In October, MVS had the opportunity to attend Zoomtopia 2019 in California. The event showcased a number of new technology developments, but one that we’re particularly excited about is the launch of Zoom Room Appliances.
News of the launch has travelled fast, and we’ve been inundated with questions about Zoom Room Appliances from our customers. To help answer some of the most common ones, we’ve put together this FAQ guide.
What are Zoom Room Appliances?
Zoom Room Appliances are a line of purpose built hardware solutions. They allow you to make your small to medium sized meeting room’s video conferencing capabilities enabled on a large scale.
Why Zoom Room Appliances?
Zoom Rooms Appliances are ‘all in one’ kits. From delivery, they contain everything you need to make your small to medium sized meeting rooms video conferencing ready.
The hardware itself is top quality, brought to you by leading manufactures in the video conferencing world such as Polycom & DTEN.
Once installed, a Zoom Room Appliance is easily managed through an intuitive central Zoom Admin Portal.
How do these differ from traditional Zoom Room Packages?
Traditional Zoom Room Packages are made up of a Windows/Mac machine, a controller such as an iPad, and then USB devices such as webcams and speakerphones.
A Zoom Room Appliance is an all in one device where the computer is integrated into the intelligent sound bar. The sound bar has a microphone, speakers, and a high definition webcam built in. For easy control, you then have a table mount touch panel. Both of these devices talk to each other over your network.
Although the hardware differs, the usual Zoom Room features that our clients have grown to expect are still present:
- Consistent user interface
- Start meetings with just one tap
- Share content wirelessly or via traditional HDMI
- HD audio & video
How do you set up a Zoom Room Appliance?
To begin, you will need the following already in place:
- Wall mounted TV screen
- Power and data behind the screen
- Data at the meeting room table (with POE)
From here, you simply wall mount the soundbar underneath the screen, connect it to the power and data, and connect the HDMI to the screen. The touch panel then connects to the data port at the table. Turn the power on, log in to your Zoom Room and you are away!
Sounds simple, why do you need an AV integrator for this?
As with any line of products, you have different Zoom Room Appliance packages to choose from. As AV integrators, we can bring these options to your offices, demonstrate the features and even arrange a proof of concept.
Once you’ve decided on the Zoom Room Appliances that suit your business needs, you’ll need to install it. If you have one or two rooms, then attempting a self-install is certainly an option if you have the right in house skill set, and you are happy that your team will be working in a safe manner.
Alternatively, an AV integrator’s role is to plan these works, with your team’s busy schedules in mind, often out of hours or over weekends. Our ability to roll out a consistent installation across many rooms, in tight timescales, is where an AV integrator should bring the most value.
You will also need to consider what happens once the install is completed. How do you best introduce the new system to your teams? At MVS, our AV integrators’ role includes AV training for staff and designated super users on daily use of any products we install.
If you need help with your any aspect of your Zoom Room Appliance AV installation, our fully trained AV integrators would be happy to help. Call us today on 020 8038 1876 to discuss your requirements.
What Zoom Room Appliances will be available?
On launch, there will be 3 key product lines:
1. Polycom Studio X30 & Studio X50
With the Polycom Zoom Room Appliance option, smart speaker tracking allows the integrated camera to auto frame the image to pick up the participants in the room.
As with all Polycom hardware, it will be available to purchase worldwide via Polycom’s approved reseller base, such as us at MVS.
View a comparison of the Polycom options below:
Neat will initially launch with one product, the Neat Bar, with an all in one collaboration screen to follow.
The Neat Bar will be of a similar spec to the Polycom X30/X50 range, with the added benefit of microphones built into the table-mount touch controller for greater audio pick up coverage.
To begin with, Neat will only be offering Neat Bar sales via its own website, which for a lot of end users could be an issue when considering role outs via an AV integrator.
DTEN have launched with three ‘out of the box’, all in one collaboration screens supporting Zoom’s popular whiteboard features. The three screens are 27”, 55” and 75”, allowing them to cater for a wide range of room sizes.
DTEN will be available to order via its global reseller network, with certain sizes already available for shipping.
When will Zoom Room Appliances Be Available?
The DTEN 55” screen is available today, with the 27” and 75” coming Q1 2020. Polycom’s Studio X Range is due to start shipping in December 2019, with the Neat Bar following closely behind with a January 2020 ship date.
What about large meeting rooms, auditoriums or divisible rooms?
Zoom Appliances are currently best suited to small to medium sized rooms. For other types of rooms, the traditional Zoom Rooms setups are still available and are well suited for even the largest meeting spaces. For those keen to try a different approach to their current Zoom Room, there are new features being announced on a weekly basis so keep your eyes peeled.
Why choose MVS for Zoom Room Appliances?
Zoom Room Appliances are all about making it more affordable for end users to role out Zoom Rooms on a greater scale. MVS has now been able to simplify the installation process, saving time and most importantly money for our customers.
There isn’t much about Zoom that MVS doesn’t know, meaning we are well equipped to advise our clients on the best practices when considering a zoom role out. To get our input, call us today on 0203 4111 630.