Multi-site, global, extending your reach…

Hybrid events, online seminars, live webcasts, video conferences, video streams, webinars… We are spoilt for choice when it comes to options to interact with our peers, customers, employees or the public more broadly.

For one particular client a few weeks ago, they had a number of offices around the world and they wanted full interactivity, control and HD quality and so they came to us.

We were able to link their offices together and show any site or any combination of sites on any screen connected to our network around the world.

Hybrid events like this, utilising existing video conferencing technology don’t have to be expensive. Many offices have Cisco or Polycom equipment and/or infrastructures. Products newer to the market like Zoom and Starleaf and making interoperability much easier and the technology more prevalent.

If you need a solution for hybrid events but you’re not really sure what you need or how you can make it work, call us.

Cisco SX80 for hire

We’ve been leading the way in Video Conference solutions for live events for a while now using our Cisco C90 units for HD video links around the world. Whilst the units are still great, clients are becoming more familiar with the Cisco SX80 and the rest of the SX range and we’ve had a number of requests for them this year.

Well, who are we to argue. We have now invested in a number of units, complete with cameras, microphones and touch panels to add to our rental stock.

  • Standards-compliant 1080p solution, compatible with standards-based video without losing features
  • 1080/60p @ 10mbps
  • H.264 / H.265 3 Screen output
  • Offers four simultaneous video inputs
  • Comes with four Cisco table microphones & camera

Get in touch to find out more about these awesome systems.

Video Conferencing Training for Engineers

Video Conferencing is key to what we do and it’s becoming commonplace in the live events world. Customers expect it to work (and it should) and event organisers want their events to include as many people as possible, whether they’re in the room or not.

We believe that technology should be used by all to bring maximum value to customers and that video conferencing specifically is a fantastic, valuable tool which allows people outside the room to interact and be engaged with those in the room.

Please feel free to attend our training day and learn about the technical opportunities and challenges associated with video conferencing. This training will be technical and designed for people with a good knowledge of AV and IT infrastructures.

The training will take place at our office in Wimbledon on 4th August at 10am. Please contact tom@presentcommunications.com if you would like to attend.

Hybrid Events must be interactive and engaging…

Live streaming, video conferencing, webinars, hybrid events…

These terms all mean something a little different, and we’ve covered the differences in the past. Is largely semantics really, the most important thing is the way in which we decide on our platform of choice.

There are a number of elements to a live video / hybrid events. First, there is the on-site element. This includes the PA system and screens like normal but also now we introduce the video cameras etc.

Secondly, we need to take the video, slides, and audio from the room and send it to the internet. Potentially, we also need to take video, slides, audio and more from the internet and present it back to our audience in the room. That’s the key to being interactive and engaging our audiences, both in the room and online.

Thirdly, the content that we’ve sent to the internet needs to actually make it into the offices and homes of our online participants and vice versa and for this we need a platform. Some live streaming platforms might include Facebook Live, YouTube, ON24, Talk Point, Inxpo etc. Video conferencing platforms might include a Cisco MCU like our in house system or something cloud based like Zoom. And webinar platforms include things like Webex, Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting. That’s a lot of options. And to make it more complicated, a hybrid event is essentially a mix of any of these with a live event.

Bringing people ‘into’ your event from online, whether they be at home, in their office or on the train gives the event owner huge potential to widen the audience to increase the reach of the event. It also places a responsibility on the event owner to ensure that the online participants are just that, participants. Engagement should be considered just as important for those people online. In fact, it should be considered more important because those participants don’t have the advantage of actually being in the room with the other delegates.

Now for the techie bit… In order to ensure the delegates online and in the room are fully engaged, video and audio needs to be high quality and real time. Content needs to be available to all users too. Currently, there is a technological gap between what’s needed and what’s available. I could blame it all on Apple but that’s a conversation for another day. All I’ll say is WATCH THIS SPACE…

Telepresence Robot on hire…

We had the fun experience of providing a remote controlled telepresence robot to our newest client – the University of Surrey.

Earlier in the day, Present Communications ltd facilitated a ‘typical’ video conference, where a professor from Harvard presented to a lecture theatre here in the UK. After the presentation, the professor wanted to be actively involved in the drinks reception which required him to be able to ‘mingle’ with the guests from over 3,000 miles away.

We provided a telepresence robot which allowed the guests to interact with the professor in real time and in person … virtually. Live video and audio were streamed in both directions.

Here is a little video of the robot in action, being controlled in London, from Boston.

Video Conferencing with Ultimate Flexibility – anytime – anyplace – PresentAnywhere

When our customers require the ultimate in flexibility and reliability, it becomes necessary to bring the entire offering in house. We’ve been offering video conferencing bridging and firewall traversal for some time through our trusted and (frankly) brilliant partners but the time has come for these services to be provided by our own team. This gives us the flexibility to change, amend and adapt on site as required and often at the last minute and I don’t need to explain to event professionals how important that is.

AJA Ki Pro Rack

 

We’ve recently invested in the industry standard AJA Ki Pro, a unit that has proved to be of superb quality and reliability for us over the last year.

With a wealth of professional connections, Ki Pro Rack will fit right into your existing cabling and routing system and record 10-bit Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD files direct to removable hard disk or SSD Storage Modules, eliminating the need for time-consuming logging and capturing. The files can be used in most editing systems without the need for additional transcoding or importing processes.

  • HD/SD Solid State Video Recorder
  • Ability to switch between Apple ProRes 422 and Avid DNxHD
  • Built-in broadcast-quality Up/Down/Cross conversions
  • HD/SD SDI, HDMI, and HD/SD analog video I/O
  • Multi-channel AES, analog balanced XLR, and embedded audio I/O
  • Remote configuration and control via Ethernet LAN connection
  • Ethernet file transfer
  • Stand-alone operation and configuration, no need for external computer
  • RS-422 machine control, genlock, and LTC connections
  • Dual Media Drive Bays

 

Multi-Lingual Video Conferencing – Live Interpretation

We’ve been a key supplier to some global, multi-lingual webcasting over the last few years, allowing audiences to watch live events and presentations in real time in their chosen language.  The technology is often complex but we’ve got it nailed.  Webcasting is one way.

 

But what about two way communication?  How can we make two way live conversation available to each participant or group in a chosen language?  Well, we’ve nailed that too.  By routing the call through our systems where the interpreters sit, we can provide each end with their chosen language facilitating international, global, live conversations. The language barrier will soon be a thing of the past, if it’s got anything to do with us!

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!