The video conference experience matters

While browsing LinkedIn, I came across two pictures in my feed. Both are actual video conferences and NOT marketing pictures. What you should immediately notice is the striking differences between the two experiences in this tiny snapshot of time.

The first picture is of a meeting using a Cisco MX700. Here are some bullet points:
1. Zoom in real close and look at the self view. This is what the other end point is looking at.
1a. SpeakerTrack may be in use and the guy may have just finished talking. The world will never know. Worst case scenario is that the camera was panned, tilted and zoomed and just left here.
2. Notice how the far end point is not engaged in the meeting (probably because they can only see one person and he isn't looking at them). No one is even looking at the displays.
3. The camera captures the people in a line (due to camera location and table used) and unless the people lean forward or back, they will be obscured by the people closer to the camera.
4. If my Googling is correct, this solution is $50,000

Unfortunately, this is a typical video conference.

The guy in blue looks very familiar

Now notice the meeting in the second picture.
1. It's a fixed camera solution that captures the whole room.
2. People are the same size on screen and highly visible.
3. Note that both rooms are standard conference rooms with typical tables.
4. Both rooms are set up correctly for video conferencing regarding lighting and windows.
5. If there were more people in the room, the camera is placed at such a location that everyone would be visible to the remote site.

You can probably put this all together for less than $20,000 (displays, codec, camera, control system)

Setting up your conference room using best practices creates a much better overall experience. Using the right tools for the job increases that level of experience. The answer is clear to me.

For total disclosure, if you already don't know by now, I work for Array Telepresence which is the company that makes the product experience shown in the lower picture.

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