Some tips to get the most out of your meeting room.
A good position of the lighting can improve the final image, while the design of a wrong lighting can cause several problems, such as darkening the face.
The positioning of the light should be fixed at eye level to avoid any disturbance on the screens. Also, the angle and power of light are very important. To obtain the best results, it is important to use 3 types of light sources:
• The main light that is the most powerful in the room, the backlight is in the opposite direction to the main light, while the fill light is less powerful than the main light.
• In the case that only ceiling lighting is available, the key is “comfortable” light. That is a source of light that does not bother and does not generate a lot of heat to keep the environment as pleasant as possible for the conference. Basically, the light should come from the top of the conference table, the front and the back (for the depth of field). The side light, if possible, can improve face lighting.
There are two topics of major importance: the interior of the room and the microphones:
1. Reflections of the rooms: The sound waves travel through the space of the room and when they encounter an obstacle (for example, floor, ceiling and walls) part of their energy bounces and moves in the opposite direction.
Due to the delay between the different paths, the same signal reaches the listener several times with different delays. If these reflections are powerful enough they can greatly reduce the sound quality. A well-designed room should minimize these reflections, as much as possible. These reflections can make the audio less understandable and degrade the perceived quality.
To achieve the necessary attenuation of these reflections, it is advisable to use a carpet for the reflections of the floor, acoustic tiles for the ceiling and fabrics for the walls. As a general rule, it can be said that the weakest material is that of the wall. The best acoustics will be made with fabric and the worst with glass.
2. Microphones: The type and position of the microphones are very important factors to achieve high acoustic quality:
• The microphone should be placed up to 2 meters away from the person speaking. If this is not possible, consider installing more microphones to cover the room.
• The microphone should be placed as far as possible from the speakers of the video conferencing system. This will improve the performance of the full duplex.
• If possible, use several unidirectional microphones instead of an omni-directional microphone. This will improve the sound quality and reduce reverberations.
• The microphone should be placed as far away from sources of interference as projectors, notebook, fans, …
Never choose a room that is next to the elevator room, server room, services or any other noisy place.
There are acoustic algorithms that solve all or part of these problems, such as the acoustic echo canceler (AEC), noise suppressors (NS) and automatic gain controllers (AGC) that are supposed to manage those problems. When the conditions are not optimal, the performance of these algorithms degrades in measure.
The meeting room should have enough electrical outlets and Ethernet connections to accommodate a group of participants and their laptops to the meeting. Also, since most people are sitting in the same common area (for the camera to see), these connections have to be in the center of the meeting room table.
It is also important to have a fixed RGB cable to connect the laptop to the videoconferencing system in order to share content during videoconferencing.
The meeting rooms should not be painted white. In fact, neutral tones such as beish, pale gray or pale blue are the best. These colors offer the best background and reduce eyestrain when viewing video images. Crude whites or darker colors do not provide the optimal background for viewing.
In that sense, another tip: try not to use strong colors when you’re in a video conference. It is known that Stripes and pictures cause headaches in video conference systems and remote participants …
Design of the room
A “classic” meeting room design would look something like this:
• The table allows all participants to participate and see the other participants in almost the same way.
• The camera can capture all the participants, as well as the board.
• The telephone / microphone can capture all the participants.
• Two screens show the video sequence, as well as the data channel.
• Connections for Ethernet, electricity and the data channel is available on the table.
Find more information on the page of Masscomm (Integrating Wholesaler of IP Solutions).