Embracing Videoconferencing

February 2, 2011

Turning Your Client’s Home Into a Videomanor

Gordon van Zuiden (gordon@cybermanor.com) is president of cyberManor in Los Gatos, California.

The start of my company, cyberManor, just over a decade ago was based on the premise that data networks in the home would become as commonplace as they were on the enterprise side. The increasing presence of always-on broadband services to the home connected with more powerful and less expensive computing products created a fertile environment for us to offer data-based home networking solutions. Now, a decade later an equally attractive opportunity presents itself to the low-voltage integrator–residential video teleconferencing.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Creative Labs’ president and COO, Craig McHugh, stated that his company believes the use of video calling will increase exponentially. “After experiencing video calling on lower resolution handheld devices, users will want to integrate higher quality video calling into their business and professional lives,” he said. “We designed The Creative InPerson HD to support this coming shift to video calling by delivering a system that can upgrade virtually any large screen HDTV or HD display into a HD video calling system.”

And John Chambers, CEO of communications giant CISCO, helped to promote the recent introduction of CISCO’s new UMI teleconference product by proclaiming that video conferencing in the home will not only change the way we communicate with family members, but enhance education to the home, and healthcare solutions between doctors and their patients that can now stay at home.

We have already seen Apple’s introduction of FaceTime video conferencing on its iPod touch and iPhone platforms, and it is strongly anticipated that the next release of the company’s iPad will have a camera on both the front and back to support video conferencing. One might anticipate that a future software upgrade of the AppleTV platform will support FaceTime so that these mobile devices can directly videoconference with the HDTV in the family room. Expect the same video teleconferencing capabilities from all the Google Android camera-enabled tablets shown at this year’s CES show with the Logitech Google TV platform.

In the last few short months we have recognized the phenomenal success and power of the Microsoft’s new Kinect product platform. Initially introduced as a product to enhance a hands-free Xbox gaming experience, it is now seen as a platform for a whole host of new applications–a key one being video teleconferencing between users of the Kinect platform and other Microsoft Messenger clients. Unique to this product is its camera capability to follow the user around the room while you are talking.

John Chambers, CEO of communications giant CISCO, helped to promote his company’s new UMI teleconference product by proclaiming that video conferencing in the home will not only change the way we communicate with family members, but enhance education to the home, and healthcare solutions between doctors and their patients that can now stay at home.

It is clear that many of the larger consumer electronics companies have or will soon be offering video teleconferencing products for the home. As custom electronic integrators we probably will not make high margins on the sale of this hardware but we will make money on the integration of these hardware products into our client’s AV rack, the HDTV set, and the programming of the video conferencing control into our universal remote solutions. We may even sell an additional HDTV in the office or another location in the home just to enable these video teleconferencing solutions.

Teleconferencing products will differ on initial price, software platform, residential broadband speed requirements, camera capabilities, number of simultaneous video sessions, and web hosting services and prices. Understanding these parameters from various manufactures will put you in the strongest position to offer the best value-added solution to your clients.

To those initial integrators that fully understand the range of teleconferencing solutions from companies like Apple, Cisco, Microsoft, Logitech, and Creative Labs (to name a few), you may find that your knowledge of video teleconferencing solutions for the home may just be the advantage that rewards your whole-house integration proposal over those of your competitors.

Want to read more stories like this?
Get our Free Newsletter Here!


No records found
Photo GalleriesMore Galleries >
Doug Henderson and Joe Atkins

Doug Henderson (left) president of Bowers & Wilkins Group North America, and Joe Atkins, Bowers & Wilkins global CEO, invited consumer and t...

BMWs, McLarens, and Volvos

Upon arrival, guests experienced Bowers & Wilkins Automotive products in BMW, McLaren, and Volvo cars (the Maserati wasn’t available...

Demo'ing the McLaren

Bowers & Wilkins North America president Doug Henderson show demonstrates how to open the door on the McLaren.

B&W Speakers in the McLaren

Bowers & Wilkins speakers in the McLaren.

B&W Vintage Living Room

Bowers & Wilkins North America president Doug Henderson shows off the company’s vintage living room space, which featured vintage ge...

The B&W LP Collection

Part of the Bowers & Wilkins vintage living room space is this collection of LP covers that represent a seminal album from each of the com...

The B&W Museum

Bowers & Wilkins had to purchase much of the gear in its museum because most discontinued products were not kept over the last 50 years.

The Wisdom of John Bowers

Words to live by from Bowers & Wilkins founder John Bowers

The History of B&W

A timeline of Bowers & Wilkins’ product and company history

Andy Kerr and Martial Rousseau

Senior product manager Andy Kerr and head of research Martial Rousseau from the U.K. Bowers & Wilkins office. They were showing off the ne...

Turbine Head

  The turbine head for the 800 D3 houses the mid-range speakers.

Andy Kerr

Senior product manager Andy Kerr holds up the very heavy solid-body turbine head.

Historical Flagship Products

A look at the company’s flagship products through its 50-year history

The Legendary Diamond Tweeter Dome

To show off the company’s legendary diamond tweeter dome, one was encased in plastic to protect the brittle material. The tweeter domes ...

Demo'ing the 800 D3 Speakers

Bowers & Wilkins’ new demo room showcases its new flagship 800 D2 speakers, which are the outcomes of one of the company’s mos...

800 D3 Close Up

The silver 6-inch FST midrange drive unit of the 800 D3 uses Bower & Wilkins’ new proprietary Continuum woven material. Developed af...

In-wall Demo

Bower & Wilkins’ showcases its in-wall speakers in this space.

The B&W Nautilus

Bower & Wilkins’ legendary Nautilus is 17 years old but just as contemporary now as it was then.

Nautilus Pricing

A wall plaque in the “Nautilus demo room” itemizing the price of the system

Theater Demo

A theater demo showcasing the flexibility of 800 D2 speakers