Video Conferencing Solutions
March 30, 2009 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Help me learn more about video conferencing and the equipment I'll need.

I was recently assigned the project of creating a video conference solution for 3 separate locations in the Midwest (2 in Illinois 1 in Wisconsin).
The rooms are all about the same size, large enough for a rectangle table that seats 10. Each room also is equipped with a video projector and telephone.
A preferred service provider had already been chosen; it looks like a web-based system. You log-in to their website, create a conference, and invite other locations. Pretty simple. Also provides a “see my desktop” service.
In order to use this I know I’ll need:
a PC at each location with an Internet connection – done
equipment to capture and output both audio and video – no idea.

The only specifications given to me are that we need a PTZ camera and it must be wall or ceiling mounted, which means no desktop web cams. We already have contractors who can install the cameras but don’t know enough to give hardware recommendations.
As for a microphone/speaker system they want to make sure it is “open audio.” I don’t know what that means. I tried searching google but couldn’t come up with anything. Would that be considered speaker phone-like technology?
I’m assuming the speakers in the PC wouldn’t be loud enough... but would a microphone connected to the PC be alright for a table of 10?

Any extra information I need or am missing, recommendations for equipment, or even recommendations for companies you’ve used that can provide estimates or assessments would really help.

*I've checked out some of the similar threads 1|2|3 but none have really awesome applicable answers.
posted by simplethings to Technology (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Look at Polycom's video conferencing gear. It will give you an idea of what the top of the line can do, and you can work down from there until you find something in your budget.

Open audio just means you want a conference phone (like a polycom) rather than some half-duplex push to talk thing.
posted by wierdo at 1:45 PM on March 30, 2009

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