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Article ID: 000050633
Last Modified Date: 12/22/2022
Access Level: Public

Considerations when setting up a room for Video Conferencing with ViewStation

The ViewStation’s mic has a 360 degree pick with a 7.5 meter (25 foot) cord. For large conference rooms, Polycom recommends daisy chaining a second mic (comes with a 3 meter/10 foot cord) for a total of 10 meters (35 feet). Each mic has a pick up range of 7.5 meters.
  • You can utilize acoustic wall coverings/panels if so desired to dampen the echo.
  • Cool white fluorescence lights work well. Parabolic Diffusers in the lighting modules to redirect the light towards a persons face as opposed to straight down on top of their heads. This will alleviate shadows under the eyes.
  • Stay away from reflective tables and overhead spotlights. If you have windows, make sure to have non-reflective blinds - Flat Black is good.
  • Periwinkle Blue is the ideal color for any back ground walls. Stay away from dark and vivid colors.
Room Recommendations The size of the room determines how many participants can be seated in the room and how many of the participants can be covered in a camera shot. If this facility is to be generally available use a room which is not on the executive floor of the building. A room 16 feet by 23 feet will provide ample seating at an oval table for 6 participants side by side across the 23 feet wall. A seat is approximately 2 feet wide, an oval table makes better use of the available room as it staggers the seating and it maintains the participants at a constant distance in the cameras panning arc. As a rough guide 2 participants can be covered by the camera every 3 feet from the camera, i.e. 10 feet to cover 5 to 6 participants. The width of chairs and shape of table may effect this coverage. The angle of coverage of the zoomed out camera is 66 degrees. Care should be taken not to place the participants too far from the cabinet as the picture from the far end becomes more difficult to see the further away the screen is, 10.8 feet is the furthest away the participants should be for a 25"/27" display, 12.8 feet for 32/34” display and 14 feet for a 35" screen. If the participants are further away than these distances they will not be able to maintain eye contact with the remote end. Noise, Sound Insulation and Acoustics
  1. If a normal meeting can take place without excessive echo or noise from air-conditioning, lifts etc. then a Videoconference meeting can be held.
  2. Treating the flooring has limited acoustic effect but a wool content carpet 80/20 with 1/2" felt underlay provides the best anti-static and acoustic properties.
  3. Air-conditioning and noise from outside the room or between rooms should meet Noise Criteria curves NC35. This is to provide a comfortable meeting environment and avoid distractions.
  4. Privacy between rooms can be improved by either filling the wall cavity with Acoustic Absorbent Material e.g. fibreglass, alternatively Acoustic Panels can be fitted to the walls in the room which will improve the privacy and the acoustics of the room at the same time.
  5. Large areas of glass in a room should be covered with curtains or blinds to prevent echo. i.e. the remote end to the room will hear their own echo. Large glass areas are poor absorbers of sound and will not help the echo to decay sufficiently in the room. Matt light blue or grey, curtains / vertical blinds are recommended, use blackout blinds if in the background of the Videoconference meeting. This will control the light level and improve the acoustic reverberation in the room at the same time.
Visibility and Lighting Important notes on lighting are:
  • the camera should point away from windows
  • provide cold white light such as fluorescent or halogen lighting.
  • the light in front of the participants should be greater than light above or behind them to avoid shadows.
  1. If a window is in the background it should be blacked out to prevent sunlight behind the participants. Wall spot-lights will have the same effect if the walls are white causing a bright background. Bright light behind the participants will close the iris and cause the participants to look too dark to see clearly from the remote end.
  2. Avoid tungsten filament lights as they have a warm colour temperature, and will make skin tones too yellow compared with natural or fluorescent light.
  3. The participants should be illuminated with a minimum of 50 Lux measured horizontally. i.e. onto their faces. The ambient lighting level should be at office levels of 300 Lux horizontally, to provide depth of focus from the camera i.e. closest and furthest participants all in focus.
  4. Fluorescent lights provide the most common form of lighting and give a reasonably diffused light, which is more comfortable for people to look at than spot lights. The fluorescent tubes should be cool white with a colour temperature of 4,000 degrees Kelvin to match the camera. Philips Colour 84 fluorescent tubes are recommended. The ceiling lights should be positioned above and approximately 3 feet in front of the subjects, i.e. if a 2 feet suspended ceiling grid, the lights should be 1 to 2 panels in front of the participants so that the participant face is within the coverage area of the light beam. To see the light's coverage look for the same type of light unit close to a wall, the skirt of the light should be clearly visible as the line between the light beam and the shadow outside it's coverage.
  5. High frequency fluorescent lights areNOT recommended as they can under certain circumstances interfere with the Infra red Remote commands.
  6. Low voltage halogen down lighters are suitable for Videoconferencing provided they provide at least 50 Lux horizontally onto the participants, and are wide angle units to give an even spread of light around the room. If possible avoid spot light directly down onto the participants, causing wells of light in some areas and shadows in other.
  7. Free Standing halogen UP-lighters can be used where the ceiling is brilliant white and there is no other way to illuminate the room with cool white light. The Up-lighters should have a wide bowl at the head to spread the light as much as possible onto the ceiling. 2 to 4 Up-lighters may be required to light a conference room, each Up-lighter will be 250 to 300 Watts per lamp. These can normally be found in Stationary catalogues, under lighting.
  8. Light should be directed onto the subjects face andnot by reflection from a light coloured wall. The paint pigmentation of the painted wall will effect the colour rendering of the light, i.e. absorb colours in the light, this will result in a poor video picture although the light intensity measured may be acceptable.
  9. Background surfaces behind the participants should be matt and non reflective, avoid bright red colours and fine lined patterns so as not to make the codec think the background is moving, a matt light color provides a good contrasting colour to the participant. Some colour in the background such as a pot plant or colored wall can make the view more comfortable, an all grey view including grey suited participants with pale faces will look like a black and white picture which is distracting. Our Demo room background is a light blue/aqua paint:- flat acrylic..
  10. Blackout roller blinds, vertical blinds or a curtain, with a plain matt light blue or light grey finish are recommended, for internal (corridor window) or external windows to provide privacy and controlled lighting in the room.
  11. Curtains should be loosely gathered as a sharp vertical line may cause the auto focus camera to focus on the curtain rather than the subject.
  12. The colour of the conference table should follow the guide as background walls i.e. not brilliant white or reflective surface to avoid reflecting light into the camera. A dark surface could be used but black surfaces can cause eye strain due to the high contrast between white papers and the black surface.
Videoconference Configuration
  1. Avoid pointing the Videoconference cabinet and camera at a window, if the curtain is left open the bright light behind the participants will make the subject too dark.
  2. Avoid doors in the camera's coverage as this can disturb the remote end of a meeting if someone enters the room during a conference.
  3. The Document Camera can be located on the conference table for easy access in a presentation, it can be located on a table by the conference table or it is best on a small movable cart so it can be moved to where it is needed.
  4. A Microphone pod should be connected to the codec to give 360 degree coverage up to 12 feet away. Up to3 Mics can be daisy chained with a VSX SEries System or Two with a ViewStation Series. The Microphone should must be sitting on a flat, hard surface and should not be mounted in the ceiling. When using multiple Mics they must be separated by at least 10’ and for optimum operation should be oriented in the same direction. No microphone should be more then 30’ line of sight away from the speaker.
  5. An Auxiliary Camera can be wall or tripod mounted, normally it faces the adjacent wall, in this way the presenter can see the local participants and the screen from the far end.
Layout Examples
  1. The Polycom Videoconference Room Systems should be positioned to provide the participants at each end of the link with a clear view of the screen and easy access to peripheral equipment . The customer should provide covers for cables running over the floor from the keypad and document camera, access to the conference table should be taken into account when deciding where to locate the Videoconference equipment.
  2. Locating power and network sockets in the corner of the room and providing long cables will allow two sides of the room to be used. One side may allow good visibility but limited seating, locating on the adjacent wall may allow a larger group to meet but may not give good visibility to everyone at the conference table in the case of a long table.
  3. A video wall with large TV screens or a projection screen can be built to provide good visibility to a larger number of participants.
  4. The Polycom system can be interfaced with Audio Visual (AV) systems, but this is dependant on the remote control system allowing for the audio, video inputs and outputs to the AV system.
Room Layout Drawings The drawings below are examples of room layouts, they include various conference table shapes and room sizes. The lighting examples are as a guide only, there are many different luminaries available, please get the contractor or supplier to give a survey of the light needs for the room using the guide above. Notice that the camera is always mounted on the People display in a People + Content display setup.
Camera Coverage Drawing Alternative Coverage Drawing Automatic Camera Positioning Tight Framing Coverage Ceiling Layout Drawing Medium Size Room Drawing Round Table Drawing Oblong Table Drawing Coffin Shaped Table Layout Drawing
  Specifications and Parts A double duplex power outlet is required behind the Videoconference cabinet and another duplex outlet close to the Document Camera If using ISDN, the network jack(s) (ISDN) should be installed close to the videoconference cabinet. For 2x type calls one ISDN jack is needed, additional jacks will be needed to support the appropriate number of ISDN lines to support the speed you are planning to operate at. An additional ISDN line is required for telephone add on if needed. This would be a maximum of 4 ISDN lines if using the Quad BRI Module. Another telephone voice circuit is recommended in the room for the participants or maintenance. Air-conditioning should meet the requirements of NR 35 for room noise. Polycom will supply standard cables which are designed to meet stringent approvals. The customer may, at their own risk, extend these cables to run under floors provided they meet the necessary regulations for building cabling Network Connections ISDN BRI Service Specification
  • As defined by Bellcore Standards, the ISDN BRI simplified ordering code is J2 (previously called Generic Data J).
  • Both B channels must carry circuit-switched collaboration data simultaneously. One channel should support voice
  • The ISDN BRI service must allow collaboration calls to be dialed on either B channel or on both simultaneously
  • The D channel should not permit X.25 packet data
  • The ISDN BRI service must be configured as Terminal Type A, must support automatic Terminal Endpoint Identifiers (TEIs), must be tariffed and available from the customer’s local central office, and must have passed a loop-qualification test at the user site listed in Section One.
  • Because the system recognizes only the last seven digits when passing the local number to the far end for a bonded call, any digits preceding the last seven digits must be the same for each ISDN line connected to the system.
For 128 kbps operation order a single Basic Rate ISDN Service, this provides a pair of 64 kbps ‘B’ channels. A physical RJ45 socket (64 kbps pair) should have a pair of telephone numbers with the same number of different numbers depending on the telephone switch providing the service.
Example NI1 RJ45 Socket 1 (U-interface has 2 wires on 4 and 5, S/T interface has 4 wires)
Local Number                         SPID
B1 123-4567               70012345670101
B2 123-4568               70012345680101
For 512 kbps Operation order 4 ISDN lines. To make calls the caller must dial into the first port on the remote IMUX, the IMUX will use BONDING protocols to automatically connect the remaining telephone connections. Polycom suggests the customer to confirm with the network provider that the service is supplied and tested 1 week before a commissioning engineer is called out to install and test the Polycom system (this allows time for the network provider's paperwork to enable remote maintenance), that the ISDN numbers are from the same local exchange (as 891 number describes above) and the number described by the last 3 or 4 digits is unique. If the network is not working a return visit will have to be made at extra charge. Please obtain written confirmation from the network provider and pass it on to Polycom Customer Support. IMUX Requirements
  1. All lines are from the same local exchange (CO switch, PBX).
  2. An ISDN line can have the same number twice but each ISDN line must have the last 3 or 4 digits as unique.
ISDN 128 kbps Operation
Dialling from the Polycom remote using a speed dial facility, rate conversion from 64 to 56 kbps when dialling Switch 56 in America the call will be connected at 2 x 64k (2 x 56k) channels, or two clear channels.
ISDN 384 kbps Operation
Channel aggregation units such as an In-built Inverse Multiplexer, IMUX, can also be supported. The IMUX allows dialling from the Polycom remote using speed dial facility, rate conversion from 64 to 56 kbps when dialling Switch 56 in America and Japan if required, speeds from 56 through 4 x BRI (512 kbps) in 56 or 64 kbps steps are available
Using Two networks
It is suggested that if the customer wants to use two network connects, one for switched services, one for dedicated services, they use the ISDN, V.35 or the RS449 interface for one, and the H.323, IP, capabilities for the other network access.
Codec Interfaces
The Polycom codec can have ONE of three network interfaces: ISDNBRI,. ISDN PRI, V.35 /RS449 The interface must be compatible with the network terminal equipment it is connected to. Most Multiplexer providers can arrange for the leased line cable to be installed between the Multiplexer and the room.