General Discussion / Echo issues...
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1/29/2010 10:45:05 AM Reply with Quote

So we have been using Nefsis off and on for a few months now, mainly because it is the only product that has HD video without special hardware. Let me say - the video aspect works great with the MS Lifecam Cinema!

Now the audio is another thing altogether. So far we have been unable to get a "Skype-like" experience with the audio portion (i.e. with Skype it seems that any mic / speaker combo will work without any audio echo).

Here are the various endpoints we have tried without success:
- Microsoft Lifecam Cinema built-in mic w/ external speakers
- Dell laptop built-in webcam and mic w/ laptop speakers
- MXL ProCon USB conference mic w/ external speakers

And we have had partial success with the following:
- Plantronics .Audio 610 USB headset (as mic and speaker)
- Phoenix Audio Duet Executive (as mic and speaker)

For the partial success we have to turn off "Acoustic Echo" and "Adaptive Noise" cancellation. Then a conference headset to headset works well, both parties can talk at the same time. When going headset to Duet, the headset will "overpower" the Duet (meaning when the Duet uses its speaker the mic turns off). So that is what I consider partial success.

Does anyone have any tips for me? Or is this how it works for you as well? Thanks in advance.

1/29/2010 1:13:37 PM Reply with Quote

The microphones found in webcams are typically of poor quality, and their use with external speakers is sometimes usable, but certainly not recommended. Our echo canceler is capable of suppressing echo in this configuration, but its ability to do so effectively depends on the quality of the audio signal. If the playback or recording devices introduce distortion or poor quality audio it will be much more difficult to clean up the audio signal.

Headsets are the best solution for video conferencing as the physical implementation greatly reduces the chance of an echo loop. For most headset configurations we recommend disabling the echo and noise cancelling altogether.

Regarding the Phoenix audio devices, some of these (as part of their own built in echo canceler) will suppress or turn off the microphone in situations where playback volume is too high or it detects that it may have problems cancelling the echo in the current environment. I would recommend downloading the Phoenix Audio Setup Utility and Audio Testing Wizard to see if this feature can be disabled. The Audio testing Wizard also allows you to create a sample recording and submit it to the Phoenix Audio support staff for evaluation.

You may find these utilities available for download here: http://phnxaudio.com/Support/tabid/69/Default.aspx

2/2/2010 8:21:52 AM Reply with Quote

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott 
Regarding the Phoenix audio devices, some of these (as part of their own built in echo canceler) will suppress or turn off the microphone in situations where playback volume is too high or it detects that it may have problems cancelling the echo in the current environment. I would recommend downloading the Phoenix Audio Setup Utility and Audio Testing Wizard to see if this feature can be disabled. The Audio testing Wizard also allows you to create a sample recording and submit it to the Phoenix Audio support staff for evaluation.

You may find these utilities available for download here: http://phnxaudio.com/Support/tabid/69/Default.aspx


Thanks - I should give this a try and contact them.

Do you know any speakerphones like the Duet that just plain work? Let's say I had $1-2k to figure out the audio portion in a small to medium size conference room - any products you would recommend that you have experience with?

I appreciate the help.
Jim

2/2/2010 2:08:53 PM Reply with Quote

We recommend a range of devices from a single user to a full conference room configuration: http://www.nefsis.com/Best-Video-Conferencing-Software/video-conferencing-equipment.html

Please contact your Nefsis account manager for more precise recommendations. In addition to price, its also important that we (or any audio integrator) have a good understanding of your users, your conference room, and the environment in which you'll be using the software.

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