My TV Zoom Setup Posted on 2021-09-11 by Dave Fowler
A number of people I'm on calls with ask me about my Zoom setup as its fairly unique. I came to this setup to solve 3 problems during COVID:
- I like having multiple places to work (otherwise it gets stagnant) and wanted a new setup in my house
- I wanted a more realistic office experience as I miss interacting with people
- I needed to work somewhere other than my office, as my housemate did his meetings in the garage right below me. It was a very thin floor with holes in it and our zoom chats could talk to each other!
My solution was to make a zoom TV. Googling, none existed at the time which I found odd because Laptops have had cameras on them for over a decade now. I got a TV and camera setup from our empty office and a new couch on wayfare, and setup a living room setting.
I first used a mac-mini with a wireless keyboard and mouse. But it was a pain keeping multiple computers up to date. Later I just went with a long USB and HDMI cords and this thunderbolt adapter. At first I was using a single USB extension cord coming out from the TV. This was ideal except the camera often wasn't found - I tried many cables and found that USB-C just wasn't as powerful as Thunderbolt cables though they appear at times to be completely compatible. They unfortunately don't make extension thunderbolt cables nor an HDMI adapter with a long coord :(. So I have to run the HDMI and camera USB cords all the way out to my laptop.
You can now do this easier with the new facebook portal. I haven't tried it, and I actually prefer the laptop.
I like that it puts people on the screen in near real size. I also like that it works great as dual monitors - its easy to keep the laptop in front of me while still participating in the meeting on the big screen directly in front of me (not looking off to the side). I enjoy that I can take part of my meetings from the couch and part from a desk. I enjoy that it brings a bit more of a setting into the shot vs just my head.