The Ultimate Virtual Meeting Setup

The Pandemic has made working from home the new way of life. Why not look like a pro on your virtual meetings?

“Let’s setup a Zoom call.” 

For some people, this phrase has been the bane of their existence. Having to get out of bed to go to work has been a foreign idea for a long time. The last-minute scramble at noon to get ready for that 12:30 meeting is the new normal. Now most of us have a laptop from work or a home computer we’ve been working from. After we just rushed to put our hair in a messy bun and splashed water in our face to wake ourselves up. We reluctantly join the meeting. 

Now the “ultimate virtual meeting setup” is all opinion. You might have a special way your webcam is balanced on the windowsill and that works for you. That is awesome. Nobody here is denying you of your great technical and balancing abilities. What we do want is to open your eyes to the world of higher video and audio quality. What lots of people don’t know is you can make things look better by connecting external sources to elevate your virtual meetings to an almost broadcast looking level. To get everything to make it be the best setup it can be would be just over $1,000.00 Canadian. That is a larger chunk of change to be doling out on equipment for just a virtual meeting. Why would you need to do this? People say quality doesn’t matter, we at Skycomp have a different opinion.

Why is Quality Important?

Here’s the thing, it can be used for a lot more than that. Since everything is online, it not only makes you look better on camera for job interviews, company meetings, and virtual events. It also makes it easier for people to connect with you online. If people have trouble seeing you, or have trouble hearing you, people become disconnected from you. This is a problem many companies are having, keeping people interested during live virtual meetings. Cameras are off, people resort to the chat features and don’t want to turn on the camera.

Not everyone has a thousand dollars especially in today’s economic struggles to toss at equipment. Nor would you have the time to learn how to use it and set it up. So, in this article we will tell you about other ways to improve your virtual meeting experience, without breaking the bank.

The Broadcast Setup:

In the video at the top of the page we have our Digital Media Specialist – Sebastian – who tells you about our setup we use for certain virtual meetings. He comes from a livestream event production background and knows his stuff! This type of setup has been tested across different platforms, Zoom, WebEx, Teams, and Google Meet. Skycomp has used these platforms with remarkable success. You might have a favourite or the company you work for might have a mandatory software. Never fear! This setup works well with any platform that detects USB devices. Make sure to see if you can use external USB devices on your software before going forward with this setup. The next thing to think about is a video card that is in your computer now. Most laptops have a built-in video card. You usually don’t want to tax these too much, but a virtual meeting with an external capture card shouldn’t make the laptop explode. If you are thinking of going a bit bigger and want to install a capture card in your system or plan on using it all the time. A good recommendation would be to just get a tower PC and get an internal capture card. Just takes the demanding work off the USB bus and motherboard. Now enough with the tech talk. Let’s give you a list of things to buy! The first list is the most expensive items that will give you high quality video and audio and has been tested by Skycomp. The list below that is a little bit of a scaled down budget version to make things more affordable. With most things using video technology it is a pay-to-win sort of system. The more you pay for your camera, lenses, and technology. The better quality you will have. Make sure to research and spend that money in the right place. That’s why we’re here! 

The Larger Budget:

  • Sigma 30MM f/1.4 Lens (Micro 4/3 Mount) – Buy Here – $399.00 CAD
  • Dummy Battery (For Studio Camera) – Buy Here – $37.99 CAD
  • Camera Mount (Clamp) – Buy Here – $39.99 CAD
  • ELGATO 4K60 PRO CAPTURE – Buy Here – $347.00 CAD
  • FOCUSRITE SCARLETT SOLO – Buy Here – $169.00 CAD
  • RODE PSA1 STUDIO BOOM ARM – Buy Here – $139.00 CAD
  •  XLR CABLE – 25 FOOT – Buy Here – $25.89 CAD

Total: $3,611.97 CAD – We know this seems a little crazy. But, people will be working online and from home for a long time. For this higher budget, you would sound and look amazing on camera. You just have to make sure you have a solid internet connection.

The Mid-range Budget:

  • Live Gamer Mini – Buy Here – CDN$ 135.93
  • Nikon D5600 – Buy Here – CDN$ 879.99
  • Samson C03 – Buy Here – CDN$ 175.93
  • LED Light Bars – Buy Here – CDN$ 175.00
  • HDMI to Mini HDMI – Buy Here – CDN$ 11.99
  • Camera Mount (Clamp) – Buy Here – $39.99 CAD

Total: $1,418.83 CAD – This mid range setup will work flawlessly for you. This is the same equipment used in the above video. Watch to see how it works! 

The Low Budget:

  • Mira Box Capture Card – Buy Here– CDN$ 92.99
  • Canon EOS Rebel T7 18-55mm – Buy Here – CDN$ 478.00
  • Amazon Basics USB Conference Microphone – Buy Here – CDN$ 85.36
  • HDMI to Mini HDMI – Buy Here – CDN$ 11.99
  • Camera Mount (Clamp) – Buy Here – $39.99 CAD

Total: $708.33 CAD – This lower budget setup can work, But a WARNING. Skycomp hasn’t personally tested all of this gear. It has strong reviews and is reputable name brands. But make sure to do your own research before purchasing. Skycomp is not responsible for problems.

The best part about all these items is you can mix and match things to work for you. Most audio video solutions are very interchangeable. It’s always good to triple check if it will connect via reviews online or reading about its connectivity options. Also, if you have the option you should converse with an Audio Video specialist to make sure things will work for what you require. There is nothing more disappointing the ordering a bunch of new tech gadgets and when they arrive for them not to do what you NEED them to do. Make sure to do some reading or hire a consultant. Tons of options out there. Lots of this can be achieved virtually, shipped to your home or workplace, and giving live video tutorials helping you set it up! 

Audio and Video technology is a huge part of what is keeping people sane in this pandemic it is allowing for virtual concerts, virtual events, cooking and baking demos, script readings, but most importantly it is keeping the economy moving, keeping people working. Why not make your virtual meetings better? If not selecting one of these setups, the least you could do is flip your camera on and be present. Engage with your co-workers or team. Be the boss that makes meetings exciting. It might be a little extra work, but you don’t even have to leave your house! That sounds like a dream job to us at Skycomp. Let’s get through the pandemic together. One high-quality virtual meeting at a time.

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