The best internet experience is not just about speed…

Don’t get me wrong, internet speed is important, it’s very important.  Some users of hotels and conference centres genuinely require very fast internet and there are a few venues in London and around the country who can provide this (call us to find out which ones).

But much of the time, we actually don’t require super speeds.  We need internet that’s going to work, that’s low latency and well structured.  Once again, when it comes to internet, quality wins over quantity.

As I write this, I’m actually sitting in a conference room in Nigeria. We’ve paid for really fast internet and, as promised, that is what we have.  The streaming video has actually been remarkably stable despite the regular power cuts.  But we’re struggling to manage and preview the streams because the ‘quality’ of the network isn’t up to it.

The problem is, it’s very difficult to measure quality of internet and network.  You’re going to find out how good it is when your guests all try to log on at the same time.  Or you can just call us and we’ll tell you where has the best networks.

WiFi at your outdoor event

We all love being outdoors. Sometimes we want to get away from the hustle and bustle, leave technology behind.

Unfortunately as event organisers, we don’t often have that privilege. Guests at your festival, party, wedding or outdoor sporting event expect to be able to connect to their friends, customers and the wider world. Present Communications can make that happen.

We take internet connectivity from 3G and 4G across all the networks as well as satellite and microwave connections. We can connect all of those connections together and provide a strong and resilient internet and wifi connection to any number of guests over large areas.  We call it PresentAnywhere.

This internet is not only strong enough to provide internet for your guests to upload photos to their social channels but also good enough for live streaming and media centres etc. Imagine what that can do your your events media profile…

Come and see us here –

Festivals, concerts, theatre – online

The festival market is booming. More and more people are attending festivals with an estimated 32m attending last year in the US alone. 145,000 attend Glastonbury, the UK’s largest festival, every day. And many of these festivals are attended, unsurprisingly, by young people i.e. millennials. So what’s next for the music industry?

SXSW, one of the World’s most famous festivals/conferences generated over 1m tweets last year, showing an increasing blend between the online and the offline, the internet and the physical. And of course, it’s not just music festivals. The RoundHouse streamed the Poetry Slam final live and a number of theatre groups are using platforms such as LiveStream to make their performances public.

The technology is there, the platforms are there. We no longer need expensive satellite trucks and broadcast facilities in order to make these performances available on the internet. More importantly, artists are beginning the appreciate the value that an active online presence creates for them. When did you hear about a singer or movie star who is ‘less wealthy’ because his/her video went viral on YouTube? But you certainly do hear about the singer who made it for the same reason. The UK’s National Theatre have been streaming shows for years and the Royal Shakespeare Society reportedly have a larger audience for one online show than see their shows in ‘real life’ in a whole year.

Now that high quality HD content can be made available online, we’ll see more and more artists asking for their shows to be made available to their fans, providing a value-add content to people who go out and buy their records anyway. Event organisers will see their online presence only strengthening their brand and ultimately, helping them sell more tickets. This isn’t a ‘what if’, this is what the evidence is showing us.

Present Communications ltd look forward to live streaming your event in the future.

Live Interpretation for Webcasting

The World is getting smaller, we are at the forefront of bringing people together using online technologies such as webcasting and video conferencing.  Technology is available for us to make events accessible to people wherever they might be at that specific time.  ‘Delegates’ (in the new sense of the word) are able to interact with each other on mobile devices or at their desks, even from an aeroplane (yes, we have done this).

There are a few obvious challenges to overcome.  The two big ones, time zones and languages.

The first is difficult to change, we can’t change time zones but we can be as flexible as possible with our event and we find ourselves now working on events at more peculiar times of the day.  If live interaction is not required, we can stagger the streaming in different countries.  Or perhaps two or three live events can be staggered throughout the day for the convenience of various audiences.

‘Languages’ are easier.  The stream, already going over the web can be interpreted live with questions and online interaction translated in real time.  This is becoming a relatively common way to stream and something that works really well for multi-lingual audiences.

In this photograph you see a remote location with real time video sent from the event location to an off-site venue which housed our interpreters who were them streamed live in the web.  It’s a big world, but it’s getting smaller.

 

 

Telephone Conferencing without a telephone…

sip-trunkingLive events can happen anywhere and any time.  We go where ever our clients tell us to go and we don’t always get the connectivity we need.  Our clients come to us because they know how much we enjoy the challenge of making the impossible, possible.  Even better than that, we don’t make it a big deal and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

We now ‘stock’ a number of SIP trunks (virtually) in our rental fleet which can be presented in your conference as an analogue telephone line.  This allows us to connect industry standard equipment such an digital telephone hybrids and telephone balancing units to a analogue phone lines which actually use the internet.  It’s just one more way that we’re helping you to use live events to bring people together.

 

Shortlisted for the Event Technology Awards 2015

Present Communications are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for an award for “Best Hybrid Event or Live Streaming Solution” at the Event Technology Awards.

PUNCH!Our solution allows us to completely bypass network firewalls and system intricacies safely and securely and to set up video conferencing or webcasting solutions (or any other type of internet connection that may be required) very quickly and easily and with little or no configuration at all. Given its ability to break through most complexities, we have named it PUNCH!

This solution is revolutionising the events industry by facilitating video conferencing and webcasting in places where previously it would not have been possible without expensive and time consuming access to an on-site IT teams and venue networking hardware.

It is worth noting that this product can be used to access internet in many circumstances but the reason why we see it is so fundamental for video conferencing is because it allows video conference unit to receive incoming calls even when behind a firewall. The only thing that is required from the venue is access to the World Wide Web i.e. if you can see google, PUNCH! will work.

“We are very excited about being nominated for this award.  This is a product that we use day in day out and it’s great for the team to get recognition for the way in which they are facilitating business communication and allowing these businesses to connect to their international audiences easily and more cost effectively than ever before” – Kieron Garlic, Managing Director.

We wish all the teams shortlisted for the various awards the best of luck and look forward to being there on the night.

 

Mobile & portable internet for outdoor festivals

Present Communications ltd are pleased to announce another remarkable product to the hire stock, the Newsspotter service flyaway kit.  This satellite system allows us to connect to the internet from any remote location in the UK, Europe, Middle East and North Africa.  This is perfect where the airways might be congested such as large public events, festivals, regattas where mobile 3G and 4G reception can become poor and also in remote, outdoor spaces with no mobile signal at all.  This Tooway satellite systems works anywhere with a line of sight to the Europasat satellite.

More and more, customers need their content streamed live to the web and broadcast around the world and limitations such as poor internet connectivity and unreliable mobile phone signals are no longer acceptable excuses.  Using a large range of other products in our portfolio such as the PUNCH! and PresentAnywhere systems, Present Communications can truly present from anywhere; not only broadcasting to the web but also providing live, two way communications in the most remote of locations.

Of course, this isn’t just useful for providing internet at festivals, the Newsspotter uncontended satellite connection provides the ideal backup (or main connection) for those important links that just can’t go wrong.  Used in conjunction with our Teradeck Bond II, the bandwidth provided by the satellite can be load balanced with other connection such as wifi, 3G, 4G, ethernet and more.  Of course, internet connectivity is not just for streaming video (a particular favourite of ours).  Event staff as well as paying customers require internet to do their jobs.  They need it for PDQ machines, cloud based software and general communications.

And satellite is not as expensive as you might think.  Typical bandwidth costs for a satellite are about a quarter of that charged by the mobile phone operators, making satellite connectivity a truly accessible technology.  Good internet is not only a requirement in this connected age but also provides the potential for fantastic social media exposure.

Sound, Light and Video – the importance of thinking it through…

We’ve all been there.  It mostly works but it just isn’t good enough.  We’re watching TV or playing a computer game.

So imagine you’re sitting on an aeroplane, you’re watching an in-flight movie.  The quality is really bad.  It gets worse, it becomes so annoying that you have to turn it off.

Now think about that.  What was so annoying about it?

Imagine the video is all wavy and you struggle to make out the picture but the audio is fine.  Now imagine the audio is so bad you can’t hear anything but the picture is fine.  Which one are you more likely to be able to take.

When we watch a video, it’s the audio we need as much as, maybe even more than the video.  We can live with a pixelated image although we might rather it was perfect.  But bad audio will give headaches and cause us to be constantly struggling to hear.

So make sure you use a supplier who understands not just the IT aspects but also the video and audio aspects of the project.  Make sure you use Present Communications ltd.

Corporate clients require only the best equipment…

When it comes to the ultimate in connectivity and flexibility for video conferencing, there really is no substitute for Cisco’s flagship codec, the Cisco C90.

Having spent the last year trying, testing and comparing the C90 to similar products from the same and competitor brands, it has become apparent the Cisco’s product, part of the C-series, released since they bought Tandberg a few years ago has the relaxability in terms of connectivity particularly that the competitors just don’t offer and it’s these features that make is so useful in the live events industry where no two jobs are ever the same.

I can honestly say that we’ve used so many features on the unit that literally aren’t available on other devices, such as DVI input on the main video channel or even just HD-SDI inputs.  Actually clean output busses are handy as well as balanced line level in and out.

So what are we going to do about this.  Well, we just bought two more!

Firewall problems are a thing of the past – introducing PUNCH!

Firewalls, NAT, port forwarding, words that strike fear into the heart of even the most veteran video conferencing engineer.

There are many ways to set up a codec on a network.  You can allow the codec access to a public IP, NAT to the codec or use simple port forwarding if you think you’re brave enough.

Punch through the firewall

Any of these options require assistance from the in-house IT expert.  Of course that IT person should also be handy with video conferencing and understand the specific port requirements and also how H.323 work.  When you find that person, send him to me, I have a job going.

There are lots of ways that a firewall can be bypassed.  Some are much more complicated than others but mostly they require a lot of configuration.  What is really required by the industry is a way to just PUNCH! through any firewall and present the Video Codec to the outside world on a public IP address outside (and not related) to the network it’s on.
Well, we have this product and if you haven’t guessed already, it’s called PUNCH!  Each device is plugged into any network via the PUNCH! and that device is automatically configured with a public IP address on our network which will work with your Video Codec or any other device.

Don’t believe us, give us a try!