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How to Budget for the Best Video Conferencing Setup

Author: Daisy

May. 13, 2024

How to Budget for the Best Video Conferencing Setup

Whether you’re new to video conferencing or a seasoned pro, welcome to our comprehensive buyer’s guide to choosing and investing in the most suitable video equipment for your hybrid or remote teams.

If you want to learn more, please visit our website Conference Room Audio Equipment.

While video conferencing is accessible for free, a more professional setup costs between $1,000 to $4,000 for simple solutions and $3,000 to $10,000 for larger-scale setups. However, equipment quality and meeting room size can affect your setup’s cost. Essential equipment includes a camera, microphone, speaker and screen, while further upgrades are available to enhance your video meeting experience.

Here’s thecomplete lowdown,including budgeting for your requirements, hidden costs and additional fees to consider, essential video conferencing equipment, choosing the right system, pricing models and a quick summary of why you should view Neat’s pioneering portfolio of video meeting devices.

Several factors influence the cost of a video conferencing setup:

  • Equipment quality: High-definition cameras, professional microphones, and good-quality displays enhance the overall experience but can also raise costs.
  • Software features: Advanced features like screen sharing, recording and other integrations may affect the price.
  • Number of participants: Systems capable of accommodating more participants simultaneously typically come at a higher cost.
  • Room size: Larger rooms may require more audio and video coverage equipment, contributing to higher costs.
    • Huddle Space (<5 people): $1,000 – $4,000
    • Small Room (5-10 people): $2,000 – $7,000
    • Medium Room (10-20 people): $3,000 – $10,000
    • Large Room (20-30+ people): $10,000 – $25,000+
  • Integration: Additional costs may arise if the video conferencing setup needs to integrate with existing hardware or software systems.
  • Installation and setup: Professional installation services can add to the initial cost but ensure proper functioning.

Hidden costs and additional fees to consider:

  • Mobility and remote access: If remote participants need to join from various devices, ensuring compatibility might lead to added expenses.
  • Training: Providing training to users on how to effectively use the system can result in extra costs.
  • Licensing: Some video conferencing software may involve licensing fees based on the number of users or features.
  • Bandwidth and data usage: High-quality video conferencing requires sufficient internet bandwidth, which may lead to increased data charges.
  • Maintenance contracts: Ongoing maintenance contracts for technical support and updates may come with recurring costs.
  • Room modifications: If the room needs optimal acoustics and lighting modifications, you must factor them in.
  • Upgrades: Equipment or software upgrades may be necessary as technology evolves.
  • Security measures: Implementing security measures to protect video conferencing sessions could involve additional costs.
  • Additional features: Some advanced features or integrations may require purchasing add-ons or plugins.

To ensure an accurate cost estimate, consulting with vendors or professionals specializing in video conferencing setups is essential. Discuss your precise needs and get a detailed breakdown of all potential costs, including hidden fees or ongoing expenses.

Neat’s pioneering video conferencing devices include Neat Board and Neat Board 50, combining cameras, mics, speakers and a screen in an all-in-one streamlined system.

Essential video conferencing equipment

Essential video conferencing equipment for an office includes a high-quality camera (aka a webcam) to capture clear visuals. At the same time, a reliable microphone ensures high-quality audio. A display, such as a monitor or screen, is essential for showcasing remote participants and shared content, complemented by high-quality speakers for clear audio transmission. A computer or device equipped with your Zoom or Microsoft Teams video conferencing software license is necessary for joining and managing meetings, supported by a stable internet connection for seamless communication. Headphones or earphones can also aid in improving audio clarity.

All-in-one video conferencing devices that combine cameras, mics, speakers and a screen in one streamlined device are also available. The best ones do this without compromising video meeting quality or the user experience. For example, devices like Neat Board or Neat Board 50 include all you need in a unified system.

Setting up the room with appropriate lighting to enhance video quality and furniture, along with the necessary cables and accessories, ensures participants are comfortably visible and audible. Finally, remote control can simplify adjustments during conferences. At the same time, optional additions like touchscreens, meeting schedulers and devices with whiteboard capabilities complete the essential setup tailored to the office’s communication needs and meeting requirements.

Did you know that Neat Pad, for example, is a simple yet elegant touchscreen device to control your meetings or display room availability outside the room?


Neat devices cater to spaces of all descriptions and bring your remote teammates into the room as if they were there, enabling you to enjoy a closer, more natural collaboration experience.

Choosing the right video conferencing system

Selecting the right video conferencing system involves a systematic approach. To help you make the right decision for your wants and needs, you must consider the following:

Define your wants and needs

Clearly outline your requirements, paying attention to participant numbers, meeting room size, frequency of meetings, and any features you want from your video system, such as whiteboarding, integrated file sharing or messaging. You should also have a system that offers reliable mobile access via apps or mobile browsers to accommodate remote work.

Consider scalability, too. Choose a system that can grow with your organization, accommodating more participants and evolving features.

Define your limitations

Also, get clear on any parameters impacting your decision, typically your integration needs. Check if the system aligns with your organization’s other tools, such as your Zoom or Microsoft Teams video meeting platform, your productivity or collaboration platform (e.g., Slack), and other favorite tools you use. Furthermore, ensure seamless integration with your existing hardware for a smooth experience, considering the laptops, desktop computers, mobile devices, and other devices you’ve already invested in.

Prioritize quality and user experience

To avoid glitches and delays that poorly impact productivity and user satisfaction, always prioritize systems offering high-quality audio and clear video to ensure effective communication. Choosing a user-friendly solution is also essential to avoid frustration and frequent calls to IT support. Opt for an intuitive interface that simplifies usage for hosts and participants alike. Neat devices are simple and intuitive, without any specialized training required!

Security and support

Companies today must protect confidential data at all costs. Look for security measures such as encryption and authentication to safeguard conversations and data. It’s also important to check that any system you choose has ongoing support from the manufacturer. Determine your customer support before purchase and whether the vendor includes it within or outside the upfront cost.

Trials and customer reviews

As with any purchase, it’s always wise to take advantage of product demos and trial offers to assess features, performance, and user satisfaction before committing. You’d also be wise to research independent reviews, like user reviews and awards.

Did you know there are Gartner peer insights on our award-winning Neat devices to help you make the most informed choice?

Avoid obsolescence

Finally, future-proof your investment by choosing a system that can evolve with technology trends to avoid obsolescence. By methodically assessing these factors, you’ll make an informed choice that supports efficient communication, collaboration, and user satisfaction.

With Neat, you can opt for a one-time payment or a monthly or yearly subscription to our devices and services, depending on what’s best for you and your budget.

Pricing models for video conferencing systems

When evaluating pricing models, consider your organization’s budget, the frequency of conferencing and long-term plans. Subscription-based pricing ensures ongoing access to the latest features but involves continuous costs. One-time payment pricing offers ownership, yet you should consider potential update fees. Pay-as-you-go pricing provides flexibility for dynamic usage but can result in higher costs over time if your use is consistently high. Make a choice based on your needs, financial considerations and preferences for ongoing support and updates.

Subscription-based pricing

This model involves recurring payments for continuous access to the video conferencing system’s features, regular updates and customer support. It offers the advantage of predictable costs and the flexibility to adapt plans according to changing needs.

One-time payment pricing

With this approach, users make a single upfront payment to purchase the video conferencing system, typically including a license for a specific version. While it provides ownership and control, additional fees might apply for future updates or support beyond a particular period.

Pay-as-you-go pricing

A pay-as-you-go pricing model charges users based on their actual usage, such as the number of meetings or participants. It suits organizations with varying conferencing needs, allowing them to pay for what they use without committing to fixed recurring costs.

Did you know you can purchase Neat devices with a one-time payment or pay a monthly or yearly subscription?

Neat video devices have superior audio-visuals and are simple and intuitive to use without specialist training, making them the ideal solution for your hybrid teams.

Many companies are choosing Neat devices

Many companies with hybrid workforces are choosing our innovative portfolio of pioneering video devices because we’ve designed them with in-office and remote employees top of mind. Besides Neat devices having superior audio-visuals, all are seriously simple and intuitive to use without needing specialist training. We also work directly with Zoom and Microsoft Teams to deliver a truly native experience that’s continually updated to take advantage of the latest features these powerful platforms have to offer. Other Neat benefits include BYOD support and 3rd party app support.

Here’s a selection of popular Neat devices:

Neat Bar

Neat Bar Neat Bar is a simple, compact, elegant meeting room device that delivers superior-quality audio and video. It works brilliantly for meeting, huddle or focus spaces for up to ten people with one or two monitors and pairs with Neat Pad, our dynamic touchscreen device for starting and controlling your Microsoft Teams or Zoom meetings. 

For more Interpreter deskinformation, please contact us. We will provide professional answers.

Neat Bar Pro

Neat Bar Pro drives up to three large monitors to give you the ultimate immersive meeting experience by allowing you to simultaneously see people and content more easily. It incorporates two extreme resolution cameras and an advanced image depth sensor that combined deliver 16x zoom. Neat Bar Pro is perfect for any small, medium or large room and comes with Neat Pad.

Neat Board

Neat Board is the complete meeting room package in a simple, elegant, all-in-one device. Comprising a 65” multi-touch screen, a powerful audio system and a versatile wide-angle camera, Neat Board gives you a collaboration experience beyond video meetings and wireless content sharing by enabling annotations and whiteboarding. Neat Board works great for ad-hoc social interactions throughout open social spaces.

Neat Frame

Neat Frame is a unique portrait-oriented touch-screen device ideal for your home office, company’s huddle spaces, or hotdesking areas. Its superb eye-level camera gives you a more focused, naturally engaging, inclusive meeting experience. At the same time, the device frees up your laptop for other tasks, ensuring you stay completely attentive and engaged.

Want to know more about how Neat can support your hybrid workforce? 

We’d love to hear from you, so why not contact one of our product specialists today at hello@neat.no or take the plunge and book a demo?

Sources

What is the Cost of a Video Conferencing System? Usherwood
How much does a video conferencing system cost? TVS Pro
Video Conferencing Setup Requirements: Your Checklist for Hardware and Software. Lifesize

Video Conferencing Equipment For Any Budget

 

Despite lockdowns easing and vaccinations becoming readily available, most companies continue to rely on a hybrid work model.
Video conferencing has in some ways increased efficiency and allowed companies to downsize the amount of physical office space they need to operate. These new incentives leave businesses of all shapes and sizes with decisions to make regarding how to best use the resources at their disposal to create an effective AV system that meets their needs and budget.
Video conferencing solutions are never one size fits all – designated conferencing spaces come in all shapes and sizes and the businesses that use them can be flushed with cash or one wrong move away from the poorhouse. Thankfully, you don’t need to sell your favorite internal organs to get an effective solution, you just need to know where to look - which is why we are providing this handy breakdown for you! 
 

Video Conferencing Camera Options

$ - Ballin’ on a Budget 🏀

The benefits of a video conferencing system are dependent on the participants actually being able to see you, so without a solid camera, your video conferencing system is a nonstarter. Basic webcams have, at best, questionable video quality, so you’re much better off buying cameras purposefully designed for conferencing spaces.

For budget camera options, you should expect to pay anywhere from $300-500. Cameras at this price range will work best with small to medium-sized conference rooms but can be used in a larger space in a pinch.

  • Huddly GOKnown for their distinctive minimalistic designs, the Norwegian-based company, Huddly produces cameras specialized for conferencing, classroom, and home office environments. Don’t let the (seriously) tiny package fool you - the GO model features a 150-degree wide-angle lens and a serviceable 720p image quality.
  • AVer CAM130AVer’s baseline camera is primarily marketed as a webcam, though it’s got some pretty impressive specs that lend it to being used in CV systems in smaller conference rooms. With a 4k optical lens, a 120-degree field of view, and up to 4x zoom that can be controlled via a remote, this option is perfect for huddle rooms, though anything larger may make the picture quality suffer.
  • AVer CAM340+ - The second, pricier option from AVer is better suited for larger conferencing environments. Image quality remains at 4K, but the framerate is increased to 30 FPS, which goes a long way in making connections made through video conferences last.
$$ - Sensible Spending💸

Camera options start opening up once you start getting past the $1,000 mark, and newer models come with a bunch of interesting built-in tools that make video conferencing a breeze. Advanced options including AI facial recognition and remote control over the camera let you focus on the members of the call and enhance the clarity of communications.

  • Huddly IQThe IQ is a step above the GO in terms of hardware capability and onboard software, yet still somehow remains just as tiny as its predecessor. The improved hardware bumps up the picture quality to 1080p, automatically frames faces, and corrects white balance/color, making it perfect for both small and medium-sized conference rooms.
  • Aver CAM520 Pro2 The signature conferencing camera offered by AVer is a beast of a camera, coming in at over 7 pounds due to the motorized swivel mount that lets you adjust the camera’s position and zoom in on individual speakers. Internal software comes with applications to automatically frame faces and adjust lighting and color to provide an impressive image quality.
$$$ - Treat Yo Self 🤑

For video conferencing-specific cameras, your best options come from our reliable friends at Huddly and Logitech. Even the higher-end cameras that are purpose-built for video conferencing won’t break the bank, so you shouldn’t expect to pay more than $2,000 per camera.

  • Huddly L1The L1 is larger than the GO and the IQ, but the increase in size and price comes with a far improved level of picture quality. The L1 uses onboard AI to recognize faces and automatically adjusts the digital zoom options to ensure that the field of view expands or contracts to keep participants optimally framed and lit.
  • Logitech Rally CameraThe Rally is basically a souped-up version of the PTZ Pro with far better video quality and automatic camera control. The video quality is impressive, using an Ultra-HD imaging system that can cleanly stream up to a 4K resolution and a light optimization software that automatically emphasizes faces and accurately rendered skin tones.
Display Options For Video Conferencing

Communication is a two-way street, so as cool as your camera is, you’re going to need a monitor for your conferencing system to see the other participants in your video calls. Displays for conferencing range from just normal TVs acting as monitors to highly sophisticated touch screen collaboration tools.

The type of display you buy will be dependent on the needs of your business. Higher-end displays that include an interactive whiteboard are useful as teaching tools, visualization guides for creative projects, and higher-level planning for large organizations. If you’re just using your display for normal conference calls, you’re better off with just a normal television acting as a computer monitor.

$ - Ballin’ on a Budget 🏀

For a tight budget, any television that can be connected to a computer and act as a monitor will suffice. Keep in mind the size of the room when purchasing – you can get away with a 42” screen in a huddle room, but for medium- to large-sized rooms, you’re looking at 60+ inches or using multiple displays.

  • SAMSUNG 50-Inch AU8000 Series - LCD displays have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but Samsung’s AU8000 series provides a beautiful picture and smart functionality for a very reasonable price.
  • Vizio 55-Inch V-Series - If you’re really strapped for cash, Vizio’s V-series gives you a decent picture quality, smart functionality and HDMI 2.1 ports to be used with your laptop or PC for a bargain.
$$ - Sensible Spending 💸

Even at mid-range budgets, you will primarily be looking at large televisions as your video conferencing display. Bigger budgets do give you access to bigger and better displays, though, so if you’re working with larger conferencing spaces you’ll want to set aside a bit more cash to invest. 

  • Sony 65-Inch X90J Series - The X90J series utilizes LEDs in their displays and has some of the best picture quality on the market for the price point. A 4k display and a 120 framerate equal a smooth and silky conferencing experience.
  • LG 65“+ OLED C1 Series - LG’s offering is the top-end of normal televisions acting as monitors for video conferencing. The OLED technology utilized by the screen ensures that colors retain their brightness and contrast at almost any viewing angle, so rooms with large conference tables and some extra cash to spend would benefit the most from this option.
$$$ - Treat Yo Self 🤑

Higher-end displays usually come in one of two forms – a projector setup or a touchscreen collaborative whiteboard that multiple users can interact with during a call. In all likelihood, these displays are going to represent the biggest expense in your video conferencing system, with very basic models costing $2,700 and larger, more advanced options jumping to well over $10,000.

  • Avocor G-Series – If you’re looking to really spend some cash and get top of the line collaboration technology, Avocor’s G-series is your best option. With sizes ranging from 55” to 85” inches and price points to match, if you need both a gorgeous display and an interactive digital whiteboard, Avocor is the brand to beat.
  • Dell 55 4k Interactive Touch Monitor - Dell offers a more reasonably priced interactive whiteboard. The screen size is limited to 55“ and it comes at a hefty 76 pounds, but if your company depends on long-distance whiteboard collaboration then it will get the job done.
Video Conferencing Licenses

Video conferencing platforms are a dime a dozen at this point, with nearly every major software company throwing their hat into the ring. Giants like Microsoft, oddball choices like security camera company Ring, and the reigning king of the industry Zoom provide a healthy set of options for companies to choose from.

Most video conferencing platforms have a free option for individuals to use for personal calls, but most businesses will need to purchase a license or subscription in order to use the services regularly. The paid software suites allow you to distribute multiple licenses, so multiple users across your organization have access to the software and can easily synch up both in-house and remotely.

  • Zoom Room - The industry leader for a reason, Zoom’s video conferencing software package comes with everything most businesses need and is very affordable - $14.99/month for the basic Pro version and $19.99 for Business and Enterprise.
  • Microsoft Teams - Microsoft’s offering has one primary benefit - it is completely integrated with the rest of the company’s Office suite, making file sharing and collaboration seamless. This option is great for inter-office communications, though you may have issues getting in contact with people outside of the organization.
  • Cisco Webex - Webex is one of the oldest names in conferencing in the online era, and Cisco has purposefully designed the software to be one of the most secure on the market with Transport Layer Security (TLS), third-party accreditations, encryption, firewall compatibility, single sign-on, and secure scheduling options. If you use your video conferencing system for webinars, online training or remote support, WebEx is an excellent option
Audio
Stem Ecosystem

Now when it comes to audio, traditional solutions seriously lack customizability on the price spectrum, leaving businesses stuck paying a fortune for a fully integrated audio solution or getting stuck with a cheap all-in-one AV device that just doesn’t get the job done.

The Stem Ecosystem was designed to give businesses of every price point and size a top-of-the-line audio solution that can be adjusted to fit the needs of any meeting space and any budget. With six networkable devices including Ceiling, Wall, Speaker, Table, Hub, and Control, this solution allows you to mix and match audio endpoints so you can customize your coverage while still staying within your budget. 

Customize Your Conference Room Now

The company is the world’s best audio conference systems supplier. We are your one-stop shop for all needs. Our staff are highly-specialized and will help you find the product you need.

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