Posts tagged VTC

Connecting Students and Lowering Costs With VTC

A story in the October issue of THE Journal focused on education in rural schools, with a look at schools on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Kodiak Island is approximately 300 miles southwest of Anchorage, separated from the mainland by the Shelikof Strait. Seven out of the 15 schools are accessible only by air or boat. Each school has two teachers. During my tenure with SMART, I recall one of our education consultants, Jaimie Ashton,  telling the story about flying in a two-seater airplane to get to one of these schools for a professional development session, and having to sleep in the school’s locker facility!

No matter where they are, all children in the United States should have equal access to a quality education, and the Kodiak Island district is using distance learning technology through video conferencing (VTC) to reach that goal.  According to the October 2011 issue of THE Journal, “The use of distance learning technology has turned around once-struggling schools by not only enabling students to learn from better-qualified instructors, but also by expanding the breadth of content that can be offered.” Students are able to take Pre-Calculus,  participate in science labs in grades 3 through 8, Advanced Comp, Literature and Music.

AVI-SPL has the solutions to support distance learning through VTC for not only rural districts, but all districts that need to provide specialized classes to meet federal requirements. For example most, schools cannot afford to employ a highly qualified teacher for a limited number of students who need to take AP Calculus, Mandarin languages, or other specialized courses.  However, VTC can bring together several students throughout the district (or region, nation or world!) with one teacher!

Enhance your classroom education with distance learning technology implemented and supported by AVI-SPL. Speak to one of our experts at 1-800-282-6733 or send an email to sales@avispl.com, and we’ll show you how we can improve your learning environment.

Key Points to Know Before Purchasing a Video Conferencing System

“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.

Click here to learn more about videoconferencing. »

Avoid the 3 common pitfalls of expanding your video conference setup beyond the boardroom.

LifeSize® Express 220™ – Full HD video communication – Budget friendly

The award-winning LifeSize® Express 220™ is an enhanced Full HD video communications system that is both affordable and scalable. Priced for broad deployment and uniquely flexible, the Express 220 is designed to enable companies to extend the reach of telepresence communications to any office or any size business. Ideal for small working groups, teams or individual knowledge workers who want to take communication over distance to the next level, LifeSize Express 220 has it all.

LifeSize Express 220

With LifeSize Express 220, you not only get Full HD video quality – 1080p30/720p60 – for natural, realistic interactions at the lowest possible bandwidth, but also crisp, crystal clear data-sharing and an all new digital I/O with Full HD support. With support for dual high definition displays, Full HD camera, and phone or microphone options, LifeSize Express 220 offers the ultimate flexibility.

Key Features

  • The highest available resolution on the market – 1080p30
  • The best motion handling with half the latency with 720p60
  • Full-motion video and content with 720p30 dual streaming
  • High definition quality. Simplicity. Meaningful team connections.

Learn more about this product »

For additional information about the LifeSize 220 and other telepresence products, call 800-282-6733 or click here. »

Cisco Ups Offer for TANDBERG

The financial badminton match between Cisco and TANDBERG seems to be drawing to a close. Cisco has once again revised its offer (which is now up to around $3.4B) to purchase the videoconferencing leader, placing the birdie back in TANDBERG shareholders’ court. In addition to increasing the cash offer, Cisco has also offered to increase the interest payable on the offer price to a rate of 3.00% from its previous offer of 1.75%. According to a news release by Cisco, “this revised offer represents Cisco’s final price for this transaction.”

A total of more than 30% of shareholders have pre-accepted this offer based on the new price. These, combined with the previously announced acceptances, push the total to more than 40% acceptance of the sale. The rest of TANDBERG’s shareholders have until Dec. 1 to make a final decision.

Like many others in the AV industry, we’ll be watching from the sidelines, waiting for the birdie to fall.

To read Cisco’s full release, click here.

The Tipping Point: Logitech to Acquire Videoconferencing Company LifeSize

Comments from AVI-SPL’s Mike Brandofino, executive vice president of VTC and unified collaborations:

The video industry received another jolt today with the announcement that LifeSize® is being acquired by Logitech®. The interesting thing about this move is that Logitech is traditionally viewed as a consumer products provider, issuing a clear indication that many in the business world feel video communications is nearing the tipping point for wide-scale adoption. LifeSize recently announced it added connectivity to Skype , which is a clear tie into the low-end consumer market. It isn’t too far reaching to see Logitech try to expand its offerings, moving upstream into the SMB space to provide consumers and businesses with a natural progression from low-end, low quality PC-based video to a full line of LifeSize products. Stay tuned, Polycom is the lone independent player in the space , it will be interesting to see for how long. >Click here, to read more about the acquisition. »

What are your thoughts on the Logitech-LifeSize deal?

Click here to learn more about videoconferencing from AVI-SPL. »