Telepresence rooms have received a lot of press over the last few years because of the degree to which they are able to create an “in-the-same-room” sort of environment for video. It’s literally so good, that it’s unreal.
But the adoption of telepresence in India has been limited because both set-up and operational costs are higher than conventional video conferencing. The cost of bandwidth is especially daunting, as is the fact that the room works well only when there is an identical facility at the far end.
However, for organisations which have embraced the value of telepresence, it’s an incredible video communication experience, though there are a few design considerations that need to be kept in mind.
Our teams recommendations for these specialised conferencing rooms are:
1. Limited seating – One of the things that you need to keep in mind while designing your telepresence rooms is the limited seating capacity because of the need for perfect eye-to-eye contact. To be cost effective, these rooms should be designed to seat from 3 to 10 people, and will require multiple cameras, codecs and displays – up to 3 camera units deepening on the seating plan…
2. Precise furniture design – Unlike the usual video conferencing room, you will require a very specific shape of table for this type of room. It needs to be a half-U shaped table with a gentle curve (or a section of a semi-circle) is usual, and this needs to be perfectly aligned is a mirror image of the table in the far-end room. All furniture and colours across the rooms need to be identical too. Also the seats are fixed and cannot be moved as they have to be placed precisely with respect to their respective displays and the cameras.
3. Advanced audio engineering – The audio design in a telepresence room needs to be very different from most conventional VC rooms, because the constraints on the seating positions. Since the seating arrangement is sort of in a single line and fixed to the floor, audibility is affected if there is just one central microphone unit. As a result multiple microphones are required with digital audio mixers to ensure high sound quality.
4. Large, high resolution displays – In most cases multiple LED TVs/monitors are used as displays in telepresence rooms and not projectors. While the use of a video wall can make the experience even more immersive, it does add to the costs significantly. There is also a need to incorporate an extra mid-sized display to show the data feed to the presenters at the near end (see image above).
5. High-bandwidth for multiple codecs – Since the system needs to broadcast (and receive) feeds from multiple cameras and codecs the bandwidth requirements are high. This means that the room will have high operational costs as multiple codecs are utilising bandwidth simultaneously at all times to deliver high quality video.
For more information on how your Telepresence Room can be more cost effective, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Image Credit: http://telepresencetech.com/)