Webcams 8: Vaddio RoboSHOT 12 – A USB 3.0 Webcam

roboshot-12-usb-front-300pxVaddio has today announced that their RoboSHOT 12 camera is now shipping. This device is notable for supporting both streaming H.264 over IP and delivering uncompressed 1080p60 over a USB 3.0 interface. It also has an HDMI output. All three output methods are simultaneously live.

The various specifications of the RobotShot 12 are all top-of-the line. The camera is aimed at enterprise installations. It will surely find it’s way into video conference suites, surveillance/monitoring, and even tele-production.

It was a couple of years ago that I set out to find a USB 3.0 webcam. At the time there basically none to be found, so little reason to consider their merits. Now that there are a few such cameras on the market, you may be asking, “what does it get me, exactly?” Good question.

Remember that to deliver 1080p video* any USB 2.0 attached webcam must compress the video using either MJPEG or H.264. Only by compressing the stream in-camera can it deliver the that resolution over the 480 Mbps USB 2.0 connection. Once the video is delivered cross the USB link, in many cases it must be decompressed to allow further manipulation before final delivery to it’s ultimate destination.

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Bytes Must Flow – Backup Strategies for SOHO Internet Access

Late last evening there was a fire at Oxford & Barkley, or so we’re told, that took out Comcast service some neighborhoods in Houston, including where we live in The Woodland Heights. As such we are presently without cable TV or our primary internet access.

The loss of cable TV is potentially stressful for Estella, but she’s off to work for the day so it won’t be a problem until this evening. Given my home-office-based work-life the loss of internet access is potentially a show-stopper for me. It’s at times like this that I’m glad we have backup internet access.

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Chromebox For Meetings: Large Room Bundle

Chromebox for Meetings is a nice idea. It’s a tidy little bundle of goodies that delivers what is essentially an appliance for use with Hangouts. At $999 it’s even a pretty good value.

What it isn’t is terribly flexible, largely because of the limited I/O devices. The Logitech Webcam Pro C920 and Jabra Speak 510 wireless conference phone are great for a desktop or office space. Get more than few people around a table and they just don’t have the reach.


Clearly others agree with this assessment since Google recently started to offer the Chromebox For Meetings Large Room Bundle for $1999. This collection replaces the fixed camera with Logitech’s new PTZ Pro Camera. It also adds a second Jabra Speak 510 wireless conference phone so that people at the far end of the able can hear and be heard.

You may recall that the PTZ Pro Camera is the camera from the CC3000e reviewed last year. It was the focus of VUC490 with Ziva Nissan.

I wonder if Google will take steps to support far-end PTZ remote control? That would certainly be a nice way to integrate the new camera. Logitech offers a plug-in for MS Lync (now Skype-For-Business) that embeds remote PTZ control.

Reader Question: Small Meeting Room Acoustics

A reader posed a question the other day. He asks;

I have a question for a friend. He has a smallish meeting room capable of accommodating 8 people. The problem is that some of the walls are made of glass.

When doing conference calls, the echo from his room is impossible to handle which leads to a crappy experience for others.

Which room microphone/speaker should he purchase? Ideally, it needs to be able to connect to a laptop that is brought into the room for meetings.

This is sort of question that I enjoy, so I thought it worth sharing my response.

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Interconnecting Jitsi Video Bridge, ZipDX & YouTube Live – Part 2

If my first approach was too much for my desktop, then perhaps I could split the workload between my desktop and my laptop. This presents a different set of problems, but ultimately makes the process more robust.


In this arrangement my laptop joins the JVB session. It’s running VoiceMeeter, Chrome & Bria. It provides the audio mix-minus feeds.

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Phoenix Audio Beams Up A New SIP Conference Phone

Phoenix Audio at InfoComm2015InfoComm 2015 is next week, which has swayed the nature of press releases filling my in-box. While most are less than interesting, there was one from Phoenix Audio Technologies that piqued my interest. They have introduced an intriguing new device they call the Condor. Condor is not a typical SIP end-point.

Condor is an audio pickup appliance, essentially a microphone array with some sophisticated on-board DSP capability. With an on-board SIP client it’s one component of a huddle room conferencing solution. Add a large HDTV with built-in speakers and you have a complete solution for audio conferencing. You’re also well on your way to video conferencing.

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