The School of Business Administration at Georgia Southwestern State University was looking to update their conference room. At the time, the room used a Lifesize codec phone system, which worked well within the ecosystem of Lifesize, but was not easily usable with other software. It required remote users to install special software and run a test to ensure they were able to receive content.
The school wanted a more flexible system that would allow conference room users to choose from a range of soft clients. Administrators described the room as being “a hassle” and videoconferencing was difficult.
The school installed Vaddio’s RoboSHOT® IW (In-Wall) Smart Glass Recessed PTZ Camera, a OneLINK Bridge extension system, an EasyUSB MicPod I/O with two CeilingMIC microphones, and other AV equipment. A C2G HDMI splitter helps share content to the Sharp HD display and the Lifesize Icon 600 phone.
They are now able to use the conference room to live stream events, including club activities, between campuses so all students can participate. They use the RoboSHOT IW and OneLINK Bridge to stream directly to YouTube for large events. The recessed camera system provides up to 1080p/60 resolution over uncompressed USB from behind its aesthetic, glass enclosure.
The RoboSHOT IW OneLINK Bridge bundle provides clutter-free camera extension with HDBaseT technology. Power, control and video can be transmitted up to 328 ft (100 m) over a single Cat- 5e/6 cable. The OneLINK Bridge bridges audio and video for easy soft-client conferencing with simultaneous HDMI, USB 3.0, IP streaming and HD-SDI outputs.
The school opted for the Smart Glass option which puts staff at ease when they use the room for non-videoconferencing activities. The glass cover that protects the PTZ camera changes from a frosted opaque when the camera is off to a transparent clear glass when the camera is powered on. This avoids the eyesore of a makeshift cover-up.
Instead of being tied to Lifesize, they are able to use Skype for Business™, LogMeIn™, Blackboard Collaborate™, Adobe Connect™, Zoom™ and Google Hangouts™.
“The system is frequently used to record special lectures and has also worked well for interviewing candidates,” said Jonathan Hobbs, Manager of IT and Faculty Support. “Special software is no longer required. Remote users simply get a link to jump in and join the event,” said Hobbs.
The flexibility of the system has allowed teachers and administrators to use any software they prefer. “Our professors can also record sessions to put onto learning management systems like Desire to Learn and Brightspace,” Hobbs added.
“Because it is USB-based, we are ready for whatever software will come out next,” said Hobbs.
For a one-time hardware buy that controlled recurring costs for any services they use, the system was budget-friendly. Hobbs was happy with the quality of the end results.