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Tech Guide: Video conferencing made simple with Crestron mercury

Michael Garwood 25 September 2017

The all in one tabletop device can turn any room into a ‘professional video conferencing space’

Video conferencing was once seen as a bit of a luxury. There was a designated room with highly specialised hardware, software and infrastructure. It could also often be very expensive, confusing to use and difficult to scale or manage. Today, it’s called web collaboration, and everyone carries the codec, speaker, microphone, and display in their pocket, backpack, or briefcase. The problem is that everyone uses different software, which is not always collectively compatible.

For example, if an organisation standardises on Cisco Spark or Zoom and then a client, vendor, or partner walks into the meeting room with Skype for Business on their laptop, it won’t work.

Outside the room, you get email invitations to remote meetings on various platforms, whether it’s WebEx, Goto Meeting, Join Me, Amazon Chime, Slack or others. When we click the link to join the meeting, we find we have to download a file, execute the download and hope it will work.

The Crestron Mercury room solution (pictured) is designed to resolve these video conferencing challenges faced by businesses today.

All in one solution

According to Crestron, by connecting your laptop, Crestron Mercury, will work with any web collaboration platform you’re already running on your device and ships with a USB room camera, plus all the cables you need. “You can turn any room into a professional video conference space,” the firm insisted to AVTE.

It can also be setup from a browser based tool to run native Skype for Business or Zoom. If an organisation has standardised on Skype for Business or Zoom, they don’t need a laptop to make conference calls, only to share content. Mercury is also a fully open SIP conference phone that directly connects to MITEL, Cisco, Avaya, OnSIP and other servers. It features built-in Bluetooth to “seamlessly” pair with mobile phones and AirMedia for wireless presentation. It directly connects to Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and G Suite for room scheduling. Room availability and meeting details are displayed on the built-in 7-inch touch screen and on the room display.

The built-in speaker and microphones are engineered for speech audio and designed for large rooms, such as boardrooms, but ‘well priced’ for high volume installations in tight-budget spaces such as huddle rooms.

Available: Now. Two models are available to accommodate different applications and budgets

Where can I buy? Crestron Approved Dealers

Price: Starting from £1796.00

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