A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Brent Johnson

EFFECTIVE AUDIO FOR VIDEO CONFERENCING – Part One


 

Introduction

 
Most business users are familiar with audio & video conferencing and have experienced both technologies in a variety of situations. But, many users forget that these technologies are only as good as the audio foundation. Audio quality can be impacted  by the type of device used to participate in the calls (i.e. using hands-free devices like speakerphones or cell phones versus using non-hands free devices  like telephone handsets). Too often microphones are not properly placed to hear those talking and users attempt  to  use a variety of audio devices,  including cell phones, to connect someone into a video call. Voice quality in a video conference is impacted by the acoustics of at least two rooms – the caller and  the listener. The purpose of this paper is to address what needs to be done with audio to make it effective in all situations  so users can clearly hear everyone involved in audio and video conferencing calls.
 

Audio Communications

 
Audio, that is voice, is almost always deemed the most critical portion of any conference. Without audio, the meeting loses nearly all value. A variety of equipment might be involved to hold an audio conferencing call or add audio into a video call, including telephone handsets, speakerphones for use by small groups, installed audio systems, microphones, mixers, and controllers to initialize and manage the call speakers. The quality of the voice transmission line is crucial to the success of an audio conference. A regular (analog) dialup telephone line is often all that is needed to conduct a successful audio conference. But users should be wary of individuals calling into an audio or video call on their cell phone. Both the quality of the line they are on and their location (driving in a car with a noisy truck passing them, near construction sites, etc.) can negatively impact the overall quality of the call. While many people use their telephone systems for three-way conference calls, and sometimes to even link multiple sites, a multipoint conference, of more than three sites, often requires an audio or video bridge to link sites together. A number of telephone and bridging service companies offer multipoint audio, data and video conferencing services. Calls can be established through an operator or on a dial-up basis. Keep in mind the call is only as good as the audio foundation. A noisy, hands-free conferencing connection can negatively impact the entire call, whereas video can sometimes be forgiven when lacking certain quality.
 

Audio Endpoint Equipment

 
Today, most audio conferencing endpoint products (speakers, microphones, and audio mixing controls) are full-duplex systems, providing the same kind of interaction one gets from the telephone, with important improvements.
 
Differences in simplex and full-duplex audio
 
Users can interrupt one another at any time, speaking and hearing simultaneously (known as a full-duplex call), and both users can be heard simultaneously without echo (call feedback often caused by speaker/microphone placement). Communication seems as natural as being with the person in the same room.
 
A properly chosen and configured full-duplex conferencing endpoint will ensure that high-quality audio is captured at the endpoint even when the room is reverberant or contains noise sources like a projector, HVAC noise, outside traffic, etc. Audio conferencing endpoints can be categorized as personal conferencing devices, tabletop conference speakerphones, and professionally-installed conferencing systems. Personal conferencing devices include one or more microphones, a speaker, and signal processors. They are designed to be used by a small group of people (one to four). Tabletop conference phones have a built-in speaker that can produce a higher sound output volume than the personal conferencing products, and they may also support expansion of the microphone pickup area through the use of expansion microphones or attachment of conference phones. Professionally installed audio systems offered today support arrays of microphones that can be placed around a large conference table to handle large groups of participants. The microphones used by professionally installed systems are generally permanently installed in the conference table or on the ceiling. There are also wireless microphone systems that are designed to use with professionally installed audio conferencing systems.
 
The electronics that support full-duplex audio systems process audio signals to separate the signal that originates from a local person speaking into a microphone from the sound coming from a far end talker that is played through the local speakers and is subsequently coupled into the local microphone. This is called Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC). Professionally installed audio systems may also include an additional technology called feedback cancellation. A feedback canceller may be required when a presenter needs his/her voice amplified into a local conference space so listeners, who may be in the same large room or auditorium, can still clearly hear the presenter’s voice. Amplification of the local presenter’s voice in the local room may result in a high-pitched squealing sound called feedback if there is positive gain between the microphone and the speaker. ClearOne’s Dynamic Automatic Resonance Eliminator (DARE) feedback eliminator uses proprietary adaptive algorithms that have evolved from ClearOne’s years of experience and expertise in echo cancellation technology. These algorithms eliminate feedback by rapidly identifying a feedback node and then placing a narrow-band filter at that frequency without the need for additional feedback elimination equipment.
 
Professionally installed systems for large venues require custom configuration
 
For a very large auditorium, a professionally installed system may also need to include a time delay function that delays the local presenter’s voice by a programmable amount. This allows an installer to guarantee that a listener at the back of a large auditorium does not hear the presenter’s amplified voice (which is transmitted at the speed of electrical signals through the audio systems) followed by a delayed version of the presenter’s live voice (which takes longer to reach that person due to the fact that the acoustic sound travels more slowly than the electronically captured version of the presenter’s voice).
 
We’ll continue our discussion of effective audio for video conferencing in next week’s blog. In the meantime, we want to know your thoughts about addressing how to make audio effective in all situations for your end users. Sound off in the comments below.
 

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ClearOne Launches Enhanced Corporate Website

SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — ClearOne (NASDAQ: CLRO) today announced it has launched its newly enhanced corporate website. ClearOne has streamlined the user experience with new organization of the full breadth of ClearOne audio and video products and solutions. Resource materials are now more readily available with intuitive navigation. Integrated social media and the corporate blog will create new channels of communication with partners and end-users.

“Our latest enhancement extends ClearOne’s brand, encompassing our legacy audio conferencing products; the industry’s most advanced software-based room, desktop and infrastructure video conferencing products; as well as our AV streaming and digital signage solutions,” said Zee Hakimoglu, Chairman and CEO of ClearOne. “We want our new website to represent our clear mission to provide audio and video communications products to the world.”

Throughout the year, ClearOne will continue updating the website with enhanced support, mobile options and ongoing updates for training and events.

About ClearOne
ClearOne is a global company that designs, develops and sells conferencing, collaboration, streaming and digital signage solutions for audio, video and data multimedia communication. The performance and simplicity of its advanced comprehensive solutions enhance the quality of life. ClearOne products are designed for business and residential use, offering unprecedented levels of functionality, reliability and scalability. More information about the company can be found at www.clearone.com.

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SKYPE CERTIFIES THE CHAT 160 GROUP SPEAKERPHONE FROM CLEARONE

The CHAT 160 delivers a high-quality, hands-free audio experience for individuals or groups using Skype.

SALT LAKE CITY, September 17, 2009 ClearOne (NASDAQ: CLRO), the leading provider of high performance audio conferencing solutions, today announced the CHAT 160, a new group speakerphone specifically designed for use with Skype™ software. The Skype Certified™ CHAT 160 is the newest in a growing family of award-winning USB speakerphones from ClearOne.

The CHAT 160 group speakerphone easily connects to laptops or PCs via USB for natural, hands-free communication for anyone using Skype. The CHAT 160 is a powerful full-duplex device that delivers crystal-clear audio for voice and video communication. The CHAT 160’s sleek industrial design complements any professional environment, making it the perfect addition to any executive office or small conference room. Designed specifically for small group conferencing, the CHAT 160 has three sensitive microphones, providing 360° pickup for more

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ClearOne CHAT 50 and CHAT 150 certified interoperable with Mirial Softphone

September 1, 2009 – (Milan, Italy) Mirial, a leading provider of products and solutions for professional video conferencing and for the development of multichannel audio/video services, today announced that it has certified the CHAT™ 50 USB Personal Speakerphone and the CHAT 150 VC from ClearOne to be interoperable with the Mirial Softphone desktop video conferencing solution. more

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SKYPE CERTIFIES CLEARONE PERSONAL SPEAKERPHONE

CHAT 60CHAT 60 delivers a high-quality, hands-free audio experience for Skype users

SALT LAKE CITY, August 10, 2009 — ClearOne (NASDAQ: CLRO), the leading provider of high performance audio conferencing solutions, today announced the CHAT 60, a new personal speakerphone specifically designed for use with Skype™ software. The Skype Certified™ CHAT 60 is the newest of ClearOne’s award-winning personal conferencing speakerphones.

The CHAT 60 personal speakerphone easily connects to laptops or PCs via USB for natural, hands-free communication. The CHAT 60 delivers full-duplex audio for crystal-clear communication and is the perfect addition to an office or home office, providing convenient, high-quality audio for Skype users. The CHAT 60 is a very powerful audio device; yet, it is small enough to toss in with your laptop and take on the road.

“The CHAT 60 complements Skype usage and we are glad it more

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CLEARONE TO SHOWCASE SEVERAL NEW PRODUCTS AT INFOCOMM 09

Several new Professional and Telephony conferencing products will be demonstrated and two new media carts will be shown in ClearOne’s booth #5951 in Orlando, FL.

SALT LAKE CITY, June 11, 2009 — ClearOne (http://www.clearone.com) (NASDAQ:CLRO), the leading global provider of high performance audio conferencing solutions, will be showcasing several new conferencing products at the upcoming InfoComm09 show, Wednesday, June 17 through Friday, June 19. InfoComm is the leading business-to-business marketplace for display, projection, audio, conferencing, lighting and staging, digital signage, Internet streaming, and networked presentation and communications systems. ClearOne will exhibit its entire line of industry-leading conferencing systems in booth #5951 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, along with several completely new products. more

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ClearOne Introduces New ClearPresence Series Media Cart

clearpresence-dual-media-cart.jpgThe ClearPresence Dual Media Cart is a stylish and elegant way to fully-integrate a custom conferencing system into a complete solution.

SALT LAKE CITY, June 11, 2009 – ClearOne (NASDAQ: CLRO), the leading global provider of audio conferencing products, today announced the ClearPresence Dual Media Cart, a new stylish addition to ClearOne’s line of durable media carts. more

ClearOne Introduces the Titan Articulating Arm Dual Plasma Media Cart

tiatan_articulating-arm.jpgThe new Titan Articulating Arm Dual Plasma Cart is the industry’s first truly mobile dual plasma media cart

SALT LAKE CITY, June 11, 2009 – ClearOne (NASDAQ: CLRO), the leading global provider of audio conferencing products, today announced the Titan Articulating Dual Plasma Media Cart, a new addition to ClearOne’s Titan line of sturdy and highly durable media carts. more

CLEARONE ANNOUNCES NEW PERSONAL SPEAKERPHONE FOR MICROSOFT OFFICE COMMUNICATIONS SERVER 2007

CHAT 70The CHAT 70 Personal Speakerphone is Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 and is perfect for teleworkers or traveling professionals.

SALT LAKE CITY, — ClearOne (NASDAQ: CLRO), a leading provider of high performance audio conferencing solutions, today announced the CHAT 70, a new personal speakerphone specifically designed for use with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. As a Certified Partner in the Microsoft Partner Program, ClearOne has been rapidly releasing high performance audio solutions that support users of Microsoft’s unified communications platform. The CHAT 70 is ClearOne’s newest audio product to be qualified as Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator, following the CHAT 170 group conferencing speakerphone which was announced in January. more

Joe Sorrentino Returns to ClearOne as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales

SALT LAKE CITY, – ClearOne (NASDAQ: CLRO), the leading global provider of high performance audio conferencing solutions, today announced it has named Joe Sorrentino as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales. Sorrentino will report directly to Zee Hakimoglu, ClearOne’s President, Chief Executive and Chairman.

Most recently, Sorrentino, was Senior Vice President at Spire Global, Sony Video Conferencing’s U.S. Sales and Marketing arm. Sorrentino was instrumental in building and managing their U. S. sales team. He was also responsible for developing and executing Spire’s channel sales strategy and driving their market channel partner programs, as well as strategic partnerships. more

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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