Tactical Advice

Review: Logitech’s BCC950 Offers an Affordable Video Conferencing Solution

Logitech’s BCC950 provides inexpensive video conferencing with minimal setup.
This story appears in the Winter 2013 issue of BizTech Magazine.
Face to Face
Logitech ConferenceCam BCC950 CDW Price: $249.99

Businesses strive to increase collaboration and decrease spending, but accomplishing both at the same time can be challenging — particularly when team members aren’t in the same location. Logitech’s BCC950 ConferenceCam video conferencing device nicely facilitates small-team collaboration at a price that won’t break the bank.

End-User Advantages

Ideal for small meeting rooms, the Logitech BCC950 plug-and-play system includes a camera atop a post and a built-in speakerphone and noise-canceling microphone. All users need is a notebook or desktop PC with a free USB 2.0 port and network connectivity, and they’re ready to go.

The 78-degree field of view is wide enough to accommodate three to four people shoulder to shoulder. Supporting 1080 pixel resolution at 30 frames per second, the BCC950 delivers crisp, clear video with no choppiness or delay, provided there’s ­adequate bandwidth. The stereo microphone and speakers make it sound as if all the parties are actually in the same room.

With the included remote control,­ users can pan, tilt and zoom the camera and adjust or mute the volume. The remote is also used to connect and disconnect conferencing sessions.

Why It Works for IT

It’s not often that the IT department should be excited about another device to support, but the Logitech BCC950 is a breeze to manage. Compatible with all versions of Windows XP or later and Mac OS 10.6 or later, the device doesn’t require additional drivers or software. Furthermore, it works with a variety of conferencing platforms, such as Cisco IP Communicator or WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, Google+ Hangouts, Microsoft Office Communicator or Lync, and Skype.

90 Degrees

Distance that the camera can rotate, left or right

Deploying the BCC950 also beats having to push around a cartful of video conferencing gear. The device costs a bit more than a personal webcam that’s affixed to a computer monitor but far less than a full-room conferencing solution. Most business leaders will agree that the most productive video conferences involve just a few people in each location. This conferencing system supports that perfectly.

Disadvantages

There are known conflicts between ­Microsoft Lync and Skype while using a Logitech BCC950 camera. To switch between the two platforms, users must exit Lync before initiating a Skype ­session. Additionally, the system does not support multiple cameras connected to the same PC.

The Logitech device also lacks support for face tracking or automatic rotation based on voice, which can be found with more expensive systems. Given that the system is intended for just three to four people sitting together within the camera’s field of view, this feature isn’t critical.

Finally, the BCC950 doesn’t come with video conferencing software. There are plenty of freeware and third-party software options available, but IT managers must install those separately.

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About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Sheen

Dr. Jeffrey Sheen

Jeff is tasked with separating the “gee whiz” factor from the truly useful when it comes to the latest tech gadgets, and oh, he holds a Ph.D. in physics. He currently works as the supervisor of enterprise architecture services for Grange Mutual Casualty Group of Columbus, Ohio. His biggest challenge is being an avid Wolverine fan while living in the midst of Buckeye country.

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