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The 7 questions to ask security camera installers over the phone and 3 questions they hope you never ask...

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Downloading this easy-to-follow guide will keep you up to date on the perfect questions to ask that will keep sales reps in check.

Due to the rapid technology changes in the security camera industry we constantly make updates to this report, keeping you on the cutting edge of what still matters when safely choosing an installation company. Knowing the right questions to ask allows you to let phone salespeople and in-person estimators know just how much of a well educated and experienced buyer you are. This demonstration of knowledge will most often discourage unethical sales reps from even trying to take advantage of you during this very serious purchase decision.

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Video conference calls have become a regular occurrence in offices, but squeezing everybody into frame can be a challenge.

When it comes to choosing a video conferencing solution, IT leaders often focus on cost, bandwidth requirements and resolutions. While those criteria are certainly important, there is one other that deserves attention: the camera itself. Technology, like what’s found in the latest video conferencing cameras, can make all the difference when it comes to users realizing the value of collaborating over video.

Having a good quality video conference camera can enhance your meeting where you can display facial expressions, gestures, and other nuances that make video collaboration preferable to phone or email.

Types of Video Conference Camera:

USB Cameras:

these are most commonly found on webcams and stand-alone camera units, and are popular for small meeting rooms and spaces used by small businesses.

USB conferencing cameras offer a compelling combination of performance and low cost - no need for special drivers thanks to the USB video device class or UVC specification on Windows and Mac PCs and notebooks, and are supported by all PC-based conferencing software and applications.

Dedicated Video Devices: whose sole purpose is to facilitate video conferencing. They are not PCs or laptops, but can run multiple applications, and may require IT involvement. They require far less space than the dedicated PC option, and video is consistent, high quality.


What to look for in a Video Conference Camera?

Quality - Quality of video is is hands-down the most important thing to look for a Video Conference Camera, it is in an important criteria while conducting online business meetings with clients.

FOV - or (Field of View). FOV is just one feature when looking at video conference cameras, but it really is the one with the most options when comparing them.

What is Field of View (FOV) anyway? - In a classic definition, the FOV is what you can see without turning your head, it includes direct sight (what you see ahead of you) and your peripheral vision. For conference room video cameras, it's the specification for "what you see" through the camera lens and is measured in Degrees - what that means, we have single starting point (the camera) and the view radiates out, getting wider (visualize an upside-down triangle). Looking at our conference room cameras, the FOV ranges from 54 degrees to 360 degrees. From a buying perspective, bigger is not necessarily better, it's just different. Different rooms and uses required different cameras, which is why there is so much variance when it comes to FOV.

Just remember, it all comes down to how you want your room to look on the other side of the camera, and how you are planning to utilize video conferencing.  In general, determine how far away the first person is to the camera - if you have 5 feet between the camera and the first person, that means and they are 5 feet from the center of the view, anything less than 57 degree FOV just won't work.

Interoperability - Today more than ever everyone is looking for interoperable solutions to fit the needs of an ever changing landscape. Companies are turning to cloud based video conferencing in droves for easy to use set up where the most important feature is simply being able to email an invitation to a client and knowing they can join from any PC, Mac or Smart mobile device. Just look at the overwhelming success of Bluejeans who offers interoperability between traditional Cisco & Polycom H.323/SIP endpoints with the majority of cloud based solutions like MS Lync, Cisco Jabber, Skype and Google Hangout. The interoperability issues that IT teams have been dealing with for the past 25 years are finally starting to give way. The most important feature a Video Conferencing Camera can have is USB 2.0 or USB 3.0. With USB connection ports Video Conferencing cameras can be used for all of the above cloud based video conferencing systems. Not only can users easily identify how to connect their laptop the entire cloud based solution offerings available decrease technology adoption time and training requirements.

High Definition & Optical Zoom - High Definition used to be the most important part of Video Conferencing. That hasn’t changed but the new ways of using cloud based video conferencing have. How important is High Definition video using your USB video conferencing camera? If you are replacing a face to face business trip than HD video quality is of utmost important and 1920×1080 resolution will fit the bill. But if you are conducting a webinar with a presentation as the main focus your actual video resolutions used will be less than 720p. The more important discussion is Optical Zoom. Optical Zoom allows lossless enhancement of video quality from the cameras mounted location. This is effective for business video conferencing but also webinars where products need to be displayed in detail. Actual Optical Zoom is a requirement for high quality cloud based video conferencing in medium to large sized conference rooms.

Camera Accessories - So you have found a great video conference camera and your excited to make a purchase. What about the other accessories needed to make your unified communication deployment a success? A good USB video conferencing camera needs compatible camera mounts, USB extensions and remote PTZ Software to adapt to customer environments. Camera mounts like the new VDO360 wall/monitor mounts provide dual purpose deployment options that are helpful. USB extensions that are test and verified to work not only with a USB camera but also cloud based software and PC hardware is essential. With so many end user scenarios for video conferencing deployments USB extensions that do not require drivers are preferable.

Factors to consider when choosing a Video Conference Camera:

Cost: Worth thinking about how many spaces you utilise for conferencing and collaboration, or plan to roll out in the future. When you have large volumes of rooms, cost becomes a major deciding factor.

Shelf or Wall Mount? - This depends upon the outcomes of a site-survey. Sometimes you may get away with a simple shelf, but in other cases your installation engineer can advise wall-mounted cameras where appropriate, for example, in room with high seating capacity.

Light Compensation - the ability for the video camera to compensate for difficult lighting conditions such as too much or too little light or back-lighting.

Room Coverage - Think about the physical space itself and seating positions. For example, larger meeting rooms with long, bowling-alley meeting room tables, as opposed to huddle rooms which can vary in shapes and sizes. In many cases, huddle room meeting participants are seated very close to the front of the room which often results in people sitting off-camera.

Flexibility - Depending on the size of the room, coverage, lighting conditions and seating arrangements, choose either Fixed Cameras (e.g. webcams), which typically support digital pan / tilt / zoom (ePTZ), or 'Motorised cameras' with motorised pan / tilt and either digital or optical zoom.


Pros and Cons of Video Conference Camera:


- Easy installation and provides excellent image and sound quality.

- Higher productivity and efficiency

- By eliminating time and space barriers, Video Conference Camera can be conducted to communicate with colleagues, customers and partners anytime, anywhere with a high fidelity picture quality and clear sound. In this way, meetings could become much shorter and more efficient.

- Saves money and time.

- The tangible advantages of the Video Conference Camera includes lower costs on business travels and staff training; less time for meetings, training and projects because of improved communication among participants, trainees and teammates.


- Many feel that video conferencing takes away from the personal aspect of the conversation.

- Heavily dependent on the network connection. Technology isn't always trustworthy. In the middle of an important session, you may be disconnected at any given time and have to wait to be re-connected.