Expansion of the USB camera market for conference room applications
In recent years, the market for USB cameras for conference room applications has expanded rapidly. This is due to the expansion of the web conferencing system market along with the spread of broadband and Wi-Fi.
Cameras used in conference rooms with multiple people need to combine speakers, microphones, echo cancellers, etc., and most of them have been done in the field of system integration. For this reason, there were cases where sales companies sold them as packages due to the difficulty of cost, but the hurdles to introduce were high.
This has led to the spread of low-cost package products that can be easily installed by general users on site.
Various cameras for conference room use are sold by various companies, from small conference rooms to large conference rooms. Cameras that started in black and white in the 90s have become color images, and have expanded from personal use to conference rooms. Now, high-definition and full high-definition support has become the standard. In the future, there are also moves to link with various technologies such as 4K directions and AI.
V-CUBE Box & VC520 +
Purpose of verification
This time, we will examine the VC520 + Meeting Camera Pro USB camera for Web conferences for medium to large conference rooms from Aber Information.
Aber Information is a Taiwanese manufacturer that develops and sells document cameras and video conferencing systems worldwide. In addition to its own products, the company is also involved in video technology related contracts. In Japan, a large number of document cameras are used in schools due to their excellent video quality.
The VC520 + uses the image quality cultivated through many years of document cameras and video conferencing. In this verification, we confirmed the functions, performance, and operability of the Web camera VC520 + in combination with the video conference system V-CUBE Box based on a general-purpose PC that leads the teleconference market.
Verification equipment / environment
In this verification, the V-CUBE Box and VC520 + were installed as a set in two meeting rooms (AB) in Aber Information, and connected to each other via the public Internet. The room where the verifier, CNA Report Japan Hashimoto, is called Conference Room A, and the verification was performed mainly in this room.
As the verification items, while operating the remote control on the equipment setup (excluding V-CUBE Box), camera image quality, angle of view, pan / tilt / zoom, camera motor movement, microphone / speaker performance, etc. confirmed.
Configuration of equipment used for this verification-Hashimoto from CNA Report Japan
conducted verification work mainly in Conference Room A.
Verification 1: Equipment installation
Setup is simple and quick with simple wiring.
Equipment installation / setup refers to the part from the VC520 + out of the box to the V-CUBE Box where video conferencing is possible.
When you open a box that weighs enough to hold it with both hands, it contains the camera body, speaker microphone, remote control, power adapter cable, USB cable (about 5m), microphone cable (about 9m), AUX A cable (1m), two AAA batteries, an L-shaped camera mount (for hanging on a wall or a ceiling), a quick guide, etc. are stored tightly.
Take it out carefully one by one, check the contents and start setup.
First, connect the included power adapter cable to the camera body, then connect the camera body to the microphone / speaker using the microphone cable (blue). Then connect the camera to the V-CUBE Box with a USB cable. At that time, the USB port (photo) on the camera body is locked to prevent the cable from being disconnected.
Meeting room A: Hashimoto is setting up the camera and speaker microphone out of the box. Easy enough to get used to several times.
Meeting room A: The USB port is locked with metal fittings. The lock is firm.
Verification 2: Video quality Video quality
equivalent to high-definition The other party’s facial expression looks clear
Conference room A: Setup is complete and you can see over the screen and connect to two people in charge in conference room B.
Easy and quick connection. Realize high quality video and audio.
If you are considering VC520 +, first of all, video quality will be the most worrisome.
The first impression is that it is as clear as a high-definition TV. On the screen (40 inches) of the conference room A that I am verifying, there are two persons in charge in another conference room B (a room that is slightly smaller than the room used for verification). Was reflected. In addition to the high performance of the V-CUBE Box, coupled with the fact that the VC520 + is equipped with a camera that supports full HD, the state of the room in conference room B, the facial expression of the opponent, hand movements, handheld materials, The documents on the conference table were clearly visible.
One thing to note is that camera performance and functionality are affected or limited by the web conferencing system specifications. For this reason, we recommend using a solid, stable, high-performance web conferencing system. In that respect, the bu-cube web conferencing system is the No.1 * domestic market. It will be a system that can be installed with peace of mind.
* Seed Planning Co., Ltd. “The latest market for 2018 video conferences / web conferences and the status of cloud video communication”
Verification 3: Angle of view
Perfect angle of view for normal meetings, convenience improved by using pan / tilt / zoom together
Meeting room A: When 8 people are seated, we are testing the practicality of the angle of view of 82 ° on the local screen.
Sufficient to see the faces and expressions of the 8 participants.
On the other hand, the angle of view is 82 ° according to the specifications. At first glance, I felt that it was narrow, but 82 ° was a sufficient angle of view when considering the size of the conference table in conference room A (photo), which can hold more than 8 people. In addition, if the pan function was used, the shooting range could be expanded to ± 130 ° to the left and right, and the interior of the room was fully captured by the camera to every corner of conference room A. Furthermore, using the tilt function, it was confirmed that the documents on the conference table can be seen without difficulty from the top 90 ° and 25 ° down.
The white board 6m to 7m away from the zoom camera can be transmitted to the other party with zoom.
Meeting room A: 6-7m from camera to white board.
One of the features of this VC520 + is the high-power zoom function up to 18x (12x optical).
In this verification, the white board (left photo) installed in conference room A was photographed with VC520 +, and it was confirmed how it would look on the display screen (32 inches) in conference room B through the V-CUBE Box. The assumption was made that whiteboards would often be used in general meetings and video conferencing. At that time, CNA Report Japan’s Hashimoto, who was the verifier, also moved to Conference Room B and confirmed it visually.
Two sheets of pamphlet of VC520 + and CAM340 were pasted, and a white board with letters written around it was prepared. Of course, the whiteboard was placed on the farthest wall from the camera to see the zoom performance. When measured with a tape measure, the straight line distance from the camera to the whiteboard was about 6m.
Conference room B: Hashimoto confirms the whiteboard captured by the camera in conference room A with zoom-in in conference room B.
The letters on the whiteboard 6 to 7 meters away from the camera are clearly visible.
Although it was an impression of seeing the whiteboard of conference room A through the display screen (left photo) of conference room B, it was confirmed that it was a level that could be seen on the video conference without any problem. In particular, I could read the marker letters and pamphlet headlines without difficulty.
This 18x zoom is the category with the highest zoom magnification in the Web camera market. When zoomed in digitally, there was anxiety about image degradation, but there was no evidence of it, although it was at the visual level.
Verification 5: Save up to 10 camera positions
Pre-preset is very convenient, remote control operation is easy, camera operation is agile and quiet, and PTZApp further improves convenience
Meeting room A: The camera position is being saved. Although it is a little difficult to see, preset positions are registered at the number buttons on the remote control. It seems that there are many buttons, but it is easy to understand because there are icons.
The feature of VC520 + camera position storage is that you can register up to 10 locations. This is one of the functions necessary to increase the productivity of the conference.
If you set in advance such as the convenient usage of this preset, the position to capture the whole, the position to capture the speaker, the position to capture the whiteboard, the position to capture the three people on the left side, Press the button to quickly move the camera focus to that position. The camera position is manipulated one by one, and the flow of the meeting is interrupted, so there is no awkward atmosphere among the participants.
On the other hand, camera operations such as pan / tilt / zoom respond well and move quietly. At that time, you can hardly hear the sound of the motor of the camera even if you listen carefully from a close distance. However, because of its agility, it may require a little attention to the other party, such as screen sickness, when operating the remote control. Around this time, you can change the operating speed by using the “PTZApp” app that allows you to set the camera preferences. The setting screen is simple and easy to understand.
In addition to high-magnification zoom, full HD image quality, pan / tilt / zoom, and combining this camera position storage, the VC520 + will further improve Web conference productivity. It can be said that the camera position saving function is an indispensable function in a meeting where time is limited.
Smooth communication as if speaking in the same room without voice performance (microphone / speaker) howling
I have seen video quality, pan / tilt / zoom, presets, and screen save, but I realized that the VC520 + is a product with sufficient functions and performance. Moreover, setup is easy for anyone who can connect to the terminals on the back of a PC or TV.
However, it is a device used for video communication. There is one more point that must not be forgotten.
This is in terms of voice quality.
In video communication, video tends to be considered the most important element, but of course it is not denied. But even if you can see the other person’s face, if you can’t hear the voice, the conversation won’t work. Therefore, voice quality has an important impact on the evaluation of video conferencing and web conferencing products.
According to the VC520 + specification, it is possible to collect a wide range of sounds with a diameter of 9m (radius 4.5mx 4.5m). Depending on the size and orientation of the conference room or conference table, the performance can collect 8 to 20 people. Although eight people were seated in the conference room used for the verification this time, we were able to pick up the voices of all participants. On the other hand, it was confirmed that the voices heard from the speakers can be clearly spoken without feeling muffled.
By the way, although it was not possible to verify this time, it is possible to add one by daisy chain connection. This can cover up to 24 participants. According to Aber Information, the sound collection range is wider than other products.
Summary: High cost performance and sufficient performance for everyday meetings
VC520 + camera, speaker microphone, etc.
Aber Information products sell for high cost performance. Its strength is that it can be introduced at a lower cost while offering higher quality than other products. VC520 + has been highly evaluated for its video quality, and it seems that there are many projects that are decided to be introduced as they are when renting demonstrations or equipment.
During the verification work, Aber Information repeatedly mentioned the good video quality. That should be the case, the company also has a top share in the introduction of document cameras, and is also doing consignment production utilizing video processing technology to companies in Japan and overseas.
In the future, while considering the adoption of new technologies such as trendy voice operation and 4K, he expresses his aspiration to develop more sophisticated and high-quality products with high cost performance.
The product warranty period is three years, the highest in the industry. By the way, the hardware warranty of V-CUBE Box is also 3 years. It may be good to introduce it together at this opportunity.