Review of Biamp Devio

Reviewed by Adam Harvey, solution architect - AV and digital media at University of Hertfordshire, UK

Where have you used this product?

So far we’ve used it in two of our videoconferencing suites in our learning  resources  centres. Videoconferencing is mostly used for exam boards and meetings with partner colleges and other institutions. The rooms are generally booked by staff, but some students as well.

 A lot of people who book the videoconferencing suites book the suite to do video conferencing, but what they actually want is just to Skype with somebody else. So we did a pilot and installed these devices into our two suites with the forward plan that if they were successful and everyone is happy with them then we’d start to roll them out to smaller meeting rooms and dean’s offices.

Why did you choose this product?

It was based on a product demonstration by Biamp I saw at an AV User Group meeting in February. I had Polar Audio bring one in and do an onsite demo in one of our suites and we were very impressed, so decided to buy a couple of units to give them a real-life test.

What would you change?

The only thing that would make my life easier would be an option for it to ship with a webcam and an audio soundbar or audio system so it’s a straight out-of-the-box solution. You put it in the room, connect it all together and hit the set up button on the back and it does the audio balancing itself, so if it came with a camera and an audio solution I literally don’t have anything to think about.

What do you like about using it?

When using Skype for Business (which we give to everybody as part of the Office 365 package)  for  videoconferencing  you  are hampered by the video and audio in your specific device. With the Devio product, it’s giving you the most important thing: audio. It gives you easy connectivity to a very high quality audio product - so even if you’ve got slightly ropey video, as long as you can hear the other person, that’s your default baseline connectivity.

It gives you a really good microphone allowing multiple people in the room to talk at once, whilst dealing with echo cancellation and the gain control. If people are walking around the room and go further away from the microphone or nearer to it, it does all the balance. Its got voice tracking as well, so if somebody at the other side of the room suddenly starts speaking, it picks them up, so you get very even audio - which is great.

It’s just a simple two-cable plug-in and everything’s there, you don’t have to do anything. It also has a little indicator light to show on or off and is mutable. We have been really been impressed with it, and it is something we’re going to start to roll into more meeting rooms.

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