A recent warehouse-to-office space conversion provided Ames, Iowa-based TriOak Foods with lots of new space to work in — along with a very large and narrow 31’ x 19’ conference room. The room is used to host audio and web-based video conferences to quickly and easily bring together remotely located employees for ‘virtual’ meetings for this leading regional pork producer, feed manufacturer, and grain marketer that serves customers throughout Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, and Oklahoma.
The dimensions of the room presented TriOak’s systems integrator Phil Earnest, owner of Collins Communications, with several challenges, not the least of which were multiple audio issues that the old solution TriOak was using failed to address. Earnest turned to ClearOne, a leading global provider of audio and visual communications solutions for the complete conferencing system TriOak needed.
“The TriOak senior management team explained that they often experienced unacceptable levels of background noise during conference calls, especially from the company’s previous desktop audio solution,” Earnest said. “They were very aware of the importance of installing an audio conferencing solution that would deliver the highest levels of audio quality.”
To create the perfect audio solution that would meet all of TriOak’s needs and eliminate the problems they experienced with the older system, Earnest designed an integrated audio solution comprised of the ClearOne CONVERGE Pro 880TA and the ClearOne Beamforming Microphone Array.
The CONVERGE Pro 880TA is an extremely sophisticated professional audio DSP platform that is an ideal solution for conferencing applications. The 880TA features Distributed Echo Cancellation®, Noise Cancellation and other advanced audio processing. This combination of an automatic digital matrix mixer and an integrated, four-channel power amplifier delivered the sharpest audio experience with unmatched sound quality, according to Earnest.
The ClearOne Beamforming Microphone Array is the first professional-grade microphone array that combines patented audio beamforming with adaptive steering technology (think of it as a smart beam section) and next-gen AEC technology.
“ClearOne was very responsive and worked closely with us to ensure this solution we installed would meet TriOak’s exact AV requirements,” said Earnest.
The length of the table in the room meant that it was unsuitable for placement of a single microphone. The installation of multiple standard ceiling microphones would have created distracting ambient noise and also ruined the clean sight line of the room when multimedia content was being shared during meetings. So Earnest went with the ClearOne Beamforming Microphone Array.
“Twenty-four microphone elements reject unwanted noise and reflections, offering superb and unmatched performance, particularly for the group conferencing environment in the TriOak conference room,” Earnest explained.
Earnest also added a ClearOne Tabletop Controller to deliver simple user control of the CONVERGE Pro 880TA, with the ability to easily start and navigate TriOak audio conferences without the need for an external control system, which can be expensive, complex and intimidating to users.
For the video side of the equation, Earnest deployed ClearOne’s versatile, high quality, and competitively-priced UNITE 200 PTZ Camera. The PTZ 200 includes USB, HDMI and IP connections making it ideal for multiple applications such as PC-based web conferencing, unified communications applications and video conferencing.
A ClearOne CONVERGE USB finalized the install and provided plug-and-play USB connectivity between any unified communication applications running on user’s PCs and the CONVERGE Pro 880TA for full, rich professional sound.
“ClearOne’s ability to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for all of the elements of the AV solution which TriOak needed was a really important factor for us. We had the confidence that the different elements would work together with no integration issues,” Earnest concluded.