Sub-$1,000 Video Room System from AVer
At this price point, room systems are now within the reach of both office users in larger corporations and SMBs.
Recently, AVer announced the EVC line of low-cost video kit, led by the EV100, a new room video system priced at $999 list (without display monitor). The potential this device shows for quality room video systems at very reasonable prices is significant. The impact of this class of device needs to be considered as we look forward to the future of video, cloud services, SMB, and WebRTC.
With the EVC100 and a 50-60 inch monitor, a room system can now cost as little as $1,500, with Costco monitor pricing and some level of discounting from AVer. At this price point, room systems are now within the reach of both office users in larger corporations and SMBs. For office users, the capability to easily put a conferencing system in an office that includes a table is potentially of great value versus using a desktop system. For the SMB, the cost point is sufficiently low to make buying video reasonable, if there are very low-cost options for ongoing services.
With some of the new services such as Zoom, Vidtel, and Blue Jeans, the cost for monthly video service is dropping to the point where SMBs and even individuals can justify it. With prices starting below $10 per month, using this type of system with a service and WebRTC for your customers could open new horizons for SMBs. And with a plethora of free video services emerging, from Google Hangouts to applications like Bistri, FACEmeeting, and Tawk using WebRTC, there is an intriguing potential to use this type of system with a future WebRTC release essentially only when needed, for no additional cost. And if you have a large office or a conference room, investing $1,500 for an actual conferencing system is not that large an investment.
But why not just use an HD webcam and TV, with a PC as the base unit? While at first blush this seems to save a lot, unless the PC is dedicated, the set-up confusion and wear and tear will rapidly reduce both effectiveness and operation. Expecting users to use their own PCs opens the door to configuration and driver issues. Also, the PC does not have the dedicated microphone and speaker with attendant noise cancelling that makes the EVC100 reasonable for smaller conference rooms. The EVC100 also includes inputs for document sharing, including VGA and audio in and out ports. I am really looking forward to the version of the EVC100 that includes WebRTC. Perhaps it will also include Chromecast so we can beam output to it and share that as well.
The EVC100 is an indicator of the future in video conferencing endpoints. While many of us may use our PCs and tablets, there seems to be a potential market for reasonably-priced room/office dedicated systems that enable the next generation of video, including cloud and WebRTC. It seems that AVer is stepping up to be a player in that space.