Director – Visual Collaboration & Workspace Engineering
Building a Microsoft Teams Room conference space requires looking at meeting rooms from a new angle! With many employees back at the office, at least partially, there’s a need to reimagine the workplace. Deploying a new meeting room enhanced for hybrid or a traditional in-office space requires carefully planned equipment and collaboration guidelines.
1. Room Attributes for AV Best Practices
Building a new in-office meeting room must encompass all the audio, video, projection, compute, and networking needs. Microsoft Teams is often the backbone for numerous organizations to help them easily transform to work from anywhere. You want to follow these best practices to avoid employees experiencing difficulty joining Teams with Audio Video from their conference rooms. If your setup has a variation of existing conference room hardware including a speaker, monitor and projector as well as a dedicated PC, it’s a good starting point.
Bring further features and flexibility to create custom meeting rooms with audio systems, video consoles, conference phones, Teams panels, content cameras, intelligent speakers, and collaboration displays.
The first step in the AV design journey is to consider the questions below.
Room Attributes Checklist
Number of Walls? Fully enclosed with a door? Can walls support displace weight?
Are there conduits available for cable pulling in the desired locations?
Will cables need to be run on top of the floor?
Are there any acoustic issues?
Does the room have lighting concerns?
Does the room have any apparent ambient noise issues (open space noise, HVAC)?
Does the room include a physical white board? If so, where?
Will this room require any external automation controls, such as Crestron/Extron lighting/shades?
What is the size of the room (LxWxH)?
2. MTR Windows vs MTR Android
You must also decide early-on if you’re building an MTR Windows or MTR Android setup.
Microsoft Teams Rooms should be designed with each customer’s unique needs, which is why Microsoft offers a range of options, including Teams Rooms on Windows and on Android.
Primary functionality is available on both platforms. End-users will always have great audio and video experiences, with one-touch join meetings, and access features such as live captions and ask a question.
As Microsoft brings new features to Teams and to Teams Rooms, we strive to bring them to all platforms, but features may roll out at different times due to several factors, including things like technical feasibility and customer feedback for each platform. This means you may see some features rolling out on Windows before they come to the Android platform.
For a successful deployment of Microsoft Teams Rooms, it’s necessary to identify the right devices for your spaces and carefully evaluate the functional differences between these two systems.
Flexibility/ Large Meeting Room
Immediate Access to new Features
Inclusive Software, Hardware & Connectivity
Mixed OS environments
Small Hub Space for Collaboration
Remote Site Enablement
3. Key Components
Once you have an inventory of your organization’s existing meeting spaces to understand their environment, size, design, and purpose – you should then identify intelligent cameras, whiteboarding, content camera, and compute hardware like USB ports, etc.
After you create an inventory of the gear and capabilities, your requirements for that room feed into your device planning to create a powerful conferencing solution. Audio Visual and compute needs of each room play a key role in which solution is most appropriate for each room.
Best Practices around Teams Room Compute
Consider the number of USB ports
Count your USB peripherals because not all computes have the same number of USB ports.
Consider the type of USB Connector
Is it USB A/B/C or Micro because USB audio and video peripherals have different connectors
Verify type and speed of USB connection
Is it USB 2.0 or 3.0 because they operate at different speeds
USB 3.0 for newer technology Cameras and BYOD USB Extension
Verify compute location
Wireless network is not supported so a located network may be needed
Understanding EDID – Extended Display Identification Data with 4K displays
The premise of this form of communication is for the display to relay its operational characteristics, such as its native resolution, to the attached source and then allow the source to generate the necessary video characteristics to match the needs of the display
Use display controllers like Atlona AT-DISP-CTRL or Extron HD CTL 100
4. Teams Touch Console
Consider the following camera components to transform meeting space collaboration, from small huddle rooms to large conference areas. Choose a camera(s) that provides a rich and collaborative Teams meeting experience that’s simple to use, deploy, and manage. Enable participants to see everyone in the room.
Make sure Teams Room Camera is MTR certified
Camera Field of View
Number of cameras supported
Number of Cameras Supported
Not all MTR Manufactures support more than one camera
Crestron MTR 2 Cameras
Poly MTR 2 Cameras
Yealink MTR 9 Cameras
Fixed vs. PTZ
5. Teams Rooms Audio
Complete a Teams Room design with certified audio parts that integrate well with your meeting room design.
Make sure Teams Room Audio is MTR certified
Overhead ceiling microphones
Cortana voice assistance
Audio options include:
All-in-one devices that include camera, microphone and speakers
Use Microsoft approved USB devices
Direct USB connection to compute behind display
Know the limitations of Microphone pick up range
Some devices connected USB to the Tabletop Touch Console
These include the speaker component as well
Table-top microphones require certified Digital Signal Processor
These require additional wall mounted or ceiling speakers
Some manufacturers offer Cortana enabled tabletop devices for voice assistant features
Intelligence built in for noise reduction and automatically tracking the talking participants
Requires certified Digital Signal Processor with USB connection to compute
6. Third Party Control
Third party control allows the room to connect to a third-party control processor from Extron and Crestron to be able to control room lighting, room shades, additional Camera control, additional sources, etc. Be careful to not over complicate your third-party control because the room control page times out after 60 seconds and forces you back to the Windows interface.
Third-party control options work with Audio Visual Collaboration components including:
Poly, Lenovo, HP, Yealink, Logitech MTR partners with Extron control processors for control
Crestron MTR uses their control processors for control
Consider when selecting licensing:
MICROSOFT TEAMS ROOMS BASIC
MICROSOFT TEAMS ROOMS PRO
Microsoft Teams Rooms Basic $0 per device per month
Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro$40 per device per month
Available at no charge for rooms equipped with any Microsoft Teams Rooms device (up to 25)
Licensed per device, per month (Annual subscription – auto renew)
Collaborate with your team
Advanced hybrid meet with layout, intelligent AV, branding
NWN Carousel has recently been named Best Sales Team for 2023 by Comparably! As an organization dedicated to supporting our employees and customers through cloud communications and a hybrid work experience, we are honored to take the top spot on this list among past and present awardees including RingCentral, Zoom, Insight Global and more. Read the full ranking here.
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Marketing Events Director | NWN Carousel
On our recent webinar “Simple Strategies to Secure your Hybrid Workforce,” cybersecurity experts from NWN Carousel and Fortinet made one message clear:
Your workforce environment may change but your security posture should not!
Panelists dispelled the myth that security teams alone can lead their companies through the hybrid work transformation. IT and business leaders must work together to establish an optimal operating technology stack that simultaneously keeps their organizations secure and their workers productive.
If you missed the live webinar or want to revisit the content, we are pleased to share the replay on-demand!