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Group Video Teleconferencing

Posted on 2012-09-04
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Last Modified: 2012-09-06
I have been tasked with finding group video teleconferencing between my Chi and NY sites.  

I received the following email from the GM in NY, " Would like to investigate teleconferencing options between the IL engineering conference room and NY training room.  Interested in options/$ that we might consider.  The attached link was recently featured in IEEE Spectrum.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/teleconferencing-on-the-cheap#.T_9ROb4jWXU.mailto"

And a second email that stated, "Videoconferencing:  Very soon we will be rolling out new product development teams (or PODS) that will be cross-functional (apps engineer, mechanical engineer, component engineer, etc) as well as cross-facility in certain cases and these teams will need "TOOLS (Go To Meetings as well as in my mind videoconferencing)" to be capable of effectively working together between facilities on development projects.  Another aspect of this is to be able to review and analyze a component/part/assembly and I was envisioning some kind of a mounted camera that you could manipulate and view a part under for the other team to observe.  We are beating on the how do we increase the "velocity" of new product realizations and I expect this video conferencing capability will play a role."3


I already have GoTo Meetings.  But based on this request I got some quotes which were like $70k for both locations together!  So obviously I must be going in the wrong direction with this.  

Im looking for some hardware and software recommendatons.  

Thank you in advance.
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Question by:MsAileenS
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8 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:MsAileenS
ID: 38365862
Just got my budget, I have like $2k to spend for both sites total.  Its doesn't buy me the Polycom HDX 6000 series or even the 5000 series for that matter but its not the $125 version either.  

Hope this info helps with your suggestions.  Thanks again!
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Expert Comment

by:Anthony Russo
ID: 38366492
With a budget of $2k or less you are not going to be purchasing any high end video conferencing system from the likes of Polycom, Tandberg, Lifesize or Cisco. This does not mean you cannot accomplish your goal though. You just have to work with consumer level items which today provide a very good experience.

Here are some recommendations:

Hardware

Webcam: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920

Official Website: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/webcam-communications/webcams/hd-pro-webcam-c920

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006JH8T3S/

Speaker Microphone: MXL uCHAT (AC-406) USB Desktop Communicator :

Official Website: http://www.mxlmics.com/microphones/web-conferencing/AC-406-uchat/

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/MXL-AC-406-USD-Desktop-Communicator/dp/B0031BU302

Monitor: 42" or larger display. Just shop around for a good deal.

Suggested Monitor:  Samsung B2430H 24-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor

Computer: Standard Modern Computer with Graphics card that includes HDMI out


Internet Service Speeds:

Minimum: 10Mbps Downstream  - 2Mbps Upstream

Recommended: 20 Mbps Downstream – 5 Mbps Upstream


Conferencing Service

WebEx Meetings: Web Conferencing with high-definition video:
http://www.webex.com/products/web-conferencing.html

Video Conferencing Features:
http://www.webex.com/products/web-conferencing/video.html

Pricing:
http://www.webex.com/plans/meetings-plans.html


With this setup, you can have a very practical system easily usable between the 2 locations that will accomplish all that is specified in your question. A training session or two can go a long way to a good experience for the users.

Let me know if you would need any assistance in setup or maybe a run through testing. I'd be glad to help out.

Good luck,

Anthony
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Author Comment

by:MsAileenS
ID: 38370007
Thank you Anthony! I wish I had a bigger budget!  Atleast $10k but they are not trying to hear that....  So though my research, and with your direction , I have found:

A PC - $212 from TD
A 32" HDTV $274 from TD
And we already have GoTo Meetings so I can do the free upgrade to HDFaces Video
I also have polycoms in the conference rooms already

I just have to decide on a camera.  What do you think of this camera?  Looks like an old version, seems to do the same as the logitech (which Logitech IS also the reccommended camera from GoTO; but I think they are for 1-on-1 meetings right?)

Cisco TelePresence PrecisionHD USB Camera - web camera
Mfg. Part: CTS-PHD-CAM-USB

https://www.cdw.com/shop/products/Cisco-TelePresence-PrecisionHD-USB-Camera-web-camera/2427879.aspx#TS

Not sure if I should just get maybe a $1,000 camera at each location? and then tell them they need to have no less than that?  I do need to try and cover the room.  What do you think?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Anthony Russo earned 2000 total points
ID: 38370103
I really don't see an advantage to that camera over the Logitech to justify the price. You lose the Carl Zeiss optics (which are stellar), high speed USB, and you get much less resolution. There is a bit of a lens aperture gain but hardly seems worth it.

What I did find however on that site is this:

Logitech ConferenceCam BCC950 - 960-000866 - Video Conferencing - CDW.com : https://www.cdw.com/shop/products/Logitech-ConferenceCam-BCC950/2688909.aspx

Official site: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/for-business/products/webcams/Conferencecam

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-960-000866-BCC950-Conference-Cam/dp/B0083I7Y8W/ref=sr_du_1_map?ie=UTF8&qid=1346878353&sr=8-1

Reviews:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407523,00.asp

http://www.zdnet.com/logitech-bcc950-conferencecam-review-7000002020/

http://www.informationweek.com/byte/reviews/personal-tech/digital-video/240002036

You get the resolution back, Carl Zeiss optics, High Speed USB and a remote. Also it includes a speakerphone as well, though you have that covered with the Polycom.

A very good looking camera I would highly recommend.
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Author Comment

by:MsAileenS
ID: 38370283
Ok I REALLY like that camera and I do think that is what I am going get.  BUT I also found this and would like to know your opinion.  I can't find much on the specs and I know this limits me to Skype only.

http://www.amazon.com/Tely-Labs-telyHD-Skype-Camera/dp/B006MHLYQO/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1346881188&sr=1-1&keywords=tely+labs

Let em know what you think :).

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Anthony Russo
ID: 38370575
I don't think that would be right at all for your needs. Usually something like that is made with very low quality as the target audience just don't care. Probably why the specs are not apparent.

I really think the Logitech is the answer.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Anthony Russo
ID: 38372824
Best of luck. If you want to do some test runs once you have it all setup let me know. you can contact me through my profile here on EE.
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Author Comment

by:MsAileenS
ID: 38372888
Thank you very much you have been most helpful. :)
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