The ability to collaboratively communicate, and do it effectively, is of paramount importance in a higher education setting. Lectures and presentations ranging from simple board meetings to complex Ph.D. defenses are conducted in on-campus conference rooms at universities of all sizes.
At Long Island, New York’s Stony Brook University, the largest conference room on campus is part of the school’s computer science department and it needed a serious communication system upgrade. The department also wanted to add a video wall to their main lobby. John Schappert of Adwar Video turned to ClearOne, knowing that their full array of communication solutions would produce a highly productive conference room and provide a first-rate video wall in the department’s lobby.
Peter Ruland, associate director of operations for Stony Brook’s Department of computer science, described their main conference room as “gigantic” and added, “Academics are not big fans of lapel microphones, as they tend to stand up and move around to talk. One of the challenges in this conference room was that we were having a hard time capturing people’s voices and leveraging the echo cancellation during the video conferencing of our lectures because of the old setup we had.”
Schappert knew ClearOne’s Beamforming Microphone Array 2 product would be the perfect solution for a conference room of this size and bring the room’s communication capabilities up to speed.
“The audio pickup with the Beamforming Microphone Array 2 is super clear,” Schappert said. “And for a large conference room, with the nature of presentations, with presenters walking around, the 24 microphone elements move the pickup to the participants and reject unwanted noise. These were precisely the issues the department wanted to correct.”
ClearOne’s Beamforming Microphone Array 2 features ClearOne’s next-generation Acoustic Echo Cancellation and Noise Cancellation technology that addressed the echo issues the large room was experiencing under the outdated system Ruland alluded to. Ruland added the ClearOne system’s scalability has also been a major asset as well, and the department’s staff likes the flexibility of being able to add mics when the need arises.
Ruland added that ClearOne’s Beamforming Microphone Array 2 was so effective, that despite the size of the room, they only needed one of the ClearOne mic setups. “All the audio problems we were having were solved with just the single installation. We dropped it in the middle of the room and it worked perfectly, zero audio issues ever since.”
To upgrade the videoconferencing capability in some of the Science Department’s smaller to mid-size conference rooms, Ruland was also pleased with Schappert’s choice to install ClearOne’s Unite 200 PTZ cameras.
“We had several ClearOne Unite 200 PTZ cameras installed in some of our other conference rooms,” Ruland said. “This was great as instead of having to use a hard video codec for videoconferencing, these cameras let the user—because they have a USB interface—use Skype, Hangouts or Webex—anything they want really. Again, very flexible and allows us to give users choices.”
The ClearOne UNITE 200 PTZ Camera is a versatile, professional-grade, HD video camera complete with USB, HDMI, and IP connections that can be used for a wide range of possible applications.
Schappert was also tasked with installing a video wall in the department’s main lobby as this was a project Ruland admits the department had started a while back, but never quite completed.
“For the video wall we used the ClearOne VIEW Pro Encoder E120 and VIEW Pro Decoder D210,” Schappert said. “They provide such a simple, install-ready setup that delivers excellent video quality as well. Stony Brook wanted this done quickly and we were able to easily meet that demand.”
ClearOne’s VIEW Pro is an extremely adaptable, and highly capable video processing and management solution for needs ranging from a single video wall to a large video distribution network.
Ruland is excited over what the ClearOne VIEW Pro technology is allowing his department to do with the video wall.
“The video wall is also very scalable and we can stream to it and customize the layouts in any way, shape, or form we want,” he said. “It is just a really cost-effective way for us to do just about anything we want to do with it. The ClearOne tech is even allowing our research labs to do interactive content using tech like facial recognition and we are streaming that right to the video wall.”
Schappert has worked with ClearOne in the past and along with being a fan of their products, he is also bullish on the full support they offer integrators. “ClearOne’s commitment to offering the industry’s broadest range of solutions, in-depth product support and training, coupled with a string of successful ClearOne installations under challenging circumstances made the decision to spec ClearOne products into the new computer science building a no-brainer for us.”