of the more important speakers in the room and needs to be heard by all. And many times this is when you’ll see the proverbial light bulb go on and the response is, “oh sure that happens… great point… So maybe we should consider full-room coverage as opposed to just table coverage!”
Sometimes there’s that one extra question to ask that can help provide the right solution for a conference room’s audio conferencing requirements.
The One Brand System – A Consumer Electronics Concept Makes Its Way To Video Conferencing and Media Collaboration
Written on June 30, 2016 at 9:30 am, by ClearOne
We are all familiar with the “Home Theater In A Box (HTIB)” product. Many of us own them ourselves. The idea was born of the desire to make it easier for the consumer to buy and operate a home theater system. In an HTIB, the components are prepackaged, which means they are all designed to work together and look the same. End users are confident in what they have purchased is the best system for the price.
The same concept has made its way to the pro AV industry, and is used for web and cloud videoconferencing and media collaboration systems. ClearOne has a line of prepackaged media collaboration solutions, called COLLABORATE®, which hits key price points. Each solution is designed for a specific size room, and application, from cloud videoconferencing and small huddle rooms to full media collaboration and presentation options with integrated pro audio and large conference rooms. From plug-and-play, to a more sophisticated system, there is something for every application.
The idea of a “Conference-Room-In-A-Box” makes a lot of sense in today’s business environment. Integrators are often busy with multiple jobs at one time. Buying a one-brand system rather than piecing something together for each job saves time. When installing it, they can go in, feeling confident that everything they will need is included, and will work perfectly together.
But the most important aspect of this concept addresses the end user – who is probably not the person who has made the actual decision and purchase. It is more likely an employee of the company who may not have the technical skills of an AV/IT manager. Many times it’s the administrative assistant or executive who will be operating the system. For them, the system has to be uncomplicated. I believe most of us have been on the receiving end of a video conference where it took the other side 20 minutes to get the system going. When the meeting is scheduled for 30 minutes, a 20 minute set-up time is a huge waste, and can cost the company dearly, in many ways. Just like with an HTIB, the consumers (or end users) do not need to spend a lot of time familiarizing themselves with various components from different companies. They will be operating a system in which each component works in concert with each other.
One-brand solutions are an excellent way to specify, purchase, install, and operate a conferencing system.
That is why ClearOne has created the COLLABORATE videoconferencing and media collaboration solutions. They are easy to understand, easy to order, cost-effective, and easy to operate. They have been carefully matched, and aggressively priced to fit most any conference room. And when Spontania Cloud-based media collaboration is a part of the system, the end user will be able to confidently walk into a room and quickly get the meeting started.
What Home-Theater-In-A-Box has done for home entertainment, ClearOne’s COLLABORATE has done for the conference room.
Written on June 22, 2016 at 10:39 am, by ClearOne
You voted and they listened….or at least tallied the votes. Either way, ClearOne is a 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards Winner!
Favorite Manufacturer-Based Training Program
Thank you to all the people who voted for us and a gargantuan, humongously colossal thank you to the valuable and wise ClearOne University trainers and staff.
Written on June 20, 2016 at 10:00 am, by ClearOne
When world class AV installations are executed correctly, this is what the final results look like; clean and seamless to the point in which it’s hard to tell that work was done.
ClearOne is proud to collaborate with our outstanding partners at Automation Arts in Madison, Wisconsin and would like to recognize a very impressive installation at an equally impressive facility.
Here is a brief summary of the job from Vice President, Shaun Trudell, CTS.
“This customer had a Conferencing Floor with 17 conference rooms that all needed different levels of integration. Some multi-purpose rooms had partition walls that could combine or close off other rooms. During those times we needed to separate or duplicate what was happening in the presenting room. There were needs for presentation microphones, and audience participation microphones in the multi-purpose rooms. We achieved this by blending wireless lavalier or handheld microphones for the presenter, and Beamforming microphones for audience participation to get the desired result. Rooms with video conferencing all had Beamforming microphones, which created a seamless, clean look by keeping the microphones off the tables. With as much glass, HVAC noise, and room size the Beamforming microphones performed exceptionally well and the client is happy and proud of the space they have.”
Take a look for yourselves and see just how brilliant this installation turned out.
ClearOne Products Used:
- 17 – Beamforming Microphones Arrays
- 8 – WS800 Wireless Microphones
- 6 – CONVERGE Pro 880’s
- 8 – CONVERGE Pro VH20’s
Automation Arts did a fantastic job on this enterprise level installation and we would like to thank them for choosing ClearOne for using our professional AV products in their installations. In the end, it’s really about providing the highest quality of products and services to not only meet the customer’s needs, but to go above and beyond their expectations.
Written on June 16, 2016 at 12:33 pm, by ClearOne
ClearOne CEO and Chairman, Zee Hakimoglu was recently discussing the direction of the AV industry with some colleagues and was asked an intriguing question that we felt should be shared with the AV community. Hopefully this sparks some positive dialogue between your own colleagues and is a catalyst for new ideas and innovative thinking that will lead to new opportunities.
What do you see as the biggest trends or challenges in the coming years for AV infrastructure?
“I think the greatest challenge is not the technology itself but the psychology of overcoming that AV and IT are really, Really, REALLY converging and going to continue to converge. The AV practitioner may no longer find himself or herself in a safe zone of pure AV without IT. Nor will the IT practitioner find himself or herself in a safe zone of pure IT without AV. The trend for even islands (rooms) of Audio or just Video are disappearing. Audio and Video systems are in themselves converging even tighter than ever thru cloud and other macro IT related systems.”
Zee Hakimoglu, President & CEO, ClearOne
The AV/IT practitioner now has more and more to choose from but most of it will be strung through standard Ethernet networks. Lots of fun and business growth ahead for those who are willing to learn and have the courage to take the leap!
Written on June 14, 2016 at 5:47 pm, by ClearOne
View our InfoComm video again, and Open Your World to New Solutions. ClearOne provides the full range of conferencing, collaboration, and network streaming & signage solutions for voice and visual communications.
It takes a mix of personalities to make a neighborhood, a city, a nation, a world…. And it takes this same mix of products to make your offering complete. Make your offering as rich and diverse as your environment. ClearOne is adding the vibrancy to this AV ecosystem, and we’re here to support your efforts as you expand your offerings and your sales.
Open Your World to New Solutions… (we’re here.)
Written on May 24, 2016 at 3:53 pm, by Tyler Becker
Quick Support Tip:
There is so much going on under the hood of all electronics we forget that even computers can get stuck and forget things.
One of the best places to start is with a quick power cycle. Typically when you power cycle, the device can re-initialize configuration parameters and recover from an unresponsive state such as a crash or hang situation.
This simple step can frequently save you a call to the support line!
Written on April 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm, by ClearOne
Sigma Chi Fraternity – Purdue University
Established in 1875, Sigma Chi is the one of the oldest Fraternities at Purdue University. With the expertise of The Premiere Group, the frat house solved their unique needs for flexibility and dependable video communications with two systems that fully support ad-hoc video and media collaboration meetings.
It was essential for the group to be able to host meetings where they could really connect with the audience. The fraternity needed to hold regular fireside chats with Alumni and provide mentoring to remote members. To achieve maximum impact it was clear that Sigma Chi required face-to-face communication, far beyond a simple teleconferencing system. To make these meetings truly effective, the audio needed to be crystal-clear. Moving from room to room, meant smart audio, with the ability to configure itself to ever-changing conditions without losing quality.
The solution consisted of two portable AV set-ups: a larger system for use in the Grand Hall, and a smaller, PC-based system for easier ad-hoc video conferencing.
The larger video collaboration system includes a 65” screen and ClearOne’s COLLABORATE Pro 900, which features the CONVERGE Pro DSP mixer, and the industry’s first professional Beamforming Microphone Array, in a sleek, black finish. The microphone is mounted on the cart, horizontally, just below the screen, and provides they clearest audio pickup possible with it’s 24 microphone elements, intelligently steering pickup patterns in real time. Set up in the presentation room, this system provided the most professional and natural interactions for remote, one-on-one meetings with potential employers, or with anyone requiring more information from the fraternity.
The second PC-based system utilizes Clear One Spontania cloud-based collaboration. This system is the ultimate in portability, usually seen in corporate “huddle room” settings for ad-hoc video conferencing meetings. The Spontania system includes a smaller 50” screen, camera, and microphone for those quick gatherings and more informal conferences.
‘There are challenges with all portable systems, due to the fact the environment in which they are used is variable” states Todd Walker from the Premier Group. “What was great for us was the consistent level of support from Clear One, especially when dealing with stakeholders. From an engineering perspective, Jim Mergens was always there to brainstorm and implement new solutions, for non-traditional applications, and that’s what really made all of the difference.”
Sigma Chi has already reported a positive return on investment following the implementation of the video collaboration systems, with greater participation from remote members at board meetings, increased donation support from benefactors following fireside chants and many of the Alumni utilizing the Spontania system for job interviews.
Collaborate 900 offers a complete media collaboration solution. It’s a great solution for multiple applications – videoconferencing, professional audio conferencing, wireless presentation and collaboration, capture and recording station, streaming and distribution, all from a single appliance.
Spontania is ClearOne’s cloud based software solution. It allows dozens to thousands of users to collaborate in real-time, sharing high-quality voice, video and data on any device they choose— from cell phones to standards-based group systems.
Written on April 25, 2016 at 6:30 am, by ClearOne
Help us Continue to be Your #1 AV Partner!
ClearOne has made the FINALS!
Click below and vote for ClearOne in the rAVe 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards! Let everyone know about the product quality and support you’ve experienced by voting for ClearOne or ClearOne products in the nomination categories.
- Favorite Manufacturer-Based Training Program: “ClearOne”
- Favorite Systems Product: “ClearOne COLLABORATE”
- Favorite Conferencing / Collaboration Manufacturer: “ClearOne”
- Favorite Audio Manufacturer: “ClearOne”
- Favorite Microphone Product: “ClearOne Beamformer Microphone Array”
- Favorite New Product: “ClearOne COLLABORATE”
Written on February 9, 2016 at 5:40 pm, by ClearOne
ClearOne is thrilled to kick off a fantastic week at ISE 2016 Amsterdam, meeting old friends and new, with some exciting additions to our product line.
First up, we’re showing off the latest addition to our professional HD video camera lineup, the UNITE® 200 PTZ camera. The UNITE 200 camera offers the same professional-grade HD video as the UNITE 100, but is now additionally an IP camera, so that you can both manage the camera and view its stream via the internet. Additionally, when using IP streaming, the camera supports H.265, for the highest possible resolution at the lowest possible bandwidth. Like its predecessor, it still has USB and HDMI outputs, and better still, all three outputs can be used simultaneously, making it perfect for the widest possible range of uses.
We’re also showing our incredible new product for creating video wall layouts and compositions, VIEW® Pro PANORAMA™. Using the latest generation of VIEW Pro products and PANORAMA, you can create complex video wall layouts or single-display video compositions in a matter of minutes. PANORAMA gives you a WYSIWYG interface for creating layouts by mixing and matching multiple source streams (you can mix video or audio from any source stream to your liking) and then send it to a video wall array of almost any size. With PANORAMA, a few mouse clicks gives you professional looking video walls with minimal effort but maximum effect.
We’re also demonstrating our Digital Wireless Microphone systems with built-in Dante™ audio over ethernet. Our wireless microphone systems offer advanced performance capabilities including:
- Multiple RF bands – 900 MHz, 700 MHz, and 600 MHz
- ClearOne’s advanced 24-bit digital signal processing for unmatched, crystal-clear audio
- 256-bit encryption
- Daisy-chain capability up to 32-channels for large venues
- Rechargeable and field-replaceable AA batteries
- Transmitters that can be recharged from a standard USB port
- Docking station that provides convenient recharging and storage
- Extension antenna kits that enable wider wireless coverage
If you’re already at the show, or anywhere near Amsterdam (or even if you’re not!), be sure to stop by the ClearOne booth, #7-M200, to see our great new products, meet some members of the ClearOne team, and to chat about the future of the industry. ClearOne will be leading the way!