Ditch the clunky table hatches, cable cubbies, input plates, and patch cables — wireless is where it’s at. The huddle room system — a wire-free, real-time approach to small meeting room collaboration — promises to save install hours and dollars, and cable wrangling in the conference room.
Promoters of the huddle room systems believe that they fit a major hole in the market, especially for businesses with modest budgets, universities with dozens of break rooms, or hospitals with limited wireless coverage.
2013 seems to be the banner year for huddle room BYOD support. Varying features and functions are available via the AMX Enzo, Barco ClickShare, Christie Brio, Crestron AirMedia, Da-Lite ViewShare, Extron TeamWork, Vaddio HUDDLE Station, WOW Vision Collab 8, and more. Each of these technologies are a professional-grade, more secure, more collaborative, and future-friendly version of the original Apple TV device created as a method to connect a Mac device to a display via Wi-Fi. Each system is diffferent, but generally this is how it works: by installing a light app (usually via a USB dongle) onto a laptop, the laptop will (via Wi-Fi) recognize whether a base station (the receiver) is present on the network. An on-screen display will provide a secure code which when entered into the light app will display the image on the laptop, Netbook, iPad, tablet, iPhone, or Android device.
The category continued to expand with today's announcement from Barco. Its new CSM Base Unit offers the core ClickShare experience at aggressive price points (for the CSM, the U.S. price is $1,750; for CSC the U.S. price is $3,950). The upshot is that any meting room, regardless of its capacity, can be now equipped with a ClickShare system.
The new CSM Base Unit displays images up to full HD resolution – via its HDMI or VGA output – and is compatible with both the ClickShare Button and the free apps for iOS and Android. Only one user can share on-screen at a time, but eight Buttons can be connected wirelessly to the base unit, ready to share. A set consists of the CSM Base Unit and two ClickShare Buttons.
Each of these new technologies, including Barco's CSM, allows legacy computer audio and video signals, as well as digital sources, to be connected wirelessly to a flat-panel display or projector, or as an input to a matrix switcher.
Multiple users can access the base receiver at the same time, with the ability to switch from one user to another or even display multiple sources simultaneously in a split or panoramic screen configuration.
Sources: Margot Douaihy, Christopher Maione, CTS-D, AV Technology's 10 Video Remedies eBook (www.avnetwork.com)