“The proper design and integration of a video conferencing (VTC) system requires time, coordination and communication upfront,” notes Fred Grob, design engineer (CTS-D) for AVI-SPL. “Aside from the technology, there are many other parts to the puzzle. It’s important that collaboration takes place between the AV system designer, interior designer and architect on several key points.”
These key points include:
- Ceiling type and height. There are many reasons that these factors are a primary concern, as they effect: speaker type, possible sound wave reflections problems, VTC light fixtures and placement. These are crucial factors in ensuring the quality of viewed images.
- Upholstery and lighting. A qualified and experienced AV system designer will be able to communicate with the interior designer and help choose upholstery patterns that the camera can easily pick-up and transmit, or choosing paint colors and scheme that complement the lighting. Recommendations need to be made regarding wall fabrics and decoration, as this will have a very positive or negative effect on the acoustics of the room.
- Furniture. Aside from the electronics that make up the VTC system, another huge cost is the table. This can often be the most expensive single item in the room. The layout of the table, display(s), and camera(s) has to be such that every participant has an unobstructed site line with the display(s) and camera(s).
- Microphone positioning. Another factor to discuss regarding the table is microphones and location. For example, is it feasible to have them cut into the table? Or, are ceiling microphones that automatically drop down from the ceiling more appropriate and functional?
- Ambient noise. This is another important consideration in the room. The biggest culprit of noise pollution is most often the HVAC system. In this case, the AV system designer will need to work with the MEP engineer to help create a quiet HVAC system.