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.
Not long a reader posed this question about USB speakerphone devices;
“Hi Michael – I read your blog article about chromebox for meetings. I’m in the UK and I think there will be good takeup when its launched here but I’m concerned about sound quality mic and speakers in untreated rooms. Have you found any USB table top devices matrix mics with high quality speaker that could be integrated at proportionate cost? – Thanks, John”
It’s an interesting question. As I was answering him via IM it occurred to me that the answer might be worth sharing.
There are a lot of USB attached speakerphones available. I’ve tried quite a number over the years. Some are good. Some are cheap. As you can imagine, rarely are the good ones cheap. The major difference to be considered is whether the device undre consideration is intended for use by an individual or a small group.
Continue reading “A Question About Chromebox-For-Meetings and USB Conference Phones”
Video conferencing is changing. It started about a year ago. That’s when I first heard about DIY room systems. Then I got wind of “Huddle” systems, which are basically smaller room systems. Today Google introduced their own play on this trend.
Chromebox for Meetings looks to be their spin on Vidyo’s DIY room system. It’s basically a very small PC, running the Chrome OS, with the requisite accessories (USB webcam & speakerphone) to make it a video conference end-point. Just add a decent monitor or HDTV.
All of the PR points to the use of a Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920and a Jabra SPEAK410 USB Speakerphone, both of which have graced my desk for a year or more. Both are leaders in their respective product categories.
Continue reading “New & Shiny: Google Introduces Chromebox For Meetings”