Video Conferencing Part III
Hello! Welcome to another Tech Talk with Konnectus. This is David. And I’m Jonathan. And this is our final part of our three-part series on Video Conferencing. Today, we’re going to be talking about the environmental properties of the room and how it affects the Video Conferencing experience. So, let’s jump straight in Dave. What is the main equipment in the Video Conferencing Room? Well, there are four pieces of equipment Jonathan. We have, obviously, the display screen which you look at to see who you’re talking to on the call. You have a microphone, or a series of microphones, which are used to capture what is being said by the people inside the room during the call. You have a camera, or series of cameras, and these are obviously capturing the vision of the people inside the room. And then you have some loudspeakers playing back the audio from the people on the other side of the conference call. Great! So that’s the main equipment. Now, where do we actually see it? How do we arrange the room? This is the key, Jonathan. You need to make sure that the sightlines are being respected here. So, we need to choose a table which allows everybody around it to clearly see the display screens. And secondly, for the camera or cameras to clearly see the front of the faces of all the people sitting around the table. So, long, thin tables in those boardrooms, they’re definitely no good. What you prefer to have is something more like a V-shape table or U-shape table. That’ll be a much better design. Yeah, right.
Now, the next one is I’ve been on the end of the call where it’s very hard to hear people. So, what do we need to do to address that? Right. So, acoustics Jonathan, I think you’re alluding to. It’s very important that you can see the room and how it’s going to sound. That’s a little bit difficult to do on paper, but I guess there’s a rule of thumb that you could look at to be fine every time. If you could have at least two adjacent surfaces in a room, for example, two walls. If those two walls could be treated acoustically, then the other surfaces in the room could be hard and a little bit reflective, like glass or chip rock walls, that will be fine but at least two which are adjacent, that’s the key.
Now, the other one that I find always a problem is, people who are dark on camera and hard to see, you can’t see the expressions on their face. How do you address that? Right. Lighting is a big one, Jonathan. I guess there’s two parts here. First of all, we need to be controlling the ambient light that’s flowing into the room. For example, if you have a room with big windows or gets a lot of sunlight during the day, you want to make sure, first of all, you can have some blinds, shades, curtains to control that light coming in or you could choose a room with no windows which is even easier. Now, once we’ve controlled the ambient light, we need to control the artificial lights. So here, I guess the rule of thumb is don’t look to design lighting where the lights coming directly down from above on to people’s faces and casting shadows. Instead, what you want to have as the objective is a more even, sort of, flood of light throughout the room where people’s faces are evenly lit and well-lit. You can even use the tables to bounce some light off if you’ve got a light-colored table.
Well, you touched on the table there so, what about the interior design? Do I want nice artwork behind people so they can see it? No. I’d always say you definitely don’t want that. You see, the key when we talk about interior design of the room Jonathan is the people are the focus, they are the subject of the video conference call. So, let’s keep the attention on them. Okay? So, I think just some neutral kind of soft color in the background on the walls and soft furnishings is perfectly fine. You need to be avoiding, you know, those strong patterns or, you know, beautiful artwork pieces in the background of the camera. That’s not really the right room, a video conferencing room. You can put those in other areas or, perhaps, to the sides. Right. Got it, Dave.
Well, that concludes our three-part series on Video Conferencing, Jonathan. So, for more great tech talks, or a free consultation, visit us at konnectus.com.au.