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Author Topic: camera height and viewing angles  (Read 1517 times)

Austin Parker

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camera height and viewing angles
« on: December 30, 2006, 02:18:35 am »

ok. so im trying to set some kind of starting standard for video conferencing rooms. lets say the room is either 12 people or 18 people. I have suggested that the camera be located at 3'6" to center of lens and then + 4" to bottom of display (be it LCD, Plasma, Projection...).  Then the issue of viewing angles and reflected light comes to mind. If the surfaces in the room are highly reflective (light) 3'6" can be hell (iris shuts down), or i find the iris opening way too much. Does anyone have any decent suggestions?

BTW its usually a EVI D100 camera, or a EVI d70, codec is tanberg.
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Austin Parker

Designer  of Audio/Video/Control Systems

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Brad Weber

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Re: camera height and viewing angles
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2006, 01:18:27 pm »

Another "it depends".  You need to take into consideration the number and size of displays, the size of the display wall and any other elements in it (speakers, etc.), where the people are you want in the camera shot, etc.

You may find different answers for tiered seating than for flat floor or for a wide arc of participants where you can see each face clearly from a single camera position versus a narrower table where some faces might be partially blocked from any one camera position.  Similarly, you might develop a different solution for a single centered display versus dual side-by-side displays (and how far apart the displays can be).

These same considerations can also affect the display size and location.  Dual display systems (typically far end and local source) are nice, but maintaining full viewing of both screens can be more difficult than for a single screen.  If some viewers have to look around, over or through other participants then that may also affect the display location(s).

Single versus dual camera may also be a consideration.  In higher end rooms I prefer two cameras so that you can continue to send one while moving the other camera and the switch rather than having the remote site(s) see all the camera movement.  However, this then has it's own considerations for camera placement.

Elements such as lighting, furniture and room finishes, as well as acoustics, need to be considered as part of the videoconferencing system.  For lighting issues such as directionality, color temperature and location need to be considered to avoid shadows and glare while maintaining depth to the image (think front, side and back lighting rather than just lighting from above).  Considerations of participant location, contrast, reflectivity and bandwidth should be addressed for furniture (a highly figured table surface can use a lot of bandwidth and often looks poor at the receiving site(s), sort of negating the entire purpose of having a "pretty" finish).  Room finishes should be selected to provide a neutral, contrasting backdrop (avoid people blending into the background or needing to try to pick people out of a busy background).  And obviously the noise levels and room acoustics play a major part in the audio system performance.  Sometimes it will be impossible to address some or all of these factors, but I have found that you should still make recommendations and then qualify that the videoconferencing system design and expected performance are based on those recommendations being implemented.
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Brad Weber
muse Audio Video
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