Coronavirus/Covid-19 Information & Updates for Manufacturers

Reopen WNY – Minimum Hardware for Video Conferencing

Many small companies have never had the need for video conferencing tools but are now finding themselves in situations that require them to have this capability.  Software applications like Zoom or Microsoft Teams make this process very easy but they require your PC or laptop to have a video camera and microphone. Most cell phones have both of these but they typically require you to hold the phone away from your face or set in down in a position that beautifully highlights the size of your nostrils! Assuming the use of your personal cell phone is not preferred, the question most often asked is how cheaply and easily can this capability be added to an office or conference room PC?

Your selection should depend on the expectation of these meetings.  Dynamics include the number of participants, the lighting and ambient noise around the meeting location, and the desired quality of both the video and audio. The most common types of meetings that could be enhanced through video conferencing include:

  • Meetings with staff working from home
  • Auditing your suppliers remotely
  • Participating in project work involving remote resources
  • Customer meetings
  • Employee interviews

This article summarizes 3 (good, better, best) low cost video cameras that could be used with any PC.  Each of the solutions presented is manufactured by Logitech, one of the industry leaders in PC based cameras.

“Good” (around $40) Option – Logitech C270 video camera (mounted on top of monitor)

https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/hd-webcam-c270?crid=34)

Video1

Capabilities included:

  • 720p resolution (720 horizontal lines of video), good enough for basic video conferencing
  • Built in microphone
  • Can be attached to your monitor or sit it on a shelf
  • 5’ cable connection to any USB port
  • Plug and Play technology is perfect for those who aren’t technology savvy

“Better” (around $100) Option – Logitech C925E Business Webcam

https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/c925e-webcam?crid=1690

Video2

Additional features/capabilities you should expect:

  • 1080p higher definition video
  • Increased 78-degree field of view, better suited for two people
  • Improved visual quality in low-light and backlit situations
  • (2) omni-directional microphones for improved sound clarity
  • Sliding shade for privacy

“Best” (around $200) Option – Logitech BRIO Ultra HD Pro Webcam

https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/brio?crid=1690

Video3

Additional features/capabilities you should expect:

  • “Professional” quality video including 4K ultra high-definition camera
  • Includes 5x digital zoom capabilities
  • Captures video at a higher frame rate to reduce motion related chop
  • Increased 90-degree field of view, can accommodate larger groups of people
  • Significantly better low-light performance
  • Facial recognition, simply look into camera to log into Windows 10
  • Camera can be mounted on a tri-pod

Additional Logitech video hardware for both PC’s and conference rooms can be found at  https://www.logitech.com/en-us/video-collaboration/products.

So much uncertainty remains regarding both the timing of when things will get back to normal and how many of our current practices will remain (like video conferencing) post pandemic.  The good news is that low cost hardware options exist and are relatively easy to implement.

 

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