Morris County expands video court conferencing

Morris County is expanding its use of video conferencing for certain court proceedings in both the superior and municipal courts.

With the approval of the Board of Freeholders, Morris County Chief Information Officer John Tugman has been working the judiciary, municipal officials and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office for more than a year to have the Internet video technology installed, tested and implemented.

The capability can be used anywhere and with any device that has Internet access such as tablets, PC’s and Smart Phones.

Morris County Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo said the idea is to reduce the need to transport inmates from the county correctional facility to the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown or to municipal courts across the county.

Video conferencing for certain proceedings will reduce the inmate transportation requirement and the costs associated with sheriff’s officers, meals, overtime, fuel, maintenance and insurance,” said Mastrangelo, freeholder liaison to Information Technology. “It also eliminates public safety risks associated with transporting and guarding inmates and reduces the impact on municipal law enforcement.”

The Internet video technology is also being offered to municipal courts in the county, said Freeholder Doug Cabana, liaison to law and public safety including the courts.
“This is a way of streamlining court hearings for standard procedures such as arraignments and first appearances,” said Cabana, an attorney. “It’s using technology to improve efficiency.”

Probation officers have started using the capability to conduct video interviews from their offices with inmates, eliminating the need, in many cases, to travel to the jail.

Cabana noted the video conferencing will also facilitate the ability of an inmate to meet with his or her attorney, though not completely eliminate the need to for in-person interviews.

Trials and major pre-trial hearings will also still be conducted with defendants present in the courtroom.

Chief Information Officer Tugman said the video service is now in use by the Superior Court in Morristown, and has been successfully tested

Did you know that 60% of companies choose videoconferencing over face-to-face meetings

60 per cent of businesses opt for conference calls over face-to-face meetings as the global nature of most industries push firms to opt out of traditional meetings.
 
Of those surveyed, 66 per cent stated that the biggest disadvantage of traditional face-to-face meetings is the time it takes to travel to and from them, 50 per cent ranking cost as the worst disadvantage. “Many companies still prefer traditional face-to-face meetings as they are considered more personable and engaging than audio conference calls, but travelling to and from meetings is costly and time-consuming. Businesses are already beginning to see that video conferencing is the answer to bridge this gap.”

46 per cent still think face-to-face meetings make the most sense for their business and doubts about conference calls still very much exist with 35 per cent put off video conferencing by poor audio or visual quality. Meanwhile, 28 per cent blamed the complexity of setting up the technology for not bothering to implement a conference calling strategy.

Businesses must look to new technologies such as High-Definition [HD] video conferencing that flawlessly meet business expectations to help them maintain relationships, achieve their business goals and remain as efficient as possible.

What is a Multipoint Control Unit also known as a MCU?

The multipoint control unit (or MCU) is a device present in all multipoint videoconferencing systems and is essential to how multipoint videoconferencing functions. The MCU allows for three or more separate locations to conduct a real time videoconference. MCUs consist of either a sole piece of software or a combination of both hardware and software, and come in variations specifically dedicated to IP or ISDN videoconferencing. A multipoint control unit is located at the end of a Local Area Network (LAN) and is composed of a multipoint processors (MPs) and a multipoint controller (MC). The MCU acts as a bridge to unite three or more sources to partake in a multipoint videoconference. The more expensive multipoint control units are capable of handling more connections at a faster data transfer rate and allow for more than one participant to be displayed on the video screen at one time.

 

What is a Multipoint Video Conference?

Multipoint videoconferencing is largely very similar to point to point (P2P) videoconference. What differentiates the two is that there can be more than two participants in different locations involved in a multipoint system, meaning that multiple people can be displayed on screen instead of just one. To initiate a multipoint videoconference the multipoint control unit (MCU) either makes or receives calls from participants who dial the network ID of the multipoint control unit. Due to its cost and complex nature, multipoint videoconferencing systems are most commonly used in large corporations to conduct large business meetings with multiple parties.

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What is Point-toPoint Video Conference?

Videoconferencing is a form of communication that allows real-time interaction between people at two or more physical locations that allows for two-way video and two-way audio interaction through the transfer of video and audio packets via the internet. Some types of videoconferencing equipment allows users the ability to send and/or share data during the videoconference.

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HARMAN TO ACQUIRE AMX

Courtsey of Harman (news.harman.com)

“HARMAN is the leader in smart connectivity. Our vision is to extend our reach beyond the car into the enterprise, where we already have a substantial audio presence,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Chairman, President and CEO of HARMAN. “AMX is the global technology leader in enterprise control and automation as well as audio and video switching and distribution. With the addition of AMX, HARMAN will be uniquely positioned to provide complete audio, video, lighting and automation solutions to our customers globally.”

Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Richardson, Texas, AMX’s hardware and proprietary software solutions simplify the way people interact with technology and are implemented worldwide throughout a variety of enterprises and venues such as conference rooms, hotels, classrooms, network operation / command centers, entertainment venues and broadcast facilities. AMX employs more than 600 people across its operations in 19 locations worldwide.

“Starting with the acquisition of Martin lighting last year, HARMAN has set forth a clear strategy to add visual solutions to our legacy of audio offerings” said Blake Augsburger, President, HARMAN Professional division. “AMX’s strong portfolio of video distribution hardware and software is a significant step into the video domain, reinforcing HARMAN’s commitment to expand our professional portfolio with industry-leading technologies and brands in adjacent and complementary markets.”

“HARMAN is a world-class company, and this transaction will provide additional opportunities to grow the AMX business,” said Robert L. Fealy, President and Chief Operating Officer, the Duchossois Group, and Chairman of AMX. “The sale to HARMAN fulfills one of our fundamental objectives, which was to position this business with a leading entity that will take AMX to an even higher level of performance and success.”

AMX will be integrated into HARMAN’s Professional division, a leading professional audio and lighting business, featuring legendary brands like AKG® Acoustics, BSS Audio®, Crown® amplifiers, dbx®, JBL® Professional, Lexicon®, Soundcraft®, Studer® and Martin® lighting. HARMAN’s Professional division designs, manufactures and markets leading professional audio and lighting products for recording and broadcast, musicians, cinema, touring sound, commercial applications like airports, stadiums, hotels and concert halls. HARMAN systems are installed in world renowned entertainment and hospitality complexes, transportation centers, and cultural and academic institutions around the globe.

Kramer Acquires 50% of WOW Vision

Courtsey of AV Network

Kramer Electronics is taking their technology further into the boardroom. On May 28, the company announced a 50% acquisition of Singapore based WOW Vision, a manufacturer of product solutions for corporate and hospitality meeting spaces and educational facilities. Their products enable convenient wireless connection to, and the sharing of, large screen displays from laptops and mobile devices and provide effective, efficient, productive two-way collaboration. With this investment, Kramer seeks to boost its wireless sharing solutions, as a worldwide supplier of innovative and reliable signal management products.

“We are very excited about adding WOW Vision to the Kramer family because BYOD, collaboration, and wireless applications are increasingly critical in today’s converging AV/IT world. WOW Vision offers the best solutions in the market and this partnership allows us to add these products to our already comprehensive line of solutions,” stated Dr. Joseph Kramer, CEO of Kramer Electronics. “Most importantly though, as WOW Vision continues to design and build cutting edge product solutions to make meetings smarter and more productive in business and education environments, we can leverage the strengths of our Kramer brand, our marketing acumen, and our worldwide distribution channels to get the products into the hands of our customers.”

As a result of this new partnership between Kramer and WOW Vision, Kramer will assume responsibility for worldwide branding and distribution of WOW Vision’s products. WOW Vision will continue to conceive and develop industry leading products that make meetings and learning environments more productive and more interactive.

“We have developed the industry’s leading technologies for facilitating the effective wireless connection of meeting participants to a large screen display, and for providing unparalleled meeting collaboration in the corporate and education markets. We pride ourselves on our ability to develop unique technology solutions for this market segment,” stated Dr. Dinesh Tripathi, CEO of WOW Vision. “In this relationship with Kramer, we believe we have found the perfect partner. Kramer has incredibly well developed worldwide distribution channels coupled with a very strong brand name recognized for producing reliable products, and supported by knowledgeable and dedicated employees.”

Kramer Electronics will be launching its first two products: the Kramer VIA Collage and the Kramer VIA Connect. The products will be introduced at InfoComm 2014 which will be held June 18th through the 20th at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.

For the burgeoning collaboration market, only the fully featured BYOD oriented Kramer VIA Collage can do all of the following: wirelessly allow up to six participants to show their screens on one display, with the possibility of using two displays and allowing up to twelve participants to be simultaneously displayed; it allows collaboration from any mix of devices (PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and more); it enables meeting participants to simultaneously create and edit a common document through their individual devices; it provides the ability for documents to be shared and saved instantaneously by all team participants utilizing the VIA Collage; and its interactive whiteboard function offers multiple users the ability to annotate, edit or highlight any image on the screen via their touch enabled devices. In fact, every member of the meeting can participate in brainstorming activities simply by using the keyboard and mouse on their own device.

The compact VIA Connect is a wireless presentation hub which provides quick and easy wireless connection to, and sharing of, a large screen device by several users. Multiple meeting participants can display their images or at any time one individual presenter can easily choose to have their device be the only image displayed. As with the VIA Collage, the VIA Connect can accommodate any PC, Mac, iOS or Android device.

The Kramer VIA Collage and the Kramer VIA Connect will be on display at the InfoComm show in Kramer booth C7736 located in the Central Hall of the Convention Center.

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