Behind the Design – Field of View
In the second of our Behind the Design series about technology guidelines AV consultants use, we look at the importance of field of view (FOV) for video conference cameras in meeting space design. When planning the size and layout of meeting spaces, both the display and screen viewing distances (see our first blog) and the video conference camera FOV are vital for creating an effective and productive meeting environment.
If room construction or remodeling planning considers camera FOV and display viewing distances from the start, the meeting room experience can be optimized for the best experience possible.
What is FOV?
In video conferencing, the field of view refers to the angle of visibility the camera captures, usually measured in degrees. A wider field of view means the camera can capture a larger area, which is useful for video conferencing with multiple people in the same room. However, a wider field of view may also result in a smaller image of individual participants, making it difficult to see details or read body language. On the other hand, a narrower field of view may result in a larger image of individual participants but may not capture the entire room or all the participants. The ideal field of view depends on the specific use case and the number of people in the video conference.
The recommended field of view for video conferencing cameras can vary based on the room size, the number of people at the meeting room table, and the type of camera used. Additionally, some cameras may have digital zoom capabilities that can adjust the field of view to accommodate different numbers of participants. It’s important to note that these recommendations are based on providing a good view of the participants at the table without distorting their appearance.
Determining the Right Angle
A 57-degree FOV gives you close to a one-to-one relationship between the distance from the camera and the width of the camera view. For example, at one foot away from the camera, a 57° FOV is 1.1 feet. At 10 feet, it equals 11 feet across. A narrow-angle FOV like 57° is more suitable for long, narrow meeting rooms where the table may be positioned farther away from the camera, or seating is limited to the far end of the table.
At 90° FOV, you will get two feet of visual width for every foot of distance from the camera. So, for example, if meeting room attendees were seated 10 feet from the camera, the angle of view would show a width 20 feet across. This wider view is suitable for most medium to large conference rooms.
For smaller conference rooms and huddle rooms, cameras that provide a wider 120° FOV should be considered. At one foot away, the camera can see a visual width of 3.4 feet across. If meeting attendees could only be seated three feet from the camera, the field of view would be slightly over 10 feet across. While wider angles typically ensure that everyone can be seen in the camera view, in larger rooms, it can reduce the ability to see facial expressions and visual details.
Making the Right Fit
It is important to note that these guidelines assume the camera view is centered on the table and that all participants are seated. In reality, the optimal camera placement may depend on other factors. For example, if participants stand and move or use in-room easels or whiteboards, etc., the camera FOV and feature requirements could dramatically change.
By considering the FOV for video conferencing cameras, technology consultants can recommend solutions to provide a good viewing experience for any size room or furniture layout. However, if room construction or remodeling planning considers camera FOV and display viewing distances from the start, the meeting room experience can be optimized for the best experience possible.