I would very much appreciate recommendations for outfitting a conference room for video conferencing, blue ray/standard DVD viewing and HDTV. We also don't have a huge budget for this. So, best quality for the best price is the goal (possible to do all listed below for $2500 or less?).
The conference room is 18 feet wide by 38 feet long. One wall is all windows with blinds that darken the room fairly well. We have already purchased a Jabra Speak 510 microphone/speaker and the Logitech C920 HD pro webcam. We are using Zoom.us for the video conferencing service. It's awesome! The computer will be the host's laptop, tablet or smart phone, so no need to buy one dedicated to the room. Our meetings are typically a hybrid of people attending in person and others attending via video conference because our members are geographically dispersed all over the Pacific Northwest.
We have room in an alcove (89" wide and 63" tall) at one end of the room for up to a 65-inch HDTV. I'm presuming LCD over plasma, but not sure. We will mount it on the wall. We also want to have better sound than the TV speakers, so... soundbar or a more full sound system with amplifier (I'm thinking the latter, but not sure.) The conference table, which seats 15-20 people is at the end of the room where the alcove is so the viewing distance does not need to be the full 38 feet depth of the room; more like half that. Thanks for your suggestions on building this system!
Find the cheapest, name brand TV, you can in the largest size possible. Most LCDs are 1080p now, that's what consumers want, but you would actually benefit from a 720p TV if you can find it. The higher native resolution of 1080p on smaller screens makes looking at business materials like company websites, Excel spreadsheets, etc difficult. That's probably our #1 complaint as we swap out projectors and displays. The (now) extreme resolutions actually make it more difficult for a lot of people to see from a distance. So bigger is better.
Monoprice or any of the Sanus mounts under $125 should be more than enough to hold it to the wall.
You would be surprised on the quality of TV speakers if you are primarily just playing back the audio of the far side video conference. We use TV speakers in similar situations with success.
Sounds like you have a video conference camera and software solution, but sometimes (most the time, actually) a dedicated device is better. We use a different brand/product series (we'll spend $50-$150k a room though), but some of the Aver stuff looks good and we'll be trying it out in smaller locations after the new year.
Thanks, gozags. Your's is just the kind of recommendation I was hoping for from someone already using small business VC systems. Taking your recommendations into account. What I hear you saying is that the bigger the display, the less of an issue 1080p is. Correct? We will probably want to do desktop-sharing with display of spreadsheets and websites as part of VC.