Computers / Hands-on Review

Videoconferencing with Confidence: HuddlecamHD Cameras and Audio

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Videoconferencing: Nothing brings a grimace to the faces of office managers worldwide faster than the thought of setting up videoconferences. It brings to mind images of tortuous wiring configurations, masochistic software controls, and intermittently effective audio devices. If you’ve had a videoconference go sour on you, you know the scenario—what should have been an austere and professional meeting turns into a corporate version of the Marx Brothers’ film, Duck Soup.

It doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re thinking of setting up videoconferencing options for your small- to medium-sized business, you should consider investing in a HuddlecamHD system. HuddleCamHD wants to make videoconferencing as seamless as possible, without the need for an IT-level team lead to set it up. To that end, HuddleCamHD has developed some solutions that may work for you.

The first two products are HD cameras that perform slightly different functions, but could serve as cornerstones for your videoconferencing needs. The HuddleCamHD 3X is a 1/3" CMOS 2.1 MP indoor USB 2.0 camera with full 360-degree rotational PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) functions and a 3X optical zoom. It has 1920 x 1080 resolution @ 30 fps and a wide 81-degree field of view—perfect for a small- to medium-sized conference room. How simple a setup are we talking about? Simply plug the camera into your computer or laptop USB port and go. It works with virtually all online videoconferencing software with no need for additional drivers or proprietary connections. It includes an IR remote with camera access presets, and you can even integrate it into larger systems via RS-232 and RS-485 ports on the back. Different mounting options let you use the included tripod mount adapter to fasten the camera to a standard tripod or the wall. It’s so versatile and unobtrusive that you could even use it for live streaming.

The other camera is the HuddleCam Air. This is HuddleCamHD’s wireless camera option, and along with a 1/3" Panasonic CMOS 2.1 MP sensor, it includes 12x optical/16x digital zoom (there is also a 20x version available), a 71- or 62-degree field of view (it includes two lens options), and 1920 x 1080 resolution @ 30 fps. The unit broadcasts to a USB receiver block that connects to your PC via USB 3.0 and has an 80' broadcast range. It’s ideally suited for medium- to large-sized conference rooms, and also includes an IR remote and an RS-232 port. As far as compatibility goes, it works with a large number of programs (see the list at the end of this review).

The HuddleCam Air even has an Android app for networked camera control (with nine camera presets) so you can control your camera wirelessly over your network, which allows you to move camera angles without having to physically be in the room (which is great for when you can’t be present for the entire teleconference, but still need to control the event). Because it uses USB 3.0, you’ll get uncompressed 1080p video (you should use a computer with at least a quad-core processor for glitch-free streaming). This unit can also be wall or ceiling mounted

Last in the lineup is the audio portion of the group: the HuddlePod Air. This wireless pod allows you to hear high-tech audio via a wireless 2.4GHz connection. Need a couple of features that set it apart from using your telephone’s handset for audio? How about 256 channels of echo cancellation and a 12 x 12' microphone pickup range? Intelligent noise cancellation (up to 16dB) and built-in digital EQ? Or the 7-hour battery life on a single charge? All of these are included, along with the HuddleCam plug-and-play guarantee—you simply attach the receiver to your USB 2.0 port, fire up the charged speaker, and speak.

So there you have all you need for a successful, stress-free teleconference. A wired USB 2.0 1080p camera, a wireless USB 3.0 1080p video camera, and a wireless USB 2.0 speaker pod. Simply connect the devices to the USB ports on your laptop or desktop, attach a suitable display, and you’re off. No need to involve several departments and technicians—this is easy enough that any office manager with five minutes to spare can set up. Now, try finding an office manager with five minutes to spare—that may prove to be a little trickier than setting up a HuddleCam system.

HuddleCam HD HuddleCam Air HuddlePod Air
Operating System
Windows 7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS X Windows 7/8 Windows 7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS X
Programs Supported
Acano Adobe Connect  Acano
Adobe Connect  BlueJeans   Adobe Connect 
BlueJeans Cisco Jabber   BlueJeans 
Cisco Jabber Cisco WebEx   Cisco Jabber 
Cisco WebEx*  Easy Meeting   Cisco WebEx 
Easymeeting Facetime   Easymeeting 
Facetime  Fuzebox   Facetime 
Fuzebox  Google Hangout   Fuzebox 
Google Hangout  GoToMeeting   Google Hangout 
GoToMeeting  Lifesize   GoToMeeting 
Lifesize  Microsoft Lync   Lifesize 
Skype for Business(Lync)  Polycom RealPresence   Skype for Business(Lync) 
Polycom RealPresence  Radavision   Polycom RealPresence 
Radavision  Spontania   Radavision 
Spontania  Skype   Spontania 
Skype  TurboMeeting.US   Skype 
TurboMeeting.US  Vidyo   TurboMeeting.US 
Vidyo  Vsee   Vidyo 
Vsee Zoom.US  Zoom.US Vsee Zoom.US 
Google Hangouts on Air    Google Hangouts on Air 
YouTube Live   YouTube Live
*Does not support image flip    

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