Essential Equipment for the Perfect Video Conference
When you’re deciding on what video conferencing hardware to invest in, there are numerous considerations to put in place:
- How many people will be using the video conferencing equipment at one time?
- Is the equipment compatible with your other hardware or software
- What visual aids will you be used during your conference?
Video conferencing builds a technological bridge between you and your team—no matter where you are all working.
Thanks to advances in tech, teams can now collaborate, brainstorm, and discuss projects online using video conferencing systems.
Must-have equipment for video conferencing
If you’re doing video conferencing for work—especially if you’ll need to meet with clients and prospects—you’ll need good audio and video. This isn’t your average family Skype call, after all. Here are a few things to look for.
A good camera
You’ve probably used a webcam before. And you’ve probably also experienced choppy or pixelated video before, which didn’t make for a great experience.
But when you’re video conferencing with a client, it’s probably best not to leave your video quality up to those built-in laptop webcams.
Depending on your preferences and your clients’ or prospects’ expectations, you’ll want HD video at the very least, and maybe even 4K fidelity.
If you’re shopping for conference cameras, look for things like adjustable viewpoints, wide angles, and remote controls. (Oh, and make sure you have the right cables and dongles for the conference room. You don’t want to have everything mounted and set up, only to realize you’re missing an HDMI cable.)
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Headphones and speakers
When it comes to headphones, they’re not technically a must-have because your laptop or computer probably has speakers built in.
But if you’re going to be in and out of huddle rooms or taking video conference calls on the go, you’ll need these. Using headphones is a great way to eliminate mic echo during video and audio conferencing.
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In any meeting, it’s critical that the other person in the meeting can hear you clearly.
Typically, you’ll need different microphones for different spaces. For example, conference room mics should have a 360-degree range of pickup so that they can pick up anyone’s voice, no matter where they’re sitting in the room.
If you plan on hosting video conferences for clients or large groups of people, an omnidirectional microphone will provide better sound and recording quality from wherever you’re hosting them from. Omnidirectional microphones work best for these types of situations as they’re able to pick up sound from any side of the microphone:
Because of this, it really gives the audio quality of your voice a boost and also equalizes the volume for your listeners.
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To better control conference room systems, you’ll need a remote control. These can let you toggle things like who’s screen sharing, skip to the next slide of a presentation, adjust the speakers, and more.
A smartboard is basically an electronic whiteboard and is a great addition to any video conferencing room that’ll be used for things like brainstorm sessions.
These come in many sizes and dimensions to fit small and medium conference rooms.