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Audio Visual Insights for Web-Conferencing and Live Streaming

Conference Streaming Made Easy - Free Guide

Posted by Paul Richards on Jun 22, 2016 12:26:28 PM

Hello AV & IT Professionals!

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Topics: web conferencing, Live Streaming, conference streaming

Unified Communications vs Web Conferencing - from the desktop to the boardroom

Posted by Paul Richards on Sep 14, 2015 11:23:00 AM

Hello IT & AV Professionals!

In this article I would like to define Unified Communications versus web video conferencing and the hybrids we find in between to shed light on where each fits into today's diverse online collaboration market. Wikipedia considers "Unified Communications" a "buzzword" stating "Unified Communications (UC) is a marketing buzzword describing the integration of real-time, enterprise, communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, voice (including IP telephony), mobility features (including extension mobility and single number reach), audio, web & video ...".

I would define unified communications as any application that combines multiple forms of communication into a single integrated product suite. The easier this product suite is to use the more users will adopt the technology. Advanced unified communication solutions companies like Microsoft and Google combine multiple forms of communication such as voice, video, chat, email, presence, file sharing and collaboration into a complete product offering. At it's best UC provides fully integrated tools which enhance communication, ease of use and user adoption. Today it seems like every large communications company from AT&T to Google is offering unified communications services to enhance their core products with "collaboration and communication" services.

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Topics: web conferencing

What does the new Skype for Business pricing model mean for the rest of the industry?

Posted by Paul Richards on May 30, 2015 2:21:00 PM

Good Day AV & IT professionals!

Skype has just announced a new pricing plan for its Skype for Business service! It's the kind of announcement where you have to stop and say "Wow? Is this going to be game changing? What will this mean for the online video conferencing industry?". Skype for Business is one of the most popular video conferencing tools for professionals using video conferencing. In this blog post we look at the latest features and compare them with other popular third party meeting providers available as alternatives to Skype for Business such as GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx and Zoom.

Cisco WebEx has the advantage of producing video conferencing hardware as well as providing the software (WebEx) for an optimal video conferencing experience. Just like Microsoft, Cisco also provides a enterprise level unified communications product called Cisco Jabber that offers similar server level plans that can merge with WebEx. GoToMeeting has a very simple design and has a huge "business user" apeal for users who just want something that works. Citrix offers a large suite of online cloud based products but none that usually compete with Microsoft & Cisco's unified communications platforms. To mention a few: GoToMeeting, ShareFile, GoToWebinar, Podio, OpenVoice and Grasshopper.  Lastly, Zoom is the most in-expensive compared to the others but provides some unique features such as iPhone/iPad screen sharing, H.323 room system compatibility and Zoom Rooms for instant meetings. While all three alternatives to Skype for Business provide widely different feature offerings, Skype remains the most widely pleasing option for both price and attendee flexibility. Most pricing plans are split in to 10, 25 and 100 attendee caps while Skype for Business allows up to 250 people in one business plan. For a more detailed feature list of all 4 providers click here (written before Skype for Business release).

The new Skype for Business pricing plan is as follows:

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Topics: Zoom.US, web conferencing, WebEX, GoToMeeting, skype for business

3 Skype Classroom System Designs

Posted by Paul Richards on May 26, 2015 11:58:00 AM

Hello Educators & IT Pro's!

Skype and Skype for Business/Lync are being used for education and distance learning around the world. With the latest enhancements to Skype for Business including live translation this trend is going to continue. Pricing for Skype for Business is now only $5.50/month for video conferencing access with up to 250 participants! Just imagine the potential use case's for the education market!

So we put our AV room configuration tool to good use designing 3 Skype classroom designs. When you are designing a 21st century classroom the need to support software like Skype for Business is becoming a popular topic. Equiping classrooms for distance learning and video conferencing technology to include additional students and/or professor is not as difficult as it once was onlky 3-5 years ago.

Every classroom is different so for this tutorial video we simply review some of the most basic classroom designs and build video conferencing systems from scratch. You can always upload your own images and designto create the perfect representation of your classroom. To learn more about using the CRS room configuration tool click here

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Topics: web conferencing, skype for business

Is embracing multiple web video conferencing platforms a fact of life?

Posted by Paul Richards on Feb 23, 2015 2:22:07 PM

Hello IT and AV Pros!

I have lost count of how many clients have told me they use Microsoft Lync AND another service. Cisco Jabber AND couple others. It seems like organizations are always using multiple web video conferencing solutions in different ways. A popular combination we have found is GoToMeeting and Skype OR Microsoft Lync and WebEX. There are so many different and unique web video conferencing services out there that it seems like organizations are choosing to use multiple services Click Here to read a Gartner Study about market trends on "new entrants that often conflict with established service providers".

Whether or not buisness leaders are trying to use the best from each service or simply test un-traveled waters is beyond me. But the web video conferencing software providers who are making it must admit heavy video conferencing users use multiple platforms on a regular basis. 

For example, a huge number of organizations are using Microsoft Lync for their internal video conferencing accompanied with a more "cloud friendly" service like GoToMeeting, WebEX or Zoom.US. It was this type of video conferencing experience that inspired the creation of our latest "Lync Meeting Room Control Software" product which integrates with native SDK's within Microsoft Lync (Skype for Business) and a unlimited amount of third party web conferencing software API's including Office 365. 

It's worth noting that Bluejeans got this market right from the begining and made a business on providing interoperability features for companies that simply wanted the best flexibility options no matter the cost. But I think the majority of companies use a mix of different services by choice. I think they choose the services that reach out to them the most. A friend of mine from Citrix warmly referred to this "fact of life" as "Cross-Polination". GoToMeeting uses the same USB webcam technology as Skype does over at Microsoft. And Citrix would know a thing or two about the web conferencing market holding on to the big #2 "soft codec" position with GoToMeeting, second only to Skype, the #1 soft codec now also known as "Skype for Business."

Check out our slideshare demonstrating the software we feel is an ideal interface for organizations that are using Microsoft Lync coupled with another software like GoToMeeting, WebEX or Zoom.US. The CRS Lync Meeting Control Software was built to provide elegant control for Lync & MS Exchange plus add much needed features such as support for Google Calendar and 3rd party web conferencing applications like GoToMeeting, WebEX and Zoom.US. 

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Topics: Web Video Conferencing, Microsoft Lync, MS Lync, Zoom.US, web conferencing, WebEX, Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange, GoToMeeting

Top 5 Features for Web Conferencing Software Review

Posted by Paul Richards on Jan 14, 2015 12:28:10 PM

Web Conferencing Software Top 5 Feature Lists:

In this review we take the our Top 5 Features we feel are most important for video conferencing software and name our Top 5 software providers who exemplify these features.

  • Affordability
  • Ease of Use
  • Interoperability
  • Mobile Perfomance
  • Security
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Topics: Video Conferencing, web conferencing

Who has the best mobile app for video conferencing in the industry?

Posted by Paul Richards on Jan 14, 2015 12:17:00 PM


Hello Web Conferencing Professionals!

Who has the best video conferencing app for iOS and Android? We took down the latest review from 2015 and put together our top 10 mobile video conferencing apps. The tables below show the user ratings for various web conferencing software providers. We found this is a wonderful way to do a completely objective review :) with the caveat that we simply could not review every company :( If your looking for more features to compare such as: Security, Interoperability, Affordability and more read our Top 5 Feature Post here!

Here is our list based on user reviews:

  1. Zoom.US
  2. VSee
  3. Vidyo
  4. GoToMeeting
  5. Bluejeans
  6. WebEX
  7. Skype
  8. Adobe Connect
  9. AT&T Connect
  10. Fuze
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Topics: Video Conferencing, Web Video Conferencing, web conferencing

Calculating your Carbon Footprint offset for Video Conferencing

Posted by Paul Richards on Jan 5, 2015 10:38:58 AM

Hello Web Video Conferencing Professionals,

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Topics: Web Video Conferencing, web conferencing, carbon footprint

End of the Year - Video Conferencing Technology Timeline[SlideShare]

Posted by Paul Richards on Dec 30, 2014 3:32:00 PM

Hello Technology Pros,

As we reach the end of 2014, Conference Room Systems put together a Video Conferencing Technology Timeline covering audio and video conferencing technologies from 1980 all the way up to 2015. We cover web video conferencing hardware and software including: Apple iPhone, iPad, Logitech's first webcam, Jabra's first bluetooth microphone, Phoenix Audio, HuddleCamHD, PTZOptics, ClearONE, Apple FaceTime, BlueJeans, Lync, Google Hangouts, Vaddio, WebRTC, Skype, Polycom, GoToMeeting, WebEX, VSee, Zoom.US and finally Conference Room Systems.

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Topics: Web Video Conferencing, Audio Visual Advice, web conferencing

Is UVC Control the best option for "far end camera control"?

Posted by Paul Richards on Dec 18, 2014 1:44:00 PM

Good morning Web Conferencing Professionals,

I wanted to share an eye opening web conference call I had today with a company called "SecureVideo". SecureVideo.Com provides HIPAA compliant video conferencing software based off the VSee conferencing engine. Our goal was to test the Remote PTZ Control capabilities for the HuddleCamHD camera line. The first camera we tested was the HuddleCamHD 12X which we had connected via USB 3.0. We found the PTZ Controls worked perfected and pop up right in the video window using Secure Video. 

What is UVC?

"The USB video device class (also USB video class or UVC)... Webcams were among the first devices to support the UVC standard and they are currently the most popular UVC devices... UVC v1.1 support transmission of compressed video streams, including MPEG-2 TSH.264MPEG-4 SL SMPTE VC1 and MJPEG" - Wikipedia

Compatible Cameras for Remote PTZ Control using UVC:

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Topics: Web Video Conferencing, web conferencing, Far End Camera Control, UVC Camera Control


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