In the US, there has been an increase of 87% in people working remotely from their own homes compared to life before the pandemic. By 2025, it’s estimated that remote American workers could reach 36.2 million. As a result, installing video conferencing facilities is becoming crucial in maintaining links with head office and colleagues scattered in various locations.
At-Home Video Conferencing Setup
Many businesses follow a hybrid format, with some workers in the office and the rest working remotely from home. Around 83% of large companies with more than 250 employees integrate video conferencing technology. Whenever you’re working remotely, you’ll probably benefit from video conferencing. It helps with ongoing projects, keeps you in touch with everyone and is a competent replacement for the old routine of in-house board meetings.
1. Choose a Competent Monitor
You’ll need several pieces of hardware for your home video conferencing centre. One of the most important is a monitor that’s compatible with your PC and specialized software. It would help if you considered a refresh rate of 60 Hz as a competent option. Size is important, with the general view that the larger the screen, the better the results.
Many home office experts suggest opting for at least 29 or 32 inches screens. Screens with extra width are often the first choice as they can accommodate software with split-screen technology. An alternative setup is to invest in two monitors so you can talk to more than one person at a time. Some top-of-the-range monitors have an in-built microphone and webcam, especially for video conferencing, but many people choose separate facilities.
2. Webcams for Video Conferencing
When choosing a webcam, your priority has to be security. It’s disturbing that webcams can easily be hacked, allowing cyber-peepers to spy on you or the documents on your desk at any time. Even more troubling, half the American population allegedly has no idea that webcam hacking can happen. To keep your business secrets confidential, choose a webcam with a privacy slider and always disconnect the camera when it’s not in use.
A separate webcam has the advantage of flexibility, as you can move it wherever you like to customize the view you’re transmitting. However, monitors with an integral webcam tend to emphasize eye contact. Choose a monitor with an integral webcam, and you don’t have to think about how to set it up. An individual monitor often scores more highly when it comes to image quality. You can usually choose more versatile camera lenses and features such as automatic focus.
3. High-Performance Microphone
Listeners will never hear you without a microphone, but you need to select one with a specialized noise cancelling feature. Regardless of how crisp your real-life diction might be, a microphone with interference can make consonants sound harsh and explosive. Vocalists have similar difficulties and often place a filter in front of the microphone. Noise-canceling uses sophisticated algorithms to identify and remove unwanted background noise, such as your children playing in the next room.
Alternatively, many microphones are labelled directional or omnidirectional. For video conferencing, the more effective option is directional. It records sound from a limited range, helping to eliminate surrounding noises. Omni-directional will be sensitive to all types of noise over a wider area.
4. How to Hear Your Colleagues
Choosing equipment that lets you hear other people is the next important step. You can select separate audio speakers, but a prime disadvantage is they release your video conference discussion into your home. This could be distracting for anyone nearby, and it’s also not very secure if you’re discussing any personal issues. The alternative is to wear a headset, which is often considered more suitable as it’s just you listening in.
One advantage of a headset is it cuts out your home’s noise, such as the busy freeway outside or if someone in your family is listening to music. In addition, a headset lets you adjust the volume and helps you concentrate on what’s being said without being distracted. This could be vital if one of your conference colleagues hasn’t invested in a noise-cancelling microphone. If you choose a high-quality headset, you could find it also includes a microphone, reducing the amount of time and effort you’d devote to setting up the equipment.
5. Do You Need a Display Board?
Depending on your type of business, you might find a display board a key piece of equipment. It allows you to set up illustrations, diagrams and demonstrate business plans. In addition, you can find wireless presentation boards with interactive facilities that allow you to share the content with your colleagues.
A helpful feature could include touch screen control. However, real-time transmission is essential if you and your colleagues are located in different time zones across the States. Office managers usually recommend choosing a display board that’s as large as possible. It’s easier to see when viewed through a webcam. It’s also more suitable for including colleagues already working in the main business office.
6. Video Conferencing Software
Without software that’s specifically designed for video conferencing, your equipment won’t be effective. The software’s prime role is to coordinate every piece of equipment or function into a suitable format for multiple access during your conference. There are many popular formats from reputable organizations that are suitable for integrating home and head office.
If you have opted for a display board, you’ll need additional software to accommodate it. Digital display board software coordinates with your equipment and PC, ensuring clarity during transmission. Some software packages have an extensive range of tools and features. You can usually import files, export data, save work in progress and store a completed presentation.
Setting up your own home video conference centre isn’t tricky. Choose high-quality components that provide excellent reception and transmission for microphones and headsets. Invest in a webcam that has security as a priority. A separate monitor can be effective with compatible equipment and software. However, the easiest setup for your home video conference centre could be an all in one monitor.
By the way, MyOwnConference is an excellent platform for your first home video conference.
This article was written by Eloise Tobler of Wisetek Store. Wisetek Store was created to give our customers access to high quality, reliable and affordable refurbished desktops.