Tag: video conferencing cameras


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


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.


Thank you to everyone who took part in our two recent PanaCast 2 Video Camera webinars

We would like to thank everyone who joined one of our two recent PanaCast 2 Video Camera webinars.  The webinars included a live demonstration of the outstanding PanaCast 2 Video Camera showing how the PanaCast technology can improve your online meetings.

Javed Tufail, Director for Global Sales and Business Development from Altia Systems, did a fantastic job explaining and demonstrating how to use the PanaCast 2 Camera, including the remarkable Intelligent Zoom and PanaCast Whiteboard features which improve the quality, professionalism, and effectiveness of online meetings.

We had lots of great feedback after the webinars from the globally based attendees and many questions from them throughout.  For those of you who couldn’t make the webinars we have collated a list of the most popular questions asked below:

  • Will the PanaCast 2 Camera work in different size rooms?

The PanaCast Camera is perfect for small rooms as well as large rooms, including auditoriums.  In fact, it is currently being used by more than 130 universities for both their huddle room deployments and lecture theatres.

  • Does the whiteboard feature also work with an electronic whiteboard?

Yes, it does.  The PanaCast Whiteboard application will capture an image displayed on a smartboard display.

  • Do I need to download any software for the camera to work with my PC?

There is no need to download any additional software or drivers.  The PanaCast 2 Video Camera is UVC compliant and connects to any computer (including Google Chromebook) via standard USB (either USB 2.0 or 3.0) for up to 4K plug-and-play operation.  HDMI connection is also possible via an adaptor.

  • Is it best to have a desk stand or a wall mount?

It depends, but 70% of our sales have been for wall mounts for permanent installation.  The desk stand version is useful if you need to move the camera between rooms.

  • How quickly can I receive a Panacast 2 Video Camera?

We have the cameras and accessories ready in stock in the UK.   UK orders will be shipped within 24 hours for next working day delivery.  Most European destinations will be reached within 2-3 working days.

  • How can we purchase a PanaCast 2 Video Camera? 

For customers in the USA, cameras may be purchased from Altia Systems.  Details can be found by clicking here.

For customers in the UK, Europe, The Middle East and Africa, cameras may be purchased from Intermedia Communication Solutions.  Details can be found by clicking here.

Please keep an eye out on our website for further webinars that we will be running in the future.


Long commutes can be bad for your health

Professional Web Meetings could be an answer…

Recent research has discovered that long commutes to work can cause depression, obesity and money worries. The research was undertaken by Vitality Health and its partners – the University of Cambridge, RAND Europe and Mercer*. They surveyed over 34,000 workers and identified links to health and well-being, obesity, money worries and even depression.

Spending two hours commuting each day is a reality for many workers in the UK, with lots of people travelling much further and longer.  The office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that 3.7 million workers travel for two hours or longer every weekday (compared to 2.8 million in 2010). In 2015, the average daily commute lasted 57.1 minutes. Long commutes – particularly into London are blamed on stagnant wages, high property prices and rental costs.

On a positive note, with today’s technology, non-driving commuters can now make the most of the downtime by catching up with work and personal tasks on laptops, smartphones and tablets to and from work.

click here for more about the research

For commuters who are looking to reduce the amount of time they spend in the office and have negotiated some ‘working from home time’ with their employer but don’t want to miss any important meetings, the revolutionary PanaCast 2 Camera System with Intelligent Zoom is the answer.

professional web meeting
The PanaCast 2 180° panoramic camera empowers participants joining from home through its high definition, immersive field-of-view of the meeting

The PanaCast 2 camera delivers a professional web meeting and is a class-leading 180° field-of-view ensuring everyone in the room is visible to the far end.  The Intelligent Zoom feature automatically adjusts framing to make sure that no participant is ever out-of-shot making it perfect for small/huddle rooms making home-workers feel part of the meeting rather than being just a remote, passive observer.

The PanaCast 2 Camera, is the world’s first 180° 4K plug-and-play video camera for personal and room-based video communications that could help say goodbye to lengthy commutes and in turn improve health and bank balances!

For more details about the fantastic PanaCast 2 Camera, to watch a video of the camera in action or to contact us please click here.


Monitor makers finally catch-up with the PanaCast 2 Camera!

We are really excited to let you know (in case you missed the announcement) that Samsung are now offering their amazing ultra-large, ultra-wide monitor, the CHG90, with a screen size of 49 inches (124.5 cms) and aspect ratio of 32:9 – equivalent to two 16:9 monitors side by side! 

This screen, the largest aspect ratio available in the industry, is intended for the gaming community but could be an extremely useful display for the huddle room and could herald the availability of larger, more mainstream 32:9 displays.

Built with Quantum Dot technology, the monitor delivers a billion shades of accurate colour plus support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) providing mind-blowing detail across the total brightness range of the picture.   Built very much with high frame-rate video in mind, the curved monitor has super-fast 1ms MPRT (motion picture response time) to add to an unprecedented all-round picture performance.

PanaCast 2 with the Samsung CHG90 800 32:9 monitor
The Perfect Huddle Room Match? – the Samsung CHG90 with the PanaCast 2 180° Panoramic Camera

The PanaCast 2 camera, launched in May 2015 by Altia Systems, is the world’s first 180° 4K Panoramic Plug-and-Play camera to deliver video with a natural human perspective and also uses the same 32:9 aspect ratio!  The combination of the PanaCast 2 and 32:9 displays promises an affordable, immersive, telepresence-like experience at the desk or in the video meeting room. 

The PanaCast 2 with Intelligent Zoom provides a new and innovative solution to meeting the challenges created by modern huddle room and classroom deployments, where a much wider field-of-view is demanded than can typically be achieved using legacy PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras or low-cost webcams.  It ensures everyone in the room is always in shot and whiteboards or flip charts are clearly visible thanks to its industry-leading 180° field-of-view and 4K (UHD, 4 megapixel) resolution.  

For more information about the groundbreaking PanaCast 2 camera and to see it in action please click here.

For more information about the Samsung Monitor please click here.

 


The PanaCast 2 with Intelligent Zoom is an AV Awards Finalist!

We are delighted to announce that PanaCast 2, the world’s first 180° 4K Panoramic Plug-and-Play video camera along with its ground-breaking Intelligent Zoom feature, has been shortlisted for an AV Award in the Collaboration Product of the Year 2017 category.

Now in its 19th year, the AV Awards were established to recognise excellence across the Audio Visual Industry.   The aim of the AV Awards is to reward innovation and best practice, whilst encouraging others within the industry to raise standards across the board.

PanaCast 2 – 180° 4K Panoramic Video Camera

PanaCast 2 with Intelligent Zoom has been recognised for providing a new and innovative solution to meeting the challenges created by modern huddle room and classroom deployments where a much wider field-of-view is demanded than can typically be achieved using legacy PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras or low-cost webcams.  WIth PanaCast 2, everyone in the room is always in shot with whiteboards or flip-charts being clearly visible thanks to its industry-leading 4K (UHD, 4 megapixel) resolution.

And PanaCast 2 can capture a best-in-class 180° field-of-view without the excessive fisheye-type distortion typically created by single-lens, wide-angle cameras.

The Not-So-Dumb Light-Gatherer

The video meeting camera is changing its role from a dumb light-gatherer into the intelligent heart of the meeting room.  In-camera video processing capability (the PanaCast 2 has nine on-board processors) presents opportunities for new functionality based on advanced video analytics and processing algorithms that can greatly enhance the user experience.

Intelligent Zoom

Intelligent Zoom, recognised in this shortlisting, is a case in point.  Intelligent Zoom (IZ) detects participants in the room and automatically and dynamically zooms and pans to present the most appropriate framing.  If additional people arrive or someone leaves the room, IZ will adjust silently and unobtrusively in the background without the need for user intervention of any kind.

PanaCast Whiteboard Application

The just-announced PanaCast Whiteboard app extends this concept of camera intelligence even further to automatically capture a standard whiteboard (or wall), correct for keystone and radial distortion, enhance contrast and brightness for improved readability and present that image as a separate source that can be sent as shared content in a video call.   In many cases, this can obviate the need for an expensive interactive “smart” board, an important budget consideration especially when large numbers of huddle rooms are planned and where a Microsoft Surface Hub™ or a Google Jamboard™, for example, would be expensive overkill.

For more information about PanaCast 2 please click here 

For more information about the AV Awards please click here


PanaCast Whiteboard voted Number One by rAVe publications!

We are really pleased to announce Altia System’s newest product – PanaCast Whiteboard – has been voted Number One by rAVe publications.   rAVe reviewed 90 new products, 10 of which were nominated for the Top 10 ‘must see’ innovative products at the InfoComm 2017 event in Florida last week.  PanaCast Whiteboard was then selected for “best of show” award by rAVe.

rAVE commented, “PanaCast Whiteboard will get you hooked!”   To read why rAVe chose our product as their Number One product please click here.

PanaCast 2 is the world’s first Panoramic 180° 4K plug-and-play video camera system.  Now Altia Systems has worked with Intel® to launch PanaCast Whiteboard, a computer vision software that detects content on an existing whiteboard and displays it as an individual screen within a video conference. The software automatically improves image quality and corrects distortion to produce a clear whiteboard image, enhancing the video collaboration experience for remote participants in various business and education settings.

To watch this outstanding product in action, please play the video.

For more details about the fantastic PanaCast 2 Camera, to watch a video of the camera in action or to contact us, please click here.

 

 


PanaCast is heading to InfoComm 2017 in Orlando, Florida!

If you are off to InfoComm 2017 next week at The Orange Country Convention Center, Orlando, then please schedule a visit to the PanaCast team at Booth No.3770.

                               InfoComm 2017Altia Systems

The show is open at 9.00am on 14, 15 and 16 June.

Visitors to the PanaCast Booth can take part in a live webinar from the InfoComm show floor, where there will also be demonstrations, special giveaways and prizes on offer too!

If you can’t get to the show but would like to see this unique camera in action or for a personal demonstration please click here.

For more information regarding the show, how to register, how to get there and opening times etc. please click here.

For details of future events where Altia will be demonstrating the PanaCast camera please click here.


Missing! – The World’s First 180°, 4K Plug-n-Play Video Camera Disappears

PanaCast 2, the ground-breaking video camera for Huddle Rooms, meeting spaces and lecture capture, has disappeared (well, almost).

Video adoption and high utilisation levels of video meeting-places depend on delivering the best user experience possible.  And a big part of that ideal user experience is making the video meeting technology disappear.

The PanaCast 2 – now available in black!

Already the smallest 180°, 4K panoramic camera available, PanaCast 2 in black now makes the unobtrusive almost invisible.

A range of mounting solutions (including a new self-adhesive monitor mount) together with a video inversion software switch, combine to allow flexible and rapid installation compared with bulky, legacy PTZ cameras.

Shane Morley, IT Manager, Turnitin
“We recently installed several of the PanaCast 2 panoramic cameras in our Zoom meeting rooms.  Prior to that, we’d been using an industry-leading PTZ-based conference kit but the camera just couldn’t cover everyone in the small rooms we’re using so we looked for a better solution and the 180 ° PanaCast solved the problem perfectly.

One big thing we noticed was how easy the PanaCast was to install.  The old, heavy PTZ kit took most of a day due mainly to the challenge of mounting the camera.  As we couldn’t invert it, we ended up having to engineer our own camera bracket!  The PanaCast, being smaller, lighter and able to be inverted, cut installation time to just two hours and resulted in a much neater install”

PanaCast 2 camera  Still also available in Silver!

For more details about the fantastic PanaCast 2 Camera, to watch a video of the camera in action or to contact us, please click here.

 



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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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