How To Get Up And Running With Hangouts Meet Hardware

If you’ve made the decision to invest in Hangouts Meet Hardware (one of the best video meetings system on the market!), here is a quick guide to get you up and running.  

But before we start, please keep in mind that the instructions provided in this article only advise on how to connect it all up together. We won’t go into the details of how to best configure the hardware for ease of use in your specific organisation.

Requirements

The basic system works well in rooms designed for 2 to 10 people. This way, the users aren't too far from the wide-angle camera, and the speaker-microphone is in range of all participants.

If your meetings are larger than 10 people on a regular basis, then it's best to upgrade to the Logitech PTZ Pro 2 Camera which can pan, tilt and zoom. You also want to add an additional speaker-microphone for every other 6 to 8 people.

Quick tip: it’s not recommended using Hangouts Meet Hardware with rooms set up in a classroom style, with some attendees seated behind others.

While the system works with wireless as well, we recommend an Ethernet connection. This one is more reliable, and, for HD video quality, you want an internet connection with less than 50ms latency when pinging Google's public DNS server at 8.8.8.8.

The internet bandwidth is dependent on the number of external participants per video feed. As such, you’ll need:  

  • 2.6 Mbps with 2 participants
  • 3.2 Mbps with 5 participants
  • 4.0 Mbps with 10 participants

If you’re happy with the standard definition (SD) video quality, the latency can be up to 100ms and bandwidth requirement is half of the specs mentioned above.

Installation

Once you receive your Hangouts Meet Hardware, and the licence is activated on your G Suite domain, you can start to put everything together.

Below we listed the guidelines for how to connect everything depending on the type of room and number of participants.

Installation Sketch for Small Rooms

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Installation Sketch for Large Rooms

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Useful Tips

  • You can mount the Chromebox to the back of your TV or under the table using the mounts provided (as shown in the images below).
  • If using the regular camera, its best to mount the camera as close to eye level as possible. You can place the camera on top of the display. Or, you can use a hook-and-loop fastener to mount it to the bottom of the display
  • If using the Hangouts Meet large room kit (larger camera), the camera can be placed under a screen or between 2 screens (when there are dual screens)

Once it’s all connected, power on the Chromebox and begin the G Suite enrolment phase.

For more detailed instructions, see this video guide here:

Follow the steps in the video to connect to your WiFi or Ethernet network (Ethernet is preferred). Then enter any email address in your G Suite domain to enroll the device. Click Done and it’s all complete.

Quick tip: make sure you have already purchased the device licence, or you won't be able to enroll!

Assign a Calendar

Next, you want to make it easy for staff to access the Hangouts Meet Hardware from their G Suite calendar. To do this, you will associate it with a room or personal calendar.

Rooms can only be associated with one device, but a personal calendar can be associated with multiple Google Meeting room hardware devices.

So, to assign a calendar, copy and paste into a web browser the URL displayed at the end of device enrolment.  This is a URL for the device’s page in the Admin console.

How to use Hangouts Meet Hardware?

Pass the below guides onto staff so they are aware of how best to use Hangouts Meet Hardware.

Schedule A Video Call

The best option is to book calendar appointments in advance and book out the Hangouts Meet hardware. This way it’s all set up in advance.

So, when you’re ready to use the Hangouts Meet Hardware, you simply go to the device and select your meeting, which will appear on the touchscreen.  One tap and you’re in, waiting for the others to attend the meeting.

You no longer need to muck around with invites before the meeting, so your meeting won't be delayed!

Quick tip: If your staff prefer to use Microsoft Outlook instead of Google Calendar (in the browser), you can install a Microsoft Outlook plugin that enables them to book Hangouts Meet hardware from their Outlook Calendar (not available for Outlook on Mac).

Bonus tip: People who don’t use G Suite can also book Hangouts Meet via Microsoft Outlook Calendar by installing the above plugin.

Spontaneous Video Call

If you want to create a meeting right now, you can do this from the Hangouts Meet touchscreen. Simply click the + START A NEW MEETING.

This will start a video call and provide you with a URL you can send to others. Even easier, you can select the option to invite others to the meeting.

For this, enter their email address and they’ll be immediately notified with a link they can click on to jump into the meeting. You can enter multiple emails at once by just putting a space between the addresses.

Quick tip: create a Google group with multiple email addresses and only invite the group's email address, which will send the invite to all the members of the group in one go.

Phone into a Meeting

Sometimes people might not have a reliable internet connection to join a video meeting. In these circumstances, they can attend by calling a phone number and entering a PIN.

The phone number and PIN are automatically created when you create a calendar appointment.  Simply click the scheduled appointment and see the “Join by Phone” details.

Present to the room using an HDMI cable

When you’re not in a video meeting, you can still use the display in the room to present content, such as slides, from your laptop/computer using the HDMI cable attached to the touchscreen. The content is visible only to people in the room.

To share content using an HDMI cable:

  • Tap Present to Room Only.
  • Connect the HDMI cable to your device.

Recording a Meeting

Whether for training, important announcements, or syncing with your team, meetings have many purposes.

Sometimes not every teammate can attend, or there is a need to share or reference notes from meetings after they have ended. To simplify this process, Hangouts Meet for G Suite Enterprise edition allows you to record a meeting and save it to the cloud. This makes it easy to share, view, and even play in sped-up mode.

The good news is that any participant in the same domain as the organizer can start and stop a recording from web or Hangouts Meet hardware.

Recordings are saved to a “Meet Recordings” folder in the Drive of the meeting owner and the recording is automatically attached to the Calendar event and shared with all invited guests in the same domain.

More Hangouts Meet features

Hangouts Meet also allows users to:

  • Share your desktop for the meeting
  • Control the attendees in the meeting
  • Control the camera (pan, tilt & zoom)

To learn how do the features mentioned above, have a look at this video:  //www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNuKgY7shK0&feature=youtu.be&t=469s

Even more, if you want to run Hangouts Meet with other video conferencing solutions like CISCO & Skype, you can set up a 3rd party integration with Pexip.

Finally, if you need more guides on Hangouts Meet Hardware, take a look at G suite support pages or you can contact a Google Cloud Partner like Onsite Helper.