Work from home: making Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams meetings more comfortable | Instant News


Like many of us today, I work from home. There may not be many of you, I have been doing it for about 17 years. But I will not leave the house to attend meetings or participate in events and meetings. They are also online. Although I have a 15-inch laptop and a 2-inch 27-inch monitor on my desk, there is enough screen space on the screen, but sometimes I still want to change the scene and work in another way.

As of March, it is possible to walk to the coffee shop, but this is not practical. Therefore, I have been studying how to use other rooms in the house to change the scene without looking down at the laptop.

see: More than 100 tips for commuters and managers (free PDF) (Technical Republic)

We have recently upgraded the main TV from the LCD monitor connected to the Xbox to a 46-inch 4K Panasonic semi-smart TV. I say semi-smart because it has built-in applications for universal streaming services, but avoids the built-in-in a web browser or voice assistant, it does have 4 different HDMI ports and several USB sockets, which makes It becomes a useful tool for video conferences and watching web conferences.

I am from Microsoft The original wireless display adapter. This uses the built-in Miracast support for Windows to project from the PC to the screen. The device itself looks like an HDMI dongle, with a short connection to the USB plug. Before connecting from the PC to the adapter and projecting to the screen, connect both to the appropriate ports on the TV so that the TV is powered on.

The original 1080P Microsoft wireless display adapter requires HDMI and USB ports.

Picture: Microsoft

When I was working on the Surface Book 3, the maximum 1080p resolution of the adapter meant that it was better to extend the display to the TV instead of mirroring it. I quickly learned to log into the web conferencing application on the PC screen, then use it as a secondary monitor and drag it to the TV. You can give the adapter a friendly name and add password protection Prevent anyone from taking over your TV.

After using the laptop camera to record video, the combination of laptop and large screen works well. But I did not get the most benefit from the laptop or the screen. It is possible to scale 1080p on a 4K screen, but why not increase it?there Second generation wireless display adapter A major update, it uses the same wireless protocol to deliver 4K pictures.

Microsoft 4k wireless display adapter

Microsoft’s 4K wireless display adapters come in different sizes.

Picture: Microsoft

Although the hardware design has changed a lot, the HDMI connector adopts a new and larger body, but it can still use USB power again, perfectly adapting to the new TV. Microsoft has greatly changed the user experience, and you can now get a wallpaper similar to the Surface Hub instead of a screen with connection instructions. If you use it in a meeting room, it will be a more relaxed view when you are not actually using the screen.

Again, I chose to use it as an extended secondary screen. This allows me to simultaneously take notes while projecting my laptop. The display is clearer and the resolution is closer to that of my laptop, so it is easier to use apps on a large screen, and using full-screen mode in apps such as Zoom and Teams can provide a clear, close-to-life size head. A more pleasant meeting experience.

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The next update is to stay away from my laptop camera. If I type on my lap, the front camera angle of the Surface Book is wrong. It’s fine on the table, but that’s not the point of using a laptop in a more comfortable meeting space!

I have always used a camera with a built-in ring light on the desktop monitor, so I found something similar in the lounge. Papalook PA552 It is a 1080p 30fps camera specially designed for streamers. It works under bright daylight to a dim room (there is an eight-hour time difference between the United Kingdom and the west coast of the United States, which means that it’s usually dark when I have a meeting). Under the conditions have the ability to respond at this time of the year). What’s useful is that it is bundled with a small tripod, so I can put it away from the laptop and cover two people at the same time. With the help of a 2m USB cable, you can move the camera to many places. Give you more choices to arrange the way to attend the meeting.

Paplook PA552 webcam

The PA552 webcam is equipped with a tripod.

Image: Papalook

To change the brightness level of the desktop camera, I have to rotate the ring. Here, with Papalook, there is a touch button at the bottom of the ring that can quickly switch between four different brightness levels-off, on, bright and very bright. The last camera is most suitable for a large room where there is a certain distance between the camera and the participant.

Using the camera with a tripod will make things less formal. You are not looking at me, but sitting at my desk looking at the monitor. Instead, I relaxed, sat on the sofa, leaned back, and happily participated in the Zoom coffee break or went out with friends, and I was unlikely to spill anything on the laptop keyboard. And, if I want to look like elsewhere, I can expand a cheap green screen background purchased from China and load a virtual background (after all, the bookshelf will become a bit boring after a while).

Using the default OS driver, modern webcams like Papalook can be completely plug and play. You do not need to install drivers or camera software; all you need to do is to activate the video conferencing software option and then leave. So far, I have used it with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and WebEx without any compatibility issues.

The result is undoubtedly an easier way to participate in video conferences, making them less formal. The face displayed on the large TV screen is not much different from the actual size, so your cognitive load is lower because it feels more like you are talking to someone in the same room. And, if you want to sit down and watch the presentation at the online meeting, you can lean back and take notes.

If there is enough space, then using a TV for video chat is worth a try. It is not too expensive, and a high-quality wireless display adapter also allows you to stream movies or games from your laptop to the TV. So please sit down, stand up, and conduct the meeting comfortably.



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