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Conference Room Solutions Are Productivity Solutions

AV Integrated Conference Room

Conference rooms remain essential to corporate communications, and when they are driven by AV technology, they can drive productivity as well. Americans are involved in more meetings than ever, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since 2000, the average meeting length has increased by 10 percent, and U.S. businesses hold about 11 million meetings a day. In short, professionals spend a lot of their time preparing for and executing meetings. Give them better tools, and they’ll prepare and execute those meetings with greater impact and efficiency. Continue reading “Conference Room Solutions Are Productivity Solutions”

Upgrading Your Workspace With Huddle Room Solutions

AV Huddle Room

Huddle Room Solutions are Designed for the Modern Meeting

Huddle rooms have quickly transitioned from a novelty to a must-have, and that’s likely due to how U.S. companies organize their meetings. According to a study published in the Wall Street Journal, 73 percent of corporate meetings only involve between two and four people. That’s the exact range that huddle room solutions are designed for, and because so many meetings fit best in these spaces, businesses should consider how to make their huddle rooms more effective. Continue reading “Upgrading Your Workspace With Huddle Room Solutions”

Evolution Of The Soft Codec In Huddle Rooms

What is driving the evolution of the soft codec in huddle rooms?

Soft codec systems simplify video conferencing efforts, making it an ideal solution for huddle rooms. Huddle rooms aren’t a new addition to the corporate environment, but they are quickly gaining in popularity. In a Cisco-sponsored survey of 1,005 business owners, 93 percent of respondents stated that more huddle rooms are needed, as they provide a dedicated, private meeting space that is hard to come by in an open office setting.

Ideally, there is always a huddle room available for an impromptu meeting, and that means people need to get in and out. Soft codecs are easy to use and work on most devices, allowing professionals to do just that – collaborate without frustration or slowdowns. The huddle room and soft codec match is a natural one, and one that businesses are leveraging with increasing frequency.

What is a soft codec?

The word codec is a mashup of the words coder and decoder, and it’s responsible for encoding and decoding streams of data, like the data involved in a video conferencing session. It’s a critical part of a video conferencing solution, facilitating the transport and delivery of high quality video streams.

Codecs can be categorized as a hard codec or a soft codec. A hard codec is a piece of hardware that handles the encoding and decoding, and its only purpose is to execute a perfect video call. Fortunately, hard codecs do that well, and package excellent call quality with plenty of extra features.

A soft codec is a piece of software that handles the data processing, and because it is software, it can be used with a variety of devices. Notable soft codecs include Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts and Cisco’s WebEx.

Soft codecs work well in huddle rooms

Soft codecs are prized because they can work with just about any device, including the familiar PC. An emerging huddle room conferencing solution is using a room PC to run the conferencing software. This solution is less expensive than investing in a hard codec and ensures collaboration can happen across a variety of platforms and devices. As professionals now frequently work remotely, this cross-device compatibility is critical. A 2018 survey published by the International Workplace Group found that 53 percent of professionals work at least half of the week remotely. Video conferencing software ensures these people can remain connected to their team regardless of their physical location.

Hard codecs are recommended for integrated solutions

As convenient and flexible as soft codecs are, it’s difficult to feature them in a total room conferencing solution. Hard codecs are designed for sophisticated conferencing setups, where multiple cameras and microphones are likely present. As such, they tend to produce better results than soft codecs if there is a lot of technology involved. Conferencing hardware is also purpose-built for the corporate environment, so it can be optimally concealed and positioned.

Hardware That Can Enhance a Soft Codec

It’s not all or nothing when it comes to soft and hard codecs, though. Several AV manufacturers, including Polycom, Crestron and Logitech, have created hardware packages that are designed for use with a soft codec and huddle room combo. These hardware packages are designed to improve call quality without making the system harder to manage.

Some of the most popular soft codec hardware solutions include:

  1. Polycom Studio – The Polycom Studio is a USB video bar that is compatible with the most popular soft codecs, including Skype, Zoom and GoToMeeting. The Studio leverages Polycom’s extensive history of conferencing advancements, including features like Acoustic Fence and NoiseBlock, both of which reduce interfering, background sounds.
    The Studio also features intelligent camera tracking, so whoever is speaking is always framed, even if they move around the room.
  2. Logitech Meetup – The Meetup is a compact video bar that is built with huddle room acoustics in mind. With an anti-vibration enclosure and integrated audio that is calibrated for smaller spaces, the Meetup delivers excellent audio quality every time. Its onboard camera is also designed to track and frame people who are speaking, and for those slightly larger huddle rooms, an expansion mic can be added to the Meetup to extend its range.
  3. Crestron Flex – The Crestron Flex is a tabletop conferencing solution that is natively compatible with Microsoft Teams although they have a Zoom platform as well. The Flex is built with a vivid touchscreen for responsive controlling and can be managed from the cloud, making for a highly scalable solution. The Flex can also be used for room scheduling and offers one-touch call joining.

The emergence of cost-effective, high-quality soft codecs has improved the huddle room’s functionality. Now, professionals can run the kind of meeting they want, using the software they want, and with the conference-enhancing hardware to improve the meeting experience.

Solutions For Your Meeting Room Technology

Video Conference Room

Meeting Room Technology Prioritizes Productivity

There are numerous meeting room technology developments for 2019, and they promise better collaboration and more efficient meetings. There’s a lot of meetings to account for, too, as Microsoft’s office productivity data and information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. According to their data, U.S. workers are in 40 to 50 million meetings a day. Continue reading “Solutions For Your Meeting Room Technology”

How To Plan Effective Rack Rooms For Businesses

Three essential considerations for rack rooms

Rack rooms are the nerve center of any business, building or venue, and they must be protected as such. This is especially true if the rack room is housing or supporting A/V technology, as some of this equipment is capable of generating a lot of heat. Continue reading “How To Plan Effective Rack Rooms For Businesses”

What Is Used For Remote Or Video Magistrate For Inmate Processing/Pleas

How is A/V technology changing the way courts operate?

The economic crisis of the late 2000s forced many industries to do more with less, but this wasn’t limited to the private sector. The public sector has had to face up to these financial realities, too, but there was obvious room for improvement in the judicial system. Courts, by their nature and by design, operate by procedure. Continue reading “What Is Used For Remote Or Video Magistrate For Inmate Processing/Pleas”

What Is Design Thinking For Education?

Using Clevertouch For Education

What is design thinking, and how can it help educators?

At its heart, design thinking is incredibly simple – take a step back from the day to day, and figure out if there is a problem that can be solved, then go solve it. Again, the idea is simple. The actual process, though, is quite a bit more involved than that, and takes some strong communication between parties to pull off. Continue reading “What Is Design Thinking For Education?”

Planning A Training Room Design Layout For A Business

Training Room


From Baby Boomers to Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z and now Millennials—the latter, those that were born with the world constantly at their finger-tips to the former, those that just want to tune out the world at the end of the day, today’s workforce is the most demographically dynamic in the history of the world. Thankfully, skilled A/V Integrators can help design and layout a training room to effectively communicate with all generations. Continue reading “Planning A Training Room Design Layout For A Business”

5 Pieces Of Technology Every Network Operations Room Should Have

A network operations room, or NOC, is the heartbeat of the network, which means it is a high priority facility. That’s true whether the NOC is part of a business, a utility company, the government, the military or any other institution that has a network to manage. And by high priority, this means that resources must be dedicated to the NOC to ensure it operates as smoothly as possible. Continue reading “5 Pieces Of Technology Every Network Operations Room Should Have”