Video conferencing is an increasingly mainstream business activity, no longer restricted to high-level executive meetings in vastly expensive telepresence suites. The trouble is, according to Logitech, that most meeting rooms are ill-equipped to handle video, usually just providing a speakerphone and relying on users to bring their own webcam-equipped laptops if pictures are required.
Back in 2012, Logitech's business unit launched the BCC950 ConferenceCam to deliver ad-hoc HD video conferencing for small groups; now it has moved up a notch with the £699 ($999) ConferenceCam CC3000e, which is designed to serve meeting rooms holding up to 10 people.
The CC3000e ConferenceCam comprises a Bluetooth and NFC-enabled speakerphone, a full-HD pan-tilt-zoom camera, a dockable remote control and a powered USB hub:
The speakerphone has a 24cm-square footprint and stands 6.8cm tall, weighing 810g. It houses a pair of omnidirectional full-duplex mics, with echo and noise cancellation, allowing users to have natural-feeling conversations with remote participants from within 20 feet of the unit.
The touch control panel lets you start and end calls, displays call-related information, and provides volume and camera controls — which are replicated on the 10-foot-range remote that docks neatly into the speakerphone. The speakerphone is Bluetooth-enabled, allowing you to conduct audio conferences via your smartphone — and if the latter supports NFC, pairing is simplicity itself.
The 590g camera can be mounted on a flat surface, a wall or on a tripod via its standard mounting thread. It's a full-HD 1080p/30fps unit with onboard UVC 1.5 and H264 SVC support for improved bandwidth control.
It has a 90-degree field of view, and can be panned, tilted and zoomed (10x lossless) from the speakerphone control panel or the remote (you can also do this for a remote CC3000e unit in another location). Usefully, you can set a default position for the camera on wake-up, and activate this at any time via the Camera Home key.
Logitech has maximised layout flexibility by connecting everything via a small (9.5cm x 7.4cm x 3.4cm, 50g) powered USB 2.0 hub. You get 5-metre (16-foot) cables for attaching the camera and the speakerphone, and a 3m (10ft) cable for connecting to the PC or Mac that's hosting the video conference.
If you want to keep the hub and wiring out of the way, you can use the provided mounting kit to attach it to the underside of a desk or table.
The CC3000e is officially compatible with a range of UC platforms, including Microsoft's Lync and Skype, Cisco's WebEx and Jabber, Vidyo — and of course the Logitech-owned LifeSize ClearSea.