Fresh Webex Conference Room Setup - Need tips from experienced setups

I want to use Webx for sure - I see no reason not to.

I have 2 conference (seats 12 average) rooms to start with - each at a remote site.

We have about 1mb dedicated between these sites.

Each room has a dedicated workstation, projector, and nice conference room phone.

With some initial research I've found a suggestion to use a SONY EVI-D70 Pan/Tilt/Zoom camera as it would give the opposite site the ability to control the camera?

1 I wonder how technically the camera will work with the computer\webex - connectivity? I only see an s-video or analog single video port on that.

2 I was assuming first to use a WebCam - But I want one with Great quality that will view an entire room.  Pan tilt zoom features controllable via the opposite conference room would be GREAT

If I could get 3 or 4 full setup suggestions that would be great.

Thanks Guys!
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NiceShotManAsked:
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Anthony RussoCommented:
Wow. That Sony is a nice camera. I'm not sure that would be best for use in a WebEx or hosted solution type of environment though. The interface to control the camera would be something that is controlled outside of the WebEx software, and detract from the WebEx. also the camera is a bit of overkill for a standard WebEx stream. The quality that camera picks up will be lost in the lower quality stream that WebEx provides. Make sure you inquire about a higher bit-rate for the video stream.

You might have an overall better experience with something suited for the purpose. The best Webcam on the market today is the Logitech QuickCam® Pro 9000. It's not just the megapixels, but the Carl Zeiss optics are outstanding on this camera. I am a provider of VideoConferencing and recommend it for all of my clients that ask what the best Webcam they can buy is. For better quality even, you can hook up a DV VideoCamera and have excellent image quality, much better than any webcam.

Thois camera also is 10% the cost and 100 times easier to setup and use than the Sony you mention. Also remember that the service you use has to support the quality of the camera. If your camera is HD quality, but your service is sending a 200k stream, it's not going to be worth the efforts of that good camera. Our solution is scalable and we can offer a 400k, 800k, or 1.2M stream when the client has a camera that supports it. Check for that with your WebEx representative.

A simple to use interface with a good camera gives an excellent experience for all involved. Having 2 interfaces to worry about to control the camera and the conference itself will make for a much more complicated session detracting from the information being presented and discussed.

Good luck,

Anthony
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NiceShotManAuthor Commented:
It sounds like you are familiar with the Logitech QuickCam Pro.  Would this be good for my situation - in a Large conference room with multiple people?

This camera does not appear to have a controllable tilt, pan, zoom.  Is there a camera that would do this with webex? or a better one with this feature?

What solution do you offer and how does it compare to webex?
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Anthony RussoCommented:
The Logitech QuickCam pro offers "face tracking" (where it can follow 1 or 2 people in the camera and will zoom, pan, tilt accordingly) and has independent 'software' tilt, pan and zoom. It is not in any way going to offer the functionality of the Sony cam you mention.

I am not sure that the SONY cam would not work with WebEx or a similar hosted conferencing solution but rather that you would need to be controlling it with another interface that will detract attention form the WebConference in session. Depending on the technical savvy ability of the attendees, this could be problematic, but not entirely a bad thing if that is what they really want and can handle it. In my opinion and experience, this would make the session more remembered than the information being discussed.

As for my company's service, going into specifics would be in violation of EE terms to compare to WebEx. If you would like, I can be reached through my profile here on EE.

Good luck,

Anthony
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NiceShotManAuthor Commented:
I'm still interested to hear from a user who uses webex.
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keshavj22Commented:
depending on what your budgets are, have you evaluated the option for going for Video conferencing?
with a unit each in one of the rooms, you can do all that you have listed here.


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NiceShotManAuthor Commented:
We've seen cost of Video Conferencing.  Lots of cash for a little better video but with the removal of ease of use VS webex.

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Anthony RussoCommented:
Agree on your assessment of higher end videoconferencing vs hosted solution such as WebEx. In that regards, that Sony camera is more on the scale of the higher end videoconferencing. A Webcam like I suggested is more on the scale of a hosted solution like WebEx.

Good luck,

Anthony
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