Logitech's GROUP caters for bigger meeting rooms

Enhanced audio features allow Logitech's new HD video conferencing system to cater for up to 20 people.

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Image: Logitech

Logitech has announced a successor to its well-received ConferenceCam CC3000e, an HD video conferencing endpoint that caters for meeting rooms with up to 10 people. The new Logitech GROUP (which drops the ConferenceCam brand name) offers enhanced audio and will handle meetings of up to 14 people in its standard configuration, or up to 20 with a pair of optional additional external microphones.

The new product fills out a video conferencing portfolio that includes the existing ConferenceCam BCC950 for up to 4 people and the cynlidrical ConferenceCam Connect for up to six people. According to Scott Wharton, general manager of Logitech's video collaboration group, the company is now the number-two vendor of conference-room systems worldwide.

There are now plenty of video-conferencing-as-a-service offerings, including Skype for Business, WebEx, Cisco Jabber and Lifesize (which recently split from Logitech to concentrate on cloud-based video collaboration services as an independent company). Logitech's relatively affordable conference-room systems are designed to connect quickly and easily to PCs and laptops via USB and tap into these services to fill the gap between the compromised webcam-and-a-laptop experience and expensive proprietary telepresence systems.

The main advance in the new GROUP product resides in the 1.22kg (43oz) full-duplex speakerphone unit, which now has a metal case to improve audio quality. Four omnidirectional microphones with echo and noise cancelling allow meeting participants to converse within a 6-metre (20-foot) radius, with a pair of optional expansion mics extending this to 8.m/28ft:

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Image: Logitech

The 1080p/30fps HD camera remains the same as in the CC3000e: a high-quality PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) unit with a 90-degree field of view, on-board H.264 with scalable video coding and 10X lossless HD zoom.

Colour-coded cables for connecting the camera, speakerphone and a laptop to the hub unit make setup a simple affair.

Logitech GROUP is expected to be available in March 2016 at £999/$999/€1,199. The expansion microphones will cost £249/$299/€299.

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