Video Conferencing Facility by Sensory Technologies

This video conferencing center, designed by Sensory Technologies, features a large, immersive screen.

Last week I linked to a blog post from Paul Gragtman from ET Group, where he talked about screen real estate in video conferencing, and how systems are often undersized for the best user experience.

I’d like to continue down this path and quote his post “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made in Determining Screen Real Estate in a Video Conferencing Room.” Paul is not advocating the use of projection screens over flat panels, and neither am I (even though I have a vested interest in this discussion). My goal is to help you use your customer’s investment wisely and to design the best system possible. Here are some highlights from Paul’s blog:

The screen real estate is too small

What size screen to have in a meeting room is one of the key technical decisions in designing the AV components of a meeting room. AV Designers are taught formulae to determine the optimal screen size.  In other words they are making it a technical decision.

Typically there are 2 dimensions considered:

a) The minimum size of display should be determined by the distance of the farthest away viewer, and

b) The closest participant should not sit so close to the screen so that it overwhelms them. Like being in the front row of a movie theatre with a huge screen, you just can’t take all of the view in without moving your head. In addition, the brightness will stress you out over time.

These technical measures are good for helping you figure out a minimum or maximum size for a screen in the room but they don’t consider the “Big Screen TV” factor. Make the screens as big as you can to make the experience bigger than life.

Trying to save money on the overall cost of the video conferencing solution by limiting the screen real estate.

I see over and over again an executive reviewing a proposed video conferencing deployment and is looking to save a few dollars. Since most of the other components can’t be compromised, display screens are an easy target to save a couple of dollars. This may have more to do with the historical cost of displays, but display prices have reduced more dramatically than any other component of a video conferencing deployment.

When you think about the amount of money that is invested to provide high quality commercial video conferencing – the network cost, codec cost, AV components and integration costs, trying to save a few dollars on screen size actually compromises the benefits of video conferencing experience.

The image shown on the screen makes the participants too small

Although the video may be on the full screen, the participants are all really small. The image shown of the room is the whole room and in medium and large rooms the participants will all be very small.

Keep screen real estate in mind the next time you are designing a video conferencing system, and give me a call.  Maybe Draper can help!

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