Meeting room technology has gone through numerous transformations over the years, and this has generally been driven by the introduction of new and innovative technology. Those of us of a certain age that have been in the industry for quite a few years will remember when overhead and carousel projectors were the latest thing in room technology. These were generally portable devices that could be moved from room to room.
It was only with the introduction of video and data projectors that permanent installations were considered the norm. In-room technology has further developed into the digital age. The requirement for any kind of technology was typically based on the need to present data to the room, and changes to the room design were based on new technology rather than new work processes.
With the advancement of portable consumer-based technology, there was a new requirement, that gave users the ability to use their own portable devices within the room. This was realised by the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) principle allowing users to present using their own phones and tablets, often using wireless technology. The main pain points of the requirement for BYOD have largely been removed with current technology and there are numerous methods to present locally with any device.
More recently, there has been a dramatic change in the work process, which has forced a re-thinking of standard room technology. For many years, part of the function of a typical conference room has been the ability to make conference calls using video rather than just audio. The cost of this technology is easily justified when we consider the cost reduction in national and particularly international travel, but video conferencing was mostly a secondary requirement.
We now find ourselves in a world where the requirement to be in the office has been greatly reduced. This work pattern has been coming for some time but has accelerated very recently. Organisations now find themselves having to support both local and remote personnel in almost every meeting. There are countless options available to assist in this process, from hardware-based video conferencing systems to an abundance of cloud-based platforms, many of which have recently seen a rapid increase in use.
This introduces a new dilemma as organisations struggle to settle on a single conferencing platform when there are so many options available. There is also the issue of communication with other organisations that have settled on a different conferencing platform. This has led to the rapid increase in the requirement for BYOM (Bring Your Own Meeting). Much like the BYOD concept, BYOM puts the user firmly in control of the work process and allows them to use the devices and platforms that they are most comfortable with using. This does cause an issue for most organisations, however, as they still need to agree on a standard corporate platform.
At HARMAN, we believe that the right solution should cater to any eventuality. Our solution to this problem is the AMX CTC-1402 Connectivity, Transport and Conferencing Kit. This system provides the perfect platform to build a conference room that is both flexible enough to integrate with any conferencing platform and cost-effective enough to allow more spaces than ever to be used for video conferencing.
The CTC-1402 Kit includes a transmitter located at the table and a receiver that is installed at the display. The two halves of the system are connected using HDBaseT which requires only a single category cable. The concept of the solution is very simple. When a device is connected to the transmitter using one of the four video input formats available, it is automatically presented to the display, which is powered on using industry-standard CEC commands over the HDMI cable. Although the system can be seamlessly controlled and monitored by an AMX control solution, this isn’t a requirement for normal operation.
As well as switching video, the CTC-1402 kit also switches USB 2.0. Each video input to the system also has a USB 2.0 host connection. This means that when a particular video input is active, this also becomes the active USB host, and any devices attached to the six USB device connections will also be switched. This makes it very simple to integrate any room-based USB 2.0 peripherals to the user’s portable device. In the case of a typical conference room, this could include a keyboard and mouse, USB camera, microphone, and/or soundbar. Even USB storage devices will be made available to the current USB host. This creates the perfect BYOM solution where the user’s portable device is both the presentation source and also the conference platform.
But what about the organisation’s standard conferencing platform? This is where the CTC-1402 receiver comes into play. As well as receiving the source from the transmitter, the receiver also has its own video and USB host inputs. When there is no source selected at the transmitter, a room PC connected to the receiver becomes the active video source and USB host. The room technology now connects to this PC which becomes a conference platform and provides the same user experience during the conference call. As there’s often a requirement for wireless connectivity allowing users to present from phones or tablets, the CTC-1402 receiver also has a second HDMI and USB input, allowing simple integration with a preferred wireless solution.
This latest change in working practices towards a hybrid local/remote workforce is driving a re-think of room technology so that remote workers are not left out of the loop when it comes to day-to-day communication and the local workforce has the facilities to communicate when and where necessary. This may mean moving an existing video conversation from the desk to a meeting room. This really is the definition of “Bring Your Own Meeting”. The CTC-1402 Conferencing, Transport and Connectivity Kit provides the ideal solution to the problems faced when creating affordable, flexible spaces, without complicated integration and programming by allowing the use of any source, any conferencing platform, and any USB 2.0 peripheral.
Unified Conferencing Solution with BYOM Utilizing AMX CTC-1402 Kit
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PLANNING AND DESIGN RESOURCES
- Product Details, Specifications and Downloads
- Video: Meet the CT Series Conferencing & Transport Kits
- Video: AMX Connectivity & Transport Kit – Visiting Devices Can Own the Room
- Design Guide: Simple Guide to Hybrid BYOM Spaces
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