An Ultimate Guide to Video Conferencing Equipment for Small to Large Rooms

Managed Communications | Video Conferencing

In today’s workforce, virtual meetings have caused business communications to evolve for the better. Video conferences are now commonly used to communicate with both internal and external parties.

So, you’ve decided to implement or upgrade video meeting capabilities in your business. Here is your ultimate guide to professional video conferencing equipment, from the hardware to recommended cloud services.

The Basics of Video Conferencing Tools

To start, you should know what mix of tools you’ll need to set yourself up for success. The tools you’ll need fall into two categories: software and devices. Devices will include video conferencing cameras, microphones, displays, and more.

Often, you will find bundles for Zoom rooms and Microsoft Teams rooms. These will include everything you need to set up a conferencing space according to your chosen cloud video conferencing service.

What Kind of Video Conferencing Equipment is Needed?

It’s a popular choice to set up designated conference rooms to host video conference calls. This means you’ll need room solutions that make sense for the size of your space and the amount of people that will participate in meetings. Video conferencing hardware needed for small to large conference rooms will include:

  • HD video conferencing cameras
  • Microphones
  • Speakers for tables or mounting
  • Touch-screen consoles
  • Digital displays

There are many innovative tools on the market to create a seamless experience if there are many in-person participants in one meeting. Some systems can even track where in the room sound is coming from, triggering the camera to focus the frame on a certain person as they’re speaking.

Features like this will allow members to interact and understand each other, whether working remotely or in the room.

Personal Video Conference Equipment

Setting up each employee to be able to take calls from anywhere is crucial. It’s highly advisable to provide employees with company-owned devices for video conferencing, as bring-your-own-device policies can harm your cybersecurity and operability. When selecting devices, keep in mind if your employees are fully in-person, hybrid, or fully remote. For remote workers, they’ll need laptops with webcams and ideally headsets with decent microphones.

High-quality, noise-canceling headsets will allow for seamless audio conferencing for customer service representatives and in instances where someone cannot turn their camera on.

To learn more about how unified communications can elevate your customer service and productivity, read our blog: 5 Ways Unified Communications For Small Businesses Can Save You Time & Money.

What to Look For In a Video Conferencing Camera

There are many great video conferencing equipment manufacturers. It’s important to consider the size of the rooms you need to furnish with videoconferencing hardware. Video conferencing equipment for big rooms tends to have better audio technology to capture voices from all corners of the room.

In addition, you might want a device with acoustic fencing technology to prevent distracting outside noise from disrupting your meeting.

What is the Best Video Conferencing Camera?

There are many video conferencing devices to choose from depending on the size of your space. Often, systems will include a camera, microphone, and speakers in one device. Poly has some excellent selections for all-in-one video conferencing systems, including models such as:

  • Poly Studio P15 (Small rooms/personal)
  • Poly Studio R30 (Small rooms)
  • Poly Studio USB (Medium rooms)

Stand-alone camera options Poly offers include:

  • Studio P5 (personal)
  • Studio E70 (medium/large rooms)

These are all 4K UltraHD cameras that will offer a crisp image.

What to Look for In A Video Conference Microphone

Although many cameras have built-in microphones, you may opt for a separate microphone to sit on a conference table or hang in your conference room. Microphones can be connected via a network connection or USB connection. They are often also omnidirectional, allowing them to pick up sound from anywhere in the room.

To determine what features you’ll need, consider the space people will be meeting in. Is there typically a lot of background noise that could be picked up? How many people typically sit in on meetings? These are questions that a managed communications provider will help you iron out when selecting devices.

What is a Good Microphone for Video Conferencing?

There are many great microphones on the market to offer crisp sound for your conference space.

Poly offers portable microphones that offer convenience for those who split their time between the home office, traveling, and the office. Video conferencing systems benefit hybrid work environments by facilitating communication between remote and mobile workers.

They also offer video conferencing microphones for large or small meeting rooms, including the Poly Sync 60 and Poly Sync 40. Shure offers video conference microphones that can both sit on conference tables and hang from the ceiling to capture sound from anywhere in the room. Some products offered by Shure include:

  • The Stem Ceiling hanging microphone for large rooms or classrooms
  • The Stem Table video conferencing speakerphone
  • The Stem Wall mountable speakerphone

Ask your managed unified communications provider for recommendations on what microphone suits your space.

What Are Some of the Best Video Conferencing Software?

Video conferencing software will look like services and subscriptions like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or Webex, among others. Determine what kinds of security and collaboration tools you’ll need, since this will help you choose a service that fits your business the best. Some of these features to consider include:

  • Whiteboard tools
  • Breakout rooms
  • Screen-sharing
  • Chat features
  • Muting and meeting admin controls
  • Security tools such as user authentication, PINs, waiting rooms, end-to-end encryption, etc

Some subscriptions will come with tiered pricing depending on how many users you’ll have and the meeting capacity limits that make the most sense for you. To learn more about video conferencing platforms, check out our article: Top Video Conference Platforms for Small Businesses.

How to Set Up Video Conferencing for Your Business

If you’re ready to set your business up for video conferencing capabilities, partner with a managed communications provider that is well-versed in unified communications.

Your chosen provider should analyze your organization’s communications needs including the number of users, in-person or remote work culture, and what features you’ll want for collaboration.

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About Jada Sterling, Digital Content Manager

Jada Sterling is Usherwood's Content Manager. She is responsible for developing content that furthers the mission of Usherwood Office Technology by helping clients and prospective clients better understand how technology can help grow their business.