Microsoft Teams Room and Microsoft Surface hub – Co-ordinated meetings – How It works!

Microsoft Teams Room and Microsoft Surface hub – Co-ordinated meetings  1plex recently upgraded our Microsoft Teams Room device (MTR) and generation 1 Surface hub to support co-ordinated meetings and have spent a couple of weeks testing the solution, here’s some initial thoughts..   Background – we are increasingly working with customers who are jumping on the MTR bandwagon and are beginning to see the solution emerge as the default choice in video enabled meeting rooms. Customers enjoy the ease of use and we see high adoption rates with features such as proximity join proving popular as companies look to make meeting rooms simpler with less touch points. A typical meeting room now features an MTR, often combined with a camera/audio all in one solution such as the Poly Studio. Some of these customers also have investments in Surface Hub which were purchased for their rich collaboration, pen and ink capabilities rather than solely used as video conference devices. The new strategy from Microsoft see’s these two devices work together in a single meeting room, MTR providing the video conference capability and Surfacehub providing the rich collaboration experience. Configuration of the devices is relatively simple assuming both are on the latest (August 2020) versions of the software. Typically, in a meeting room the MTR will be the fixed single or dual screen in the room, the surface hub, especially if a Hub 2S will often be free standing presented on a mobile trolley. So having used the system for the last couple of weeks, here’s some feedback: Meeting join – Starting a co-ordinated meeting could not be easier, both devices...

Working from the office or Home – What is the best Headset to use?

During lockdown, like most organisations, 1plex adapted our working practices with all staff working from home. As a company we are used to working with Skype, Teams and Zoom so we very quickly developed new working practices. The amount of time spent in online meetings internally, with customers and partners was raised dramatically. Returning to the office we continue to spend an increased amount of time in online meetings but now from a busy office where multiple people are on calls at the same time, it does come with increased background noise. The devices we purchased to equip everyone working from home where it worked perfectly, suddenly didnt work so well back in the office.   The biggest example of this is headsets, a number of us purchased ‘ear bud’ style devices which we have been delighted with, they’ve worked happily for the last 6 months and we appreciate the comfort and freedom they provide and the excellent audio experience. However, within a couple of weeks of being back in the office we’ve had numerous comments that we can’t be heard over the  background noise being picked up by the microphones. Out of interest we ran a quick test of the devices used by members of the team. As Microsoft Communication partners we always encourage and advocate the use of certified devices so try to practice what we preach, there is one notable exception to the equipment used in the test which is the Microsoft Surface Earbuds, these are not certified but we have a set in use so included them in the comparison. The table below lists the...

Logitech Smartdock now Supports Dual Monitor

Exciting news for the Logitech Smartdock: The new update, version 3, for the Skype Room System includes dual monitor support and themes. We’ve been having a little play with it today, and its all pretty impressive. Obviously in a meeting room situation you would have two same-size screens alongside each other. The dual monitors mean the users can see and communicate with all meeting participants on one screen, whilst sharing content and collaborating on the second screen.     This is a great new feature, which updates automatically as part of the windows...

Which Blynclight is right for you?

  With the Blynclights becoming more and more popular a question I often get asked is ‘What is the difference between the three models?’ So I thought I do a quick guide to show you what features each have to help you make an informed decision on which one is right for you. All Blynclights are designed to let your colleagues know when you’re on a call, busy with a deadline or available to chat. They do this by syncing with Skype for Business to show your status by changing to colour: i.e. green for available, red for busy etc. All three models have the following features: Sync your status with Skype for Business/Lync, Cisco Jabber for Windows, Skype Flashes on Incoming Calls Flashes on Incoming Instant Messages Adjustable Brightness Control The Blync Standard and the Blync Plus are very much designed for the cubical worker. The lights are large and square (45mm x 45mm x 60mm), designed to sit on a partition wall and be very visible in a large office environment. The Blync Plus has all the features of the Standard and also includes a ringer that can be configured for audio alerts: As well as flashing, it rings on incoming calls and peeps on incoming Instant Messages. There is volume control and you can select from 10 MP3 ringtones. The Blynclight Mini is a lot smaller (65mm x 14mm x 11mm). It’s designed for the non-cubical work environment. It mounts easily on to a laptop or monitor and provides all the features of the Blynclight Plus. Ok so which one is right for you? There are basically two questions you need to...

Magewell USB Capture HDMI Review

What is the Magewell USB Capture HDMI? In simple terms the device converts a HDMI stream into a USB input stream. This is particularly useful if, for example, you wanted to show video in a Skype for Business video call. As the Skype for Business client only picks up webcams and other USB devices this wouldn’t normally be possible. This device can be used to connect you to another laptop streaming the video, converting it to USB. Skype for Business then sees it as another camera therefore allowing it to be used in video calls. I will show how this works in more detail soon. First lets look at the actual product. Product Info The product comes in a plastic display case and includes a blue USB 3.0 cable. It doesn’t come with instructions but it is all pretty self explanatory so you shouldn’t need any. Once unpacked, you will notice that the devise is made of metal so feels pretty sturdy. In terms of size, it’s 84.25 x 42.8 x 12.6mm. There is a HDMI port at one end and a USB port at the other end. There are also two lights, a power light to show that you have power and an action light to show that the device is working.     Using the Device Once the USB lead is connected to your laptop, both lights will come on. Your laptop will also recognise a new device. If you then go into Skype for Business, and go to the video device settings, you will see there are now two devices; the integrated webcam and the HDMI video, as seen...

Jabra Evolve 40 Review

The Jabra Evolve range is designed to improve concentration in noisy work environments. There are 5 headsets in this range: Evolve 20, 30, 40, 65 and 80. Today I will be reviewing the Evolve 40. Unpacking The first thing you’ll notice is that the headset comes in a zipped carry case which is handy for when you’re on the go. It stops the wires getting tangled and fits nicely in a laptop bag. When you take the headset out, you’ll see that it has a red wire that connects with a 3.5mm jack to a USB dongle. The dongle is really useful when using with Skype for Business. The dongle includes an answer/end call button, volume down, volume up, mute switch and a Busylight indicator.   Getting Started Jabra Direct is free PC software enabling Jabra USB devices to have remote call control over most softphones such as Skype for Business. It brings you features to personalise your device and also includes Jabra Intelligent Call Transfer, which I will discuss in more detail later. The Jabra Direct Software can be downloaded from the Jabra website. Once I had downloaded the software, I connected the headset via USB. My laptop didn’t automatically switch to them once plugged in, I had to set them as my default device. The Busylight One of the cool features of this headset is the Busylight indicator. This is a ring on each side of the headset which lights up bright red to let others know that you are on a call. You will see that there is also an indicator on the dongle. This can also be turned on...