Category Archives: Conference Rooms

How to Create a Complete Workspace from Your Laptop

Laptops offer convenient portability when you need to work on the go. However, they leave something to be desired as a complete workspace, particularly in small size of the display and keyboard and the cumbersome usability of the touchpad. A multiport USB-C docking station can improve productivity by allowing you to connect a 4K monitor, mouse and full-sized keyboard to your laptop.

How USB-C docking stations work

USB-C docks have a range of ports, card readers and power options to offer full workspace functionality using your laptop. Black Box’s USB-C Docking Station includes one USB-C host port and cable to attach to your laptop or mobile device. It also features one port for charging, one HDMI HD video port that supports 4K resolution at 30 Hz, one Gigabit LAN port, three high-speed USB 3.0 type A ports (one of which supports charging up to 7.5W) and one SD or micro SD slot for memory card readers.

Advantages of USB-C docking stations

  1. Quick setup: Connecting a laptop to the network, keyboard and mouse is as simple as plugging in one USB-C cable.
  2. Portability: Users can quickly take their work with them wherever they go—whether to a shared workstation, sales call or home.
  3. Flexibility: USB-C docking stations are compatible with various operating systems and laptop brands. They are also backwards compatible with USB 2.0 equipment, so you aren’t limited by legacy hardware.

Applications for USB-C docks

USB-C docking stations are ideal for enterprise applications. Users who share workspace stations can work at a larger screen with keyboard, mouse and a wired LAN connection. Executives and sales professionals can use a USB-C dock to create a workstation at home or to connect laptops, tablets or phones to conference room screens and projectors. A docking station is also ideal for student dorm rooms or mobile professionals who operate from a coworking space.

Today’s workspaces are increasingly flexible and often extend beyond one desktop. USB-C docking stations offer all the convenient portability of a laptop while enhancing productivity by adding full-sized accessories. They are easy to use, relatively inexpensive and interoperable between your MacBook Pro or Windows laptop.

Learn more about how to create a complete workspace from your laptop using USB-C docking stations. Watch our USB-C Docking Station video, visit our product page or contact us for more information.

Technology for Smarter Meeting Spaces

Avoid overbooking your meeting rooms and hold more efficient meetings with smart room booking and automated room control. Innovative, easy-to-use solutions can help you focus on your meeting, not on the technology.

Room booking

A meeting room booking system ensures your spaces are used to maximum ability. It makes it faster and easier for your team to find an available meeting space, instantly reserve a room or make last-minute changes such as extending the meeting time.

Many scheduling systems are accessible from a desktop, mobile device or convenient touch panel immediately outside the room. At a glance you can see the room name, current meeting and its duration, as well as the extended calendar for future scheduling. Some touch panels feature LED indicator lights, so people can easily determine from a distance if a room is occupied or available.

Intuitive room booking systems require no programming, and are quick and simple to set up. For ease of implementation, choose a system that integrates with your existing programs, such as Outlook® or G Suite™.

Room control

Once inside your meeting room, you can keep your meeting running smoothly with help from a room control system. Using a touch-screen interface, desktop and wall panels, or a smart phone, you can lower screens, dim lights and begin your presentation. Comprehensive room control solutions enable you to control multiple items from one control panel, including the room’s automation system as well as multimedia, AV, KVM and IP-enabled devices.

Even if you’re not actually in the meeting room, a control system can provide you with remote access. This enables you to set up the room in advance with the swipe of a touch panel. It also gives you the ability to deliver your presentation remotely.

Don’t worry if your existing system and devices are several years old; many meeting room automation solutions can integrate with new and not-so-new technology.

Choose flexible, scalable solutions

When considering a room booking system or control system, choose a provider who will work with you to create a custom interface to meet the needs of your specific applications. It is a good idea to select systems that are scalable to accommodate your current environment as well as future growth.

Black Box offers smart booking and control systems to maximise your spaces and streamline your meetings. Click to learn more about how IN-SESSION™ Meeting Room Booking System and ControlBridge™ Multisystem and Room Control  can enhance your operations.

4 Features to Look for When Buying a Presentation Switcher

Have you ever been in a meeting where presenters changed or the input source needed to change? Typically, this involves switching cables and changing the source on a display, which wastes time and creates distractions. The advent of the presentation switcher has made awkward and time-consuming fumbling around a thing of the past. But not all presentation switchers are created equally. Here are the key features to look for when selecting a presentation switcher for your conference room:

1. Easy Connectivity Regardless of Source

It’s very common to have a variety of analog and digital sources that need to connect to a display during a meeting. A presentation switcher that can accommodate a host of inputs, including DisplayPort, is important to maximize flexibility.

2. Seamless Switching

When more than one source is required, it can be inefficient and time consuming to switch in between sources. Look for the ability to switch quickly between sources, like projectors and laptops, without latency. Lulls in a presentation can lead to losing the audience’s interest. Look for a presentation switcher with the most seamless switching capabilities.

3. Built-in HDBaseT Extension

HDBaseT technology enables users to present from remote sources or to transmit to a remote display over existing CAT5e and CAT6 cable. Presentation switchers with built-in HDBaseT extension enable you to take advantage of existing infrastructure saving both time and money.

4. Future Proof Presentation Switching

Technology is always evolving therefore it is important to look for a presentation switcher that can accommodate change. Look for a presentation switcher that supports 4K UHD with the ability to scale signals up or down in order to match the display resolution. 4K UHD is currently the best resolution we have, so finding a switcher that supports it ensures you never encounter display issues. Backwards compatibility is also necessary, as well, as you will most like encounter a variety of newer and legacy displays.

In a technology-focused world, presentations that utilize multiple, multimedia tools are the norm. Presentation switchers have entered the arena to make multimedia presentations more impressive, interactive, and seamless. Not only do they enhance presentations, but they also enhance the collaborative nature of a multimedia presentation. Whether you are switching between sources or switching between presenters, a presentation switcher will ensure the process is effortless.

Find out more about our Presentation Switchers or get an overview of Black Box conference room solutions.