Author: Doug Pidduck


Jabra MEETING-ROOM-IN-A-BOX Special Discount Bundles from Intermedia

Further Product Information

These products are all currently in stock but we expect them to move fast and, in the present market, future availability is not predictable so act now.

Use our live chat box below to get answers quickly or 
Call Doug on +44 (0)7949 296155 for more information or

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Channel Partners contact us for attractive trade pricing


Protecting Precious Meeting Room Availability

The modern workplace is changing as never before …

  • the global COVID-19 lockdown has had a profound impact on attitudes towards remote working
  • the workforce is having to adopt new work practices as never before
  • there is a constant demand for ever-more-efficient use of office space
  • office designers and estate managers are being challenged to deliver digital transformation in the workplace

Ad hoc collaboration space is high on the list of requirements in modern offices and the technology becoming available to meet this demand is maturing by the day while, at the same time, the cost is dropping.

But, to misquote George Orwell, some technology is more equal than others and sometimes the benefits are not intuitively obvious.

Take the humble video meeting camera, for example.  All much of a muchness, right?  They’re all PTZs, about 12 times optical zoom, about 90° field-of-view so job done, next.

Well, no. 

Cameras are changing from the dumb, light-gatherers of old to innovative devices employing advanced artificial intelligence and revolutionary optics and they bring important benefits for the office estate.

Making the right choice of video camera could boost your available meeting room hours by up to 50% for a given floorspace

A Wider View of the World

Jabra PanaCast from Intermedia

The Jabra PanaCast is one such newcomer.  It’s the world’s first and only camera array for video meeting rooms employing three camera elements and providing a field-of-view (FoV) of up to 180° but without the distortion usually associated with such a wide angle.
Why is this important?
Having such a wide FoV means the camera can be placed nearer the table – typically about 1 meter or more closer.  In a small huddle room, that can save up to 30% of the floorspace normally required for a 5/6 person room (see figure 1 below).

Jabra PanaCast from IntermediaSee: http://bit.ly/space_calc for more on this

Who’s in the Room?

The Jabra PanaCast camera also has built-in AI capabilities employing advanced video analytics to provide a live room headcount.

Most room reservation systems are dumb and blind.  They rely on the calendar to let them know if a room is occupied or not.  The Jabra PanaCast’s headcount facility can inform your room reservation system of the real occupancy status, reducing phantom bookings by up to 70%

See more about this: http://bit.ly/5rcount

These two properties of this remarkable camera together can offer almost 50% gain in meeting room space efficiency.

Here are the numbers:

Think outside the PTZ box – try the Jabra PanaCast today

Jabra PanaCast in the Huddle Room


New Monitor Mount Solution for the Jabra PanaCast

The Jabra PanaCast is a unique, class-leading conferencing camera that opens up small to medium-size meeting rooms and allows more participants to take part while maintaining the necessary social distancing.

More on this: Creating Social Distance in the Meeting Room

What’s been missing up to now is a robust means of fixing the PanaCast camera to a flat panel display. For example:

  • Where it’s not possible or desirable to wall-mount
  • For mobile systems that need all equipment fixed to the screen or cart
  • Where an invisible camera fixing is demanded
  • Where best eye-contact is required

Our new mount addresses these needs with a robust VESA-mounted solution that allows the PanaCast camera to be fixed securely above or below the display as close as practical to the display bezel edge.

The mount’s all-metal construction adjusts to fit all common VESA sizes and keeps the camera firmly in the correct orientation.

The Jabra PanaCast camera already has the smallest footprint in its class. Now it can be matched by an equally-elegant mounting solution.

Contact us for details and availability

email: dougp@intermedia-cs.co.uk  Tel: +44 7949 296155

Or complete the form on our contact page

Jabra PanaCast in the Huddle Room

Creating Social Distance in the Meeting Room

Keeping staff and visitors safe as we return to the office will place a big demand on office space; no more so than in the meeting room

A number of conflicting issues are becoming apparent:

  • Not all staff will return to the office immediately. Shift patterns and flexible working are likely to be introduced and some staff may never return; preferring to work remotely. So keeping in touch with all members of your team will create a demand for more meeting space
  • Due to social distancing rules, it will no longer be possible for a number of workers to huddle round a laptop or desktop screen so meeting rooms with a large screen will be in greater demand
  • But…social distancing will also mean that fewer participants will be able to gather safely in the meeting room

How can this be resolved? One simple thing that can be done immediately to mitigate the problem would be to stop wasting space in the current meeting rooms.

The right choice of room video camera can have a significantly positive impact on the efficient use of floor space.

Many video rooms employ legacy pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) cameras with a field-of-view of around 90° or less. This restricted angle of visibility imposes a gap between the camera/display and the room table to ensure participants closest to the camera are in shot; typically producing around 40 sq. ft. (~4m2) of wasted floorspace.

Jabra PanaCast from Intermedia

The Jabra PanaCast’s distortion-free, wide field-of-view opens up the room and creates more space for social distancing reducing this wasted floor space to zero. There’s more on this here: http://bit.ly/space_calc

As we cautiously return to the office, wasted space in the meeting room is not only a real estate cost issue but is now an urgent matter of workers’ health and welfare.

Using the Jabra PanaCast camera will allow more people to use a meeting room while still maintaining essential social distancing.

Think outside the PTZ box

Try the Jabra PanaCast today

Call us on: +44 1992 878312 or complete the form on our contact page

Jabra PanaCast in the Huddle Room


How will things work in the post-lockdown office?

Not like this, we suspect

When we begin the return to the office, how will we work together while maintaining social distancing? How will we collaborate even with colleagues who are physically present with us?

How will a group that needs to meet to discuss a project, share their thoughts and plans? If we just make calls over a conferencing platform to colleagues across the hall, we might just as well stay at home and reduce the risk of infection.


Until we have an effective vaccine, we will need to continue social distancing


One thing that may help is the ability to share content wirelessly so that we can be in the same physical space (while maintaining a proper distance), having a decent face-to-face discussion while sharing content on our mobile devices.

Huddle Hub One from Intermedia
The Huddle Hub One Re-broadcasts Shared Content Back to all Logged-In Devices

The Huddle Hub One (HHO) could help here because it does something unique in its class called re-broadcasting

So a group get together in a meeting room, a casual meeting area or anywhere within range of the corporate WiFi/LAN. They log in to an available HHO Smart Room (a virtual meeting room) and then start sharing content from their laptop, tablet or smartphone. Content can be shared by one participant at a time or multiple participants can share content simultaneously. Either way, the currently shared content will be streamed back – re-broadcasted – to each logged-in mobile display.


It’s not mandatory but, if there’s an available large format display in the meeting space, this can also be used to show the shared content.


What About the (Remote) Workers? If remote colleagues need to join, any logged-in device can be used to establish the call using the video service-of-choice and the far end will be seen on every device sharing in the Smart Room.

Wireless Professional Video Calls: There is even an HHO model that can be installed in the meeting room and which will allow participants to conference wirelessly using the installed professional AV. So a participant can launch a video call from their mobile device but utilise the installed room camera, audio sub-system, local large format display etc. delivering a high-quality professional collaboration session which can still be viewed simultaneously by any local participant on their own mobile device if they wish.

or Contact Us


Why has Biamp Bought into BYOM?

In case you missed it in the general hoo-ha of ISE 2020, Biamp announced the acquisition of Huddle Room Technologies, the Italian developer of the much-lauded Huddle Hub One (HHO) wireless presentation and conferencing products.

The use-case that the HHO products address is beginning to get a new moniker – BYOM or Bring Your Own Meeting – and it is one of the fastest-growing segments of the AV industry.

BYOM refers to a video meeting using, say, MS Teams or Zoom, for example, being initiated from the user’s mobile device rather than a resident processor in the room but still making use of the professional AV components of the room like the display, speakerphone, camera or all-in-one etc. in order to achieve a high-quality video conference from a mobile device (sometimes referred to as AV pass-through) 

The Huddle Hub One goes one step further by making this possible wirelessly and without the need for any cable connection or USB dongle to the user’s device.  Typically, this would be a laptop but with the HHO, this can easily include tablets or smartphones as well.

Uniquely, the HHO can also stream the shared content or conference back to the other user’s devices (smartphone, tablet or PC) in the room (so-called rebroadcasting) so that participants do not need to rely on being able to see the main display.  In fact, sharing sessions are possible on the HHO without a room display at all because of this rebroadcasting feature (HRT call these virtual sharing rooms “Smart Rooms”)

Smart Rooms allow ad hoc or scheduled meetings to occur anywhere in range of the corporate network making meetings in the cafe, a casual meeting area or in rooms without wall displays simplicity itself.

Intermedia CS is the appointed distributor for the HRT product line in the UK and Ireland.


Protecting Precious Meeting Room Availability

The modern workplace is changing as never before …

  • the global COVID-19 lockdown has had a profound impact on attitudes towards remote working
  • the workforce is having to adopt new work practices as never before
  • there is a constant demand for ever-more-efficient use of office space
  • office designers and estate managers are being challenged to deliver digital transformation in the workplace

Ad hoc collaboration space is high on the list of requirements in modern offices and the technology becoming available to meet this demand is maturing by the day while, at the same time, the cost is dropping.

But, to misquote George Orwell, some technology is more equal than others and sometimes the benefits are not intuitively obvious.

Take the humble video meeting camera, for example.  All much of a muchness, right?  They’re all PTZs, about 12 times optical zoom, about 90° field-of-view so job done, next.

Well, no. 

Cameras are changing from the dumb, light-gatherers of old to innovative devices employing advanced artificial intelligence and revolutionary optics and they bring important benefits for the office estate.

Making the right choice of video camera could boost your available meeting room hours by up to 50% for a given floorspace

A Wider View of the World

Jabra PanaCast from Intermedia

The Jabra PanaCast is one such newcomer.  It’s the world’s first and only camera array for video meeting rooms employing three camera elements and providing a field-of-view (FoV) of up to 180° but without the distortion usually associated with such a wide angle.
Why is this important?
Having such a wide FoV means the camera can be placed nearer the table – typically about 1 meter or more closer.  In a small huddle room, that can save up to 30% of the floorspace normally required for a 5/6 person room (see figure 1 below).

Jabra PanaCast from IntermediaSee: http://bit.ly/space_calc for more on this

Who’s in the Room?

The Jabra PanaCast camera also has built-in AI capabilities employing advanced video analytics to provide a live room headcount.

Most room reservation systems are dumb and blind.  They rely on the calendar to let them know if a room is occupied or not.  The Jabra PanaCast’s headcount facility can inform your room reservation system of the real occupancy status, reducing phantom bookings by up to 70%

See more about this: http://bit.ly/5rcount

These two properties of this remarkable camera together can offer almost 50% gain in meeting room space efficiency.

Here are the numbers:

Think outside the PTZ box – try the Jabra PanaCast today

Jabra PanaCast in the Huddle Room

To find out more information, please fill out the form on our contact page.


Say Hello to Huddle Hub One – Touch-Free Presentations and Conferencing

When your users walk into a meeting room do their hearts sink at the thought of sharing content from their mobile device?

Would you like to be able to offer them the ability to present their smartphone, tablet or PC content to their colleagues in seconds without cables or hassle?

Would you like to offer them this productivity advantage from anywhere on your premises not just in designated meeting rooms? 

Read on…

No cables from the user’s device to the AV equipment – get your meeting up and running in seconds.  Connecting any mobile device is via your enterprise wi-fi or via Huddle Hub One’s optional (secure) wireless access point.  No hassle with finding/connecting/touching common cables, wrong sockets, display set to wrong source etc. etc. 

Shared Content on All Logged-In Devices – the shared content from the sharer can be streamed back to other participants’ personal devices (PC, Mac, iOS, Android) so you are not relying on everyone having to see the room display (in fact there doesn’t even have to be a display in the room).

No USB dongle required – enterprises regularly disable the USB ports on laptops to guard against data loss plus no problem with lost dongles!

No Client Download Required on PCs or Mac’s – Apps are available for all major platforms but, for PCs, the HHO also supports a superb sharing experience just through your usual browser – no admin rights required.

Simple BYOM Video Calling – the room AV (display, camera, speakerphone, all-in-one USB device etc.) can be connected to the HHO making a BYOM (bring your own meeting) connection to the AV in the room completely wirelessly.  The current sharer simply makes a video call using their preferred video client (e.g. MS Teams/SfB, Zoom, Cisco Webex, GotoMeeting etc)

Multi-Session Smart Room Support – the Huddle Hub Enterprise model can support up to six separate and isolated sharing sessions called “Smart Rooms”.   So a group of users who need to meet, say, in a room without a Huddle Hub One or for ad-hoc gatherings in casual huddle or rest areas, for example, can grab a Huddle Hub virtual room and immediately start sharing content between their devices.

Huddle Hub One Touch-free Wireless Content Presentation and Sharing Solution

Every Meeting Needs a Huddle Hub One‏

Contact us for more information

or complete the form on our contact page and we’ll get back to you


Jabra PanaCast with avt mezzoCast makes AV Awards 2019 Finals!

We are delighted that the amazing Jabra PanaCast with avt mezzoCast has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2019 AV Awards!

Up against a record 700+ entrants, Jabra PanaCast has been selected as finalist in the Communication Technology of the Year category.

Jabra PanaCast is the latest iteration of the world’s first 180°, 4K, Panoramic, Plug-and-Play video camera that delivers big benefits in the huddle room and classroom where its industry-leading wide-angle view ensures that everyone and everything is visible to the far end.

The camera’s 180° field-of-view allows participants to sit very close to the display/camera without that closeness being apparent to the far end (a trick of the unique triple-camera array technology).  The wasted space (needed between legacy cameras and the closest participants) is no longer necessary saving at least 30% of the floorspace.

More on this: Use Our Floor-space Calculator to see how much space you can save with the right camera!

AI-Enabled Headcount Sensor

The Jabra PanaCast intelligent vision system provides a live room occupancy count (even when it’s not streaming).  This may be polled via its API.

The Jabra PanaCast camera sees a 180° view of the room.  There’s no point in asking a camera with a lesser field of view for a headcount.

avt mezzoCast is a cloud service and middleware application that ingests people count data from each room’s Jabra PanaCast camera and logs it into the cloud allowing reporting of each room’s utilisation data over a period of time.

avt mezzoCast can ensure that the client’s room reservation system accurately reflects the true occupancy status of the meeting room estate.  Some organisations report that phantom or ghost meetings can account for over 25% of their total room reservations!

Through software integration with Office 365 and/or Microsoft Exchange (other reservation systems coming), mezzoCast will create, modify and/or delete room reservations allowing users to have a live and accurate view of the availability or otherwise of a room.

W‌hy is this important? – 5 Reasons Why You Need to Know Your Meeting Room Headcount‌


More information about Jabra PanaCast

More information about avt mezzoCast

More information about the AV Awards


DEATH of the PTZ?

The pan, tilt and zoom or PTZ electromechanical videoconferencing camera was introduced so far back in the mists of time, almost everyone has forgotten, or never knew, why it was necessary in the first place.  Has it had its day?

A quick bit of VC history…..

Viva La Resolution!

Modern video camera resolutions are typically measured in megapixels or millions of pixels.  Even smartphone cameras now exceed 33 megapixels but, back in the day, videoconferencing video resolution was limited to about 100,000 pixels (no, really, just 352 x 288) and these had to stretch across large display screens (usually from projectors) so that those seated furthest away could see a usable image.  So the video images weren’t great and the rooms had to be carefully designed to get the best from the limited quality.

In order for the far end to make out who was actually speaking, the PTZ camera was introduced so that you could zoom in and devote those 100,000 pixels to the current speaker.  Of course, someone had to ensure that the camera was pointing in the right direction at the right time.  In other words, someone had to “direct” or operate the camera and, in the days of the half million-pound video room, there was often a technician around tasked to do this.


Want to learn about the modern alternative to three decades old technology? – click on this image of the future, today

Jabra PanaCast from Intermedia
Jabra PanaCast from Intermedia


When systems became lower cost and more numerous, user interfaces were created to allow the participants to control their own calls and it was at this point that PTZ control really became a pain.


Users were not interested in controlling the camera


Users were not interested in controlling the camera.  It was a distraction from the meeting and too demeaning for a senior executive to get involved with the technology.  It was also an opportunity to screw up in front of one’s peers when the technology did something unexpected (like focus on the ceiling).

So what did they do?  They set the zoom to fully wide and left it there demoting the expensive PTZ to a fixed camera, making it irrelevant and degrading the experience for the far end users – and they are still doing it.

Sure, there were attempts to resolve this using push-to-talk microphones that forced the camera to the current live mike and voice-tracking cameras which were supposed to move automatically to the current speaker.  Apart from causing sea-sickness in the viewer from rapidly-tracking images, these voice-tracking cameras were pretty bad at finding the speaker unless the whole room was set up in something akin to an anechoic chamber because the audio tracking system would often mistake a reflected audio path as the direction of the speaker and focus on the source of the reflection from, for example, an adjacent wall.  Not very helpful and, if an animated discussion broke out with multiple participants speaking at the same time, video pandemonium could ensue.

Move forward 30 years.  The big difference is the video resolution of current systems.  Most enterprise-grade videoconferencing systems can deliver at least 1920 x 1080 pixels or full HD with some capable of 4K, or Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 or around 8 megapixels).

Add to this the vast improvement in display technology and the early problems around being able to discern who was speaking due to poor resolution have gone; in most rooms, everyone can now be seen clearly so why are we still deploying PTZ cameras?  In fact they are now not only redundant, they are becoming a major problem.

Huddle Rooms

This term has been adopted to mean small rooms that have not previously been considered viable for video capability due to cost. Three big factors are coming into play to change things significantly:

  • User demand: for more video collaboration facilities in the workplace.
  • Cloud video services: where the large cost of the video network infrastructure is being picked up by a Videoconferencing as a Service (VCaaS) operator and clients need only pay a low subscription fee for access and
  • Dramatically falling room hardware costs: It’s now possible to deploy professional-quality video into a huddle room for less than $2,000 including a large format display and these costs are continuing to fall.

It’s now possible to deploy video into a huddle room for less than US$2,000


Under pressure from their users for more readily-available visual collaboration facilities, organisations are pressing these Huddle Rooms into video service at a time when the above factors are combining to take away a lot of the pain.

But there is a problem with these legacy PTZs when you start to use small rooms that only seat a few people; the participants are all very close to the display and, consequently, very close to the camera.

Legacy conferencing cameras will not see the closest participants at the table

A typical PTZ camera has a field-of-view (FoV) of just 70-90 degrees. When placed in a small room, this will mean that some of the participants closest to the camera will be partially or completely excluded or it forces everyone to huddle closer than they may have anticipated around the furthest end of the table.

A Modern Solution – No Mechanical PTZ and a 180° Field-of-View

In both the security and conferencing markets (the two biggest markets for PTZ cameras) the trend today is away from electro-mechanical cameras that physically move, toward fixed, high-resolution cameras.  This is becoming possible because the resolution of low-cost cameras is becoming so large that the camera can remain static and the panning, tilting and zooming can be achieved by using software to move around the fixed image from the camera sensor.


Jabra has come up with the first new approach to the videoconferencing camera in three decades


The Jabra PanaCast is an industry-leading example of this move towards “soft” PTZs.  Jabra has come up with the first new approach to the videoconferencing camera in three decades and it’s both obvious in hindsight and a radical departure.

The Jabra PanaCast camera is three cameras in one with a total native resolution of close to 40 megapixels.  This provides a highly detailed image much larger than that needed in a standard video call and can support a lossless zoom of 6 times.  Meaning that the soft PTZ action can easily be accomplished within the camera’s captured image without any apparent degradation in the quality received at the far end.

In the PanaCast, Jabra has also produced the world’s first 180° 4K panoramic camera designed to cover the entire room in a single, ultra-high-definition video image.

Now, while wide-angle or wide field-of-view cameras have been around for a long time, unless you spend a huge amount of money on special lenses, they produce significant spacial and radial distortion (the so-called fisheye effect) causing the apparent size of people at the edge of the lens to be exaggerated and adding an unrealistic curve to their image while participants furthest from the camera appear diminutive in comparison.  This creates a very unnatural image unsuitable for professional videoconferencing.

Intermedia for PanaCast 3

Jabra took a different approach. They took three ultra-high-resolution cameras each of a more modest field-of-view and stitched the three images together dynamically in the camera while also adding image correction to produce a single video stream that can cover up to 180° with virtually zero distortion.

The result is a very clear view from even the smallest Huddle Space in which every person, whiteboard or flip-chart is clearly visible within a naturalistic image which belies the closeness of the participants to the camera.

.

PanaCast 180 degree field of view
Using the Jabra PanaCast, all participants at the table will be clearly visible to the far end

Intermedia for PanaCast 3A Typical View from the Jabra PanaCast Camera


Jabra PanaCast’s field-of-view is up to 180 degrees


And, because the image is in high definition, individual viewers or sites can pan and zoom using touch screen devices into the part of the transmitted scene that interests them most without impacting the view of any other site.  So, if I want to see the presenter or the whiteboard while you prefer to watch the reaction of others in the room, we can both do so using our own devices with no conflict.

By banishing the PTZ camera to history, one big intimidating factor in the video meeting room may be removed.  In these days of self-service visual collaboration, the technology needs to be as transparent to the user as we can make it.  The Jabra PanaCast camera is a game-changer in the video meeting room and allows organisations to expand their use of video especially into smaller rooms or Huddle Rooms and, at the same time, delivering a much-improved user experience.

For more information on the Jabra PanaCast camera, visit intermedia-cs.co.uk, call us on +44 (0)1992 878312, or fill out the form on our contact page and we will call you.



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"More than 2500 organisations in 38+ countries are using the PanaCast daily to improve their communication and productivity.

Over 200 universities are now adopting the PanaCast for lecture capture and huddle room deployments."

What our clients say!


  • “(PanaCast 2) is a very different form factor than the usual 1080p camera that we are using elsewhere in the lab. You can see it has no seams and it’s a very good picture quality.”

    Robert
    ScobleFuturist / Rackspace

  • “PanaCast…actually seems like something that would be both fun and exceedingly useful.”

    Michael
    SeoWriter / TechCrunch

  • “The actual image captured by the camera when we tried it in a lecture theatre (300+ seat) was perfect. Every seat in the frame, handled the lighting conditions well, good focus, seamlessly stitched. Very impressed.”

    Geoff Lambert
    Sr. Project Manager of IT & Digital Services / University of Western Sydney

  • “… a great improvement over standard video chat experiences.” Read article

    Michael Gorman
    Editor-in-Chief / Engadget

  • “The panoramic view allowed me to see all five remote participants at the same time, and the 4k resolution provided great visual detail – allowing me to feel ‘connected’ to everyone in the meeting.”

    What Ira M. Weinstein thinks about the PanaCast 2
    Senior Analyst & Partner / Wainhouse Research

  • “We chose the PanaCast 2 video camera because it gives an immersive sense of participation to remote meeting participants. With PanaCast 2, there is no need to squeeze together to get into the scene or waste time panning and zooming like with a typical conference room camera.”

    Jolean De KortJolean De Kort
    Director Employee Technology / GoDaddy

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