Hopefully, everyone knows what a video conference room is, and how with the right hardware properly configured you can see and hear everyone on the screen, in the room, and remotely. What you probably don’t know is that now there are options to have the same capabilities in smaller settings.
In this article, I will focus on your options to use Microsoft Teams in those smaller settings. For starters, I highly recommend NOT using your laptop’s built-in camera, microphone, and speakers. I can always tell who is using the built-in microphone and speakers because they are the ones causing the feedback. My recommendation is a Bluetooth headset. I use a Plantronics device every day and it performs flawlessly.
Some other options are over-the-ear headsets that include active noise cancellation. Or, in a pinch, use earbuds with a built-in microphone. Using dedicated audio devices will improve the experience of everyone in the meeting. Now for the video. When you have to turn your camera on for a meeting your laptop isn’t a great option. Your camera should be at eye level and your laptop isn’t going to work for that. There are thousands of quality USB webcams under $50 that will. Proper placement and a quality camera will help you feel better when you turn the video on.
Now for some fun options
Lenovo ThinkSmart View for Microsoft Teams is a collaborative smart device. When paired with a PC, ThinkSmart View can be used for voice and video calls, content viewing, and more freeing up your PC for notetaking or other work. For under $350 you get an inexpensive option to enhance your meeting experiences.
The Poly – Studio P21 Personal Meeting Display. This one device delivers the complete experience, including display, camera, microphones and speakers, with a single USB connection to your PC or Mac so it can be used with any video app. Exceptional camera optics complement dynamic, adjustable built-in lighting so you are confident you look your best. For under $700 this is the perfect addition to a laptop that addresses all of your meeting needs.
Next, let’s look at a couple of options for shared spaces
A simple but effective option is a USB speakerphone. With this, you can turn any computer into a quality speakerphone. These devices have a speaker with a microphone 360-Degree Voice Pickup & Noise-canceling. If you are in a location with multiple people this is perfect to get everyone in on the meeting, and it’s affordable. There are options from $50 and up.
If you want to add video for that small space, there are affordable options for that also. A Huddle room or 3–5-person small conference room may not justify a $10,000 setup, but here are a couple of options for under $2,000:
- Poly – Studio X30 (Polycom) with TC8 Touch Controller
- AudioCodes RXV80-B10
These devices keep it simple. No computer is needed with touch control or remote control. No PC or Mac is required, with the cloud service platform support built-in. A compact, lightweight, design fits on top or underneath a display in rooms up to six participants.
Hopefully, you can integrate some new hardware before your next Teams meetings to enhance your collaboration. If you need any help with anything Microsoft Teams related contact Peters & Associates at email@example.com.