What are some of the display options available for videoconferencing?

You can use any type of electronic display for video conferencing.  The first consideration is the venue.   Are you in a large conference room, small conference room, auditorium, class room or private office? The venue will certainly determine the display options.  For example if you video conference in a large auditorium you will need a very bright projector with high resolution.  You will also need separate reinforced sound, which means an amplifier, sound mixer and very good speakers.  Also, you will need a large high gain screen, preferably motorized to minimize wear and tear.  There are many very good LCD/LED projectors for this venue.  The best recommendations are come from a local A/V integrator experienced with installing video conferencing in large venues like an auditorium.

Most conference rooms accommodate a flat panel display.  The good news is that there are a variety of flat panel displays available.  Sizes range from 55 inch to 70 inch and higher.  Most conference rooms fall within this range.  Keep in mind that most conference room FTD’s, flat panel displays, are used to display Excel spread sheets and other computer input — not just for video conferencing.  You need to calculate the distance from the far end of the conference room to make sure small type is readable when using the display for non-video conference meetings.   Most A/V integrators know how to calculate the best size screen for your particular conference room.

What’s important is the size of the flat panel display when determining a solution for a conference room.  One rule of thumb for the conference room – DON’T USE A PROJECTOR.  More often than not this is a bad idea.   A projector causes all kinds of problems in a conference room.  First it’s too expensive to integrate because of the need for reinforced sound. Second, there is the risk of specular light blinding far end participants.  Remember the projector is aimed right at the camera.  If the angle isn’t just right it will look like train’s head light charging through a tunnel to the far end.  Also, the projector needs to be extremely bright as you need to keep all the lights in the conference room on, so far end participants can see your faces.  The other problem is maintenance – projector lamps cost up to $500.00 to replace.

A small office is easy. You can use a standard 24 inch computer display.  Several manufactures have a display built-in right with the CODEC — Very simple to use. The good news — there are many display options for video conferencing.  The bad news – there are many display options for video conferencing.  Make sure you first consider the venue then consult with an A/V integrator familiar with video conferencing.  A good A/V integrator with video conferencing experience will certainly outline your best display options.


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