COVID-19 - We're here to help your business

The Best Hardware for Video Meetings

Want professional-quality video meetings? You need the best video conferencing hardware.

Ever wondered why some video meetings look and sound better than others? The answer is in the hardware.

There are so many amazing video conferencing software solutions to choose from which makes it much easier for every business to take advantage of the perfect video conferencing experience. However, you need more than just the right software to get started. Whether you use Zoom Rooms, Microsoft Teams, StarLeaf, or any other video conferencing system, owning a high-quality camera and sound system (hardware) will quickly transform your meetings and create a more enjoyable experience for all.

But which hardware solutions are right for the video conferencing needs of your business? And how do you choose the best system? Luckily for you, our handy blog explains all.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s start off with the basics…

What is video conferencing?

Video conferencing is a great way to visually communicate with people inside or outside of your organisation in a remote fashion.

Unlike a standard audio conference, in which audio can only be used, a video conference provides a live stream of visual content too, so you can physically see your co-workers or customers and vice versa as you interact in real-time.

In order to take full advantage of video conferencing, businesses need great video software (Teams, Zoom, StarLeaf, etc) that enables collaboration between team members via comprehensive features including chat functionality, screen sharing, and file sharing. 

But it is video conferencing hardware that makes these face-to-face interactions possible.

What is video conferencing hardware?

Video conferencing hardware is audio-visual equipment that enables video conference calls. This includes cameras, microphones, speakers, touch consoles, etc. These are installed in a meeting room with a monitor so that conference participants can collaborate with colleagues in a remote location.

Why it’s important to have the right video conferencing hardware  

The benefits of video conferencing are being enjoyed by businesses, large and small across the globe.  

Video conferencing presents countless opportunities to businesses. Whether it’s engaging remote workers or collaborating across departments and locations, video call technology is efficient, cost-effective and scalable. However, in order to enjoy the various benefits, the right hardware is imperative.

Dedicated video conferencing hardware is designed to make meetings smart and simple, bringing video meetings to life with minimal hassle. Hardware helps make meetings seamless, professional and collaborative. Plus, can be supplied based on need and room type, meaning you will always get the best hardware solution, recommended based on your bespoke requirements.

What video conferencing hardware do I need?

Video conferencing hardware comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

You can video conference using just your mobile device or laptop but if you want to host more immersive web conferencing experiences, you might want to invest in a more comprehensive video conferencing solution. 

Some of the most common components of video conferencing hardware include:

A dedicated meeting room solution

This is the device you use to access your video conferencing software. Typically, a touch console that allows users to start meetings with one simple tap and connect, collaborate and share with ease.

A camera

The camera is the most obvious hardware in the video conferencing meeting room. The best cameras can capture high-quality visuals.

It’s incredibly important that the whole room can be seen, this helps to make the meeting feel as natural as possible and helps present you and your business in the right way and having a good camera helps achieve this.

Many high-quality cameras also have auto-framing features which zoom in on the person speaking, this eliminates camera management hassle and makes it feel like all meeting attendees, whether virtual or in-house, feel like they’re in the same room.

A microphone

While video is important, audio quality is arguably even more so. A microphone is essential for speaking to contacts and colleagues. You’ll need a good quality microphone so you can talk to your colleagues and contacts with ease and it’s crucial that you also choose the right microphone for the space in which it will be used – if you have a large room, your microphone must be able to detect every person’s voice but also avoid picking up background noise. If your space is more flexible and is regularly re-configured based on need you may also want to think about choosing a microphone that will work effectively no matter the situation.

A speaker

To listen to the people on the other end of your video calls, you’ll need a set of high-quality speakers or headphones that allow for crystal clear audio so that it feels like you are all in the same room, speaking to one another naturally.

Extras

Video conferencing experiences are becoming more advanced all the time. Depending on the type of meeting room or conference room you’re designing, you might need touchscreen displays and even whiteboards that you can share content on and collaborate with.

However, to get the most out of your investment it’s worth purchasing a full meeting room ‘kit’, comprising of an all-in-one package that offers everything you need for a video meeting in one. The kit may be a speaker bar that contains a conference camera and microphone. Alternatively, you could get a kit that comes with various tools for large conference rooms, like remote control cameras and whiteboards to aid collaboration.

 

What to consider when choosing video conferencing hardware  

When buying video conferencing equipment, you need to make the right purchase based on your business needs and goals.

Here are some points to consider before investing:

Number of participants

Think about how many people will be involved in your video conferencing sessions. A webcam might be enough for one person, however, for multiple people, you may need a wider field of view and other features, like HD audio and soundbars.

Ease of use

Everyone is becoming increasingly time-poor. Workplace technology must be easy to manage and quick to set up, otherwise, employees won’t benefit from the system in the first place. And if you don’t have the capability to manage your tech yourself, why not work with a dedicated AV partner like TecInteractive who can install, manage and service your tech when needed.

Meeting type

The type of video call or meeting you’re hosting will determine the right hardware solution for you. If project collaboration is key, digital whiteboarding might be a tool to consider. If you’re hosting a meeting in a busier space, do you need integrated audio with noise cancellation technology to prevent unwanted distractions?

Compatibility

The hardware you choose needs to work perfectly with your preferred video conferencing software tech. Simple and compatible hardware makes life easier for everyone. 

Added features

Every business is unique, and its needs are such too. Your meeting hardware must be compatible with the way you work and extra room optimised software/hardware can help boost digital communication. For example, some solutions are super intelligent and can detect where a person is in a meeting room and focus the camera on their face. A variety of sound bars also come with technology that can differentiate between voices and distracting background noise. Both solutions can be incredibly helpful for lots of businesses depending on need and room type.

What’s the best video conferencing equipment for my business?

So, now you understand what video conferencing is and know the difference between video conferencing hardware and video conferencing software, it’s time to explore the different systems available so you can choose the right video conferencing equipment for your business.

Whether you’re calling from a conference room or a home office, here are TecInteractive’s best hardware solutions for video meetings based on room size and need.

Best video hardware for small meeting spaces

Whether you’re looking for a dedicated video solution for your home office or need to kit out a huddle room in the office we love these small room systems:

This premium video sound bar is a universal winner! It’s neat, compact design provides great quality video and sound in small spaces and huddle rooms for pretty much any cloud-based video platform. Just connect to your laptop via USB and away you go.

Available with both Zoom Rooms and Microsoft Teams software included, the Crestron’s touch screen interface with built in mic and speakers comes with a separate wide-angled camera for small spaces. With no additional computer needed, it also supports both single and dual displays. 

 

With its own built in computer, the X30 (and X50 for medium spaces) gives you the winning capacity of the Poly Studio but with TeamsZoom or StarLeaf video platform preconfigured. So, your video conference is simple and seamless, with no additional computer plug-in required.

Best video hardware for medium virtual meeting rooms

In larger spaces your audio and camera systems must work harder. So, choosing video conferencing hardware that’s fit for purpose will ensure everyone is heard and seen. Video quality and audio quality is important and must be considered in medium sized meeting rooms.

Designed for use with both Microsoft Teams and Zoom Rooms, the Flex B is a complete conference camera solution with an exceptional quality sound bar, 4K HD video and one-touch start interface.

For Microsoft Teams this neat touch screen system is connected by USB cable to a hidden computer. It is perfect for a medium sized video meeting and uses a speaker-tracking and auto-group framing camera alongside Poly signature HD audio which includes NoiseBlockAI, Acoustic Fence, Acoustic Clarity and HD voice.

 

Best video hardware for large conference rooms and large meetings spaces

Large rooms like a large conference room or board room must have the best video conferencing equipment to support the important decisions made in the space and the size of the room itself.

We recommend choosing high-quality, simple video conferencing solutions, so decision-makers can focus on the task at hand without worrying about technical issues.

Poly G85-T brings Microsoft Teams into your large meeting room or conference room with a complete HD video, high quality audio and touch screen solution. Featuring the exceptional Poly Eagle Eye Director II production-quality camera and Poly’s signature audio, this is a stunning solution for those important meeting spaces. The Poly G85-T boasts many advanced features including call recording, virtual backgrounds, and content/screen sharing capabilities. Background noise is also eliminated – making it the perfect video conferencing solution for larger, busier spaces.

This modular system provides a range of collaboration features that can be used in any meeting space, but work really well in board rooms and large meeting rooms. Wireless screen sharing, annotation, plus the option to add Poly’s HD camera and signature sound system make this a powerful tool. Use with Zoom StarLeaf and Poly for some seriously high quality video conferencing.

 

TecInteractive, helping customers choose the right video conferencing software and hardware for their needs

Buying video conferencing equipment is an important investment, it’s imperative you make the right choice for your space and business.

At TecInteractive, we keep our eye on the market to search for the best products that combine both great quality and ease of use, so your video meetings are as professional as you are. If you have any video/web conferencing hardware FAQs or queries on video conferencing equipment cost, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We can offer you a free video conferencing equipment consultation to explain how you can make the most of your meeting rooms, transforming them into dedicated video conferencing spaces, kitted out with the best video conferencing hardware that’s smart and simple to use.

Download your FREE guide to Workplace AV Technology

AV Technology Guide