Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to such writing. I suspect it’s really aimed at satisfying the mighty Google, and driving more traffic to their web site. However, I’m not the sort that lets the dissemination of questionable advice slide past unnoticed. Most especially from an organization that purports to be the subject matter experts.
The author suggests a number of different devices for different sized rooms. In this particular case I’m familiar with most of them. In fact, I have quite a few of them in inventory.
I’ve long had a fascination with spatial audio processing. This was in part why Voxeet caught my attention when the service initially launched. It was over a year before we were able to have them appear on VUC #471 on January 10th.
From that session you may recall that Voxeet offers a binaural conference service. Participants join a conference using a PC smart phone application. They use a stereo headset allowing the client application to provide placement of the individual participants within a controlled sound stage.
Voxeet is interesting. However, it’s not exactly clear what aspect of the service is most compelling. At point of launch they used the Speex audio codec, which allows wideband audio (aka HDVoice.)
In the recent v2 release their PC client has been moved to a WebRTC foundation, leveraging Opus. I’ve done a quick analysis of their updated online demo. Newly fitted with American voices where there were once French accents, it presents 16 KHz usable audio path, suggesting a 32 KHz sample rate. It certainly sounds very good.
It’s worth noting that a Google “Hangout” is not the same as a “Hangout-On-Air.” A Hangout-On-Air is streamed and recorded via YouTube in real-time. This gives it the potential for much greater reach. A normal Hangout is not streamed in this manner, although it does allow for PSTN connectivity.
This difference is arbitrary, although I’m told it stems from legal concerns about copyright issues that could easily occur if Hangouts-On-Air were allowed to have broad interop capability.
The fact that the VUC uses a Hangout-On-Air has compelled my search for a reliable, high-quality means of interconnecting the Hangout-On-Air and ZipDX conference bridge. Given my long-standing and vociferous support of HDVoice even the PSTN access provided by a plain vanilla Hangout is troubling. Connecting via a pure IP means, like SIP URI, would allow interconnection with much better audio quality.
The VoIP Users Conference is closing upon 500 weekly sessions, each one more-or-less a conference call. Along the way the manner in which the calls happen has evolved. A bit of background about this will serve to frame why I’ve been seeking a way to interconnect a Google+ Hangout and the ZipDX conference bridge.
It’s come to my attention that in recent times “Surround Sound Bars” have exploded in popularity. That’s “sound bar” as in a form of home-theatre-sound-in-a-box, not a smoky dive where musicians perform strange music. Sound bars are now so popular that they are impacting sales of more traditional HTIB solutions. I’ve come to see some parallels between surround sound bars and DIY video conference room systems, an idea that first came up earlier this year.
As I have mentioned previously, we don’t have a traditional surround-sound system in support of our HDTV. Our 42” Sharp Aquos HDTV was the largest that they offered with built-in speakers…which is all that we felt we required at the time.
In truth, it was the display size and resolution that mattered most when we made the purchase decision. In the middle of the last decade most 40”-ish HDTVs still only resolved 720p. Since my Mrs tended to watch more CBS than the other networks it made sense to get a HDTV capable of resolving 1080i.
It’s been a month or more since I took delivery of a Brightlines I/S-22 light for use in my working life. I noted it’s arrival to my small circle of associates, who seem to be happy with the result. With the I/2-22 providing even fill lighting I’ve not appeared as a disembodied head on any video calls.
As was mentioned previously, the I/S-22 has three possible mounting options; a VESA bracket with a 6” gooseneck, a table clamp with a 22” long gooseneck, or a heavy round base with that same 22” gooseneck.
The VESA mount allows the light to be mounted to the back of a monitor, presuming that the monitor is not itself mounted to a VESA type arrangement.
My situation seemed best addressed by the long gooseneck with the table clamp. This allows me to mount the light to the edge of the table immediately behind the HDX-4500. The HDX is a large and rather heavy device, and does not have VESA type mounting holes. Happily the I/S-22 on the long gooseneck rises to an appropriate height, about 4 inches above the top of the HDX.