What is a room hub?
A room hub is a fully integrated meeting room system that offers audio and video conferencing. A room hub usually consists of a room PC, a screen, dedicated cabling and a cloud-based conferencing app like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Elegant design and a good user experience are two of the main strongpoints of this type of solution.
In terms of functionality, room hubs have a lot in common with ClickShare Conference, as they allow meeting participants to connect through high-quality video conferencing, and enable them to share their screen content with other users. The Barco ClickShare wireless conferencing system on the other hand consists of a Base Unit, the ClickShare Conferencing Button and the ClickShare Collaboration App, which are designed to work seamlessly with your existing video conferencing solution and audio-visual peripherals – microphones, soundbars and cameras.
Despite its similarities, a room hub addresses other needs than a ClickShare wireless conferencing system. Allow us to explain.
1. Standardize on a single video conferencing experience
Whether you use your laptop or a room hub solution, you will need some type of videoconferencing app or software (such as Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom). While the room hub PC can be configured to work with a variety of conferencing apps, once that is done, room hub users are expected to stick with their conferencing technology of choice. Room hubs are not designed to be reconfigured every time there is a new meeting. For example, you won’t walk into a Microsoft Teams room to do a Zoom call. Consequently you may very well have different video conferencing experieneces in different meeting rooms within the same company - if not all rooms have the same room dedicated hub system. Which can make the meeting experience very confusing at times.
With a ClickShare wireless conferencing system, users can make use of their personal devices and preferred conferencing platforms, whether it’s Microsoft Teams, Webex, Zoom or another platform. The ClickShare Conference approach is clearly user-centric and addresses meeting needs that are just as diverse as the typical workforce. Users have one, unified and consistent video conferencing experience, since ClickShare Conference can be implemented in any type of room in the company, no matter te size of the room, the UC solution used or the peripherals set up.
2. Boardroom, huddle space and home office
Room hub solutions often come with a high price tag. Compared to ClickShare Conference, they have a higher hardware cost and you need to pay for a license. In practice this means that room hub technology will mostly be reserved for larger corporate meeting rooms and boardrooms.
While ClickShare Conference perfectly addresses these needs as well, Barco’s wireless conferencing solution also caters to the needs of a growing group of people who enjoy the dynamics of smaller huddle meetings, short face-to-face catch-ups, instant brainstorms and stand-ups. With ClickShare Conference only requiring a Button or Desktop App, it’s easy to set up a video call even in the smallest meeting room or huddle space.
ClickShare Conference also caters to the needs of a growing group of remote workers who want to host video conferences from home. With ClickShare Conference, they can enjoy the same high-quality meeting experience from home, as they would have in the corporate boardroom. This is impossible with a room hub solution.
3. Conferencing and collaborating
Room hub systems provide a simple and user-friendly way to have a videoconference meeting and they usually offer a way to share screen content with other meeting participants. But essentially, the stress is on conferencing, not on collaborating.
ClickShare Conference on the other hand offers a range of collaboration features. For example, with the ClickShare Conferencing Button you can bring the big screen back to your device, a feature called ‘view room display’. The Button also activates other functionalities like blackboarding, annotation, moderation, snapshots and touchback, which allows presenters to control any application on their laptop via the touch screen in the room.
Alternatively, you can share content with the ClickShare Collaboration App with a similar advanced set of collaboration features at your disposal: pause, window selection, extended desktop, ideation and moderation. Combining both Button and App provides an intuitive, rich way of collaborating.
4. Setting up the meeting
While the installation of a typical room hub solution might be a little complex and typically requires careful configuration, the set-up of a ClickShare Base Unit and Button couldn’t be more straightforward.
Barco’s ClickShare Conference is designed to work seamlessly with the existing video conferencing system and audio-visual peripherals – microphones, soundbars and cameras. Setting up the Base Unit and Button can be done in minutes, and meeting participants can quickly and securely enter a new meeting on their own preferred device.