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Recommendations and tips for video, web conferencing and hybrid scenarios

General tips for conferencing



  • Avoid positioning yourself either too close or too far away from the camera, make sure you are easily visible.
  • If possible, the camera should be at eye level, so you avoid looking up or down. It can be helpful to place the laptop slightly elevated.
  • You should frame yourself so that your eyes are in the upper third of the image.


  • Try to provide sufficient lighting.
  • Position yourself and the camera so that the light source is behind the camera.
  • Avoid shining light directly into the camera.
  • A soft large light source positioned diagonally behind the camera is ideal.
  • Make sure that the illumination is even and does not blind your eyes.
  • For example, use a floor lamp, a desk lamp or a window with natural daylight.


  • You should choose a background that is as neutral as possible, such as a blank wall. Make sure that your background does not distract from you with too many objects and colours.
  • Some video conferencing tools, such as Zoom, offer the possibility of using virtual backgrounds. The university also provides backgrounds with university specific designs for this purpose. This is an easily accessible way to protect your privacy. Also here you should make sure that your real background is as neutral as possible (a single-coloured evenly lit wall is ideal) so that the effect works properly.


  • Your distance to the microphone should be as short as possible.
  • Also pay attention to the room or the acoustics of the room in which you are holding your video conferences. Avoid very large rooms or very empty rooms, as this would create a noticeable echo.
  • The use of special microphones can help to improve the sound quality. (See the section on "Improving picture and sound quality").
  • In general, you should avoid disturbing background noise.
  • Deactivate your microphone when not in use.
  • Use the mute function during longer speaking pauses to avoid accidental noise that could be picked up by other participants.

Technology for video conferences and hybrid scenarios - a brief insight

Basically, all that is needed to successfully host or participate in a videoconference is a laptop with an appropriate software tool (Zoom, DFNconf, Adobe Connect) or, in the case of pure participation, only a web browser. The laptop must of course be equipped with an (internal) webcam and microphone, but this is usually the standard for current devices.


Improving picture and sound quality

The use of additional, external devices can help to achieve better quality and at the same time significantly increase your flexibility. Internal solutions in laptops are often not optimal due to limited adaptability and sometimes technically lower quality (due to lack of space in the device), but they are always available.

Solutions for image quality

  • External webcams can be used for better image quality.
  • A great advantage of external devices is the flexibility mentioned above; they can be positioned as needed and can also be realigned very easily depending on the situation.
  • Webcams are usually equipped with a USB connection and can therefore be used with any operating system without any problems.
  • Recommended products: Logitech Brio (approx. 120€)*,  Razer Kiyo (approx. 80€)* or as a special model the OBSBOT Tiny AI (approx. 170€)*. The latter offers an auto-tracking function, which means it can track the movement of a person after gesture-controlled activation and thus keep them in the picture. No additional software or hardware is required for this function.

Solutions for sound quality

  • Also in the field of audio recording, better quality can be achieved easily with USB-based devices.
  • More specialised microphones can be used as needed:
    • For recordings by a single person in a controlled environment, USB microphones such as the Razer Seiren Mini (approx. 40€)* or the t.bone SC 420 USB Desktop-Set (approx. 60€)* are recommended
    • Boundary microphones (sometimes called room microphones) are suitable for small to medium-sized video conferences or seminars, i.e. when several people are recorded in the same room. Recommended products: Samson UB1 USB (approx. 90€)* or Tonor Conference Microphone USB (approx. 30€)*
    • Conference speaker microphones, which are often based on omnidirectional condenser microphones, are particularly helpful when a larger number of people want to take part in a conference together. These special conference microphones offer the advantage that they can often be used without cables via Bluetooth and, depending on the device, several can be used simultaneously. They offer good spatial coverage, especially when several devices can be used together distributed around the room. Recommended products: Jabra Speak 710 (with pairing of several devices; approx. 180€)* or Poly Sync 20+ (without pairing; approx. 120€)*

Combined All-in-One USB solutions

In dedicated video conferencing systems, a video camera, microphones and loudspeakers are combined in a single system. There are also solutions that rely only on a single USB connection or a Bluetooth connection. Viable all-in-one devices can be purchased for a few hundred euros. There are also devices for larger conference or seminar rooms that usually only require a single connection to a computer. A big advantage of dedicated conference systems is that they are often equipped with PTZ cameras, PTZ stands for pan, tilt and zoom. With such a camera, the person speaking can be brought into frame by remote control (for example).
The following devices offer a good compromise between mobility and coverage of room sizes. All units listed can also be purchased with additional microphones to extend the range of sound recording.

  • Logitech GROUP (approx. 700€ or with additional microphones 900€)*
  • AVer VC520 PRO (approx. 1000€ or with additional microphones 1200€)*
  • KONFTEL C5055wx (approx. 900€ or with additional microphones 1050€)*

* Links are provided for a precise identification and further information on the products. Listed products should only be understood as independent recommendations based on the experiences at the RRZK and the exchange with colleagues at other universities. Prices are for orientation and reflect the current retail price (03/2022).

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