Review: APT AV VB460
A well-priced 4K videobar with ‘cut above’ auto-framing features.
Review:/ Christopher Holder
Videobars are everywhere, and it’s easy to see why. They promise a neat, all-in-one package that takes care of meeting room sound, microphones and video. That said, it’s asking quite a lot of that technology to provide a truly satisfying VC experience — results, as they say, may vary.
Australian AV distributor, AP Technologies, is marketing a line of meeting room peripherals under the APT AV name, including the VB460 videobar.
It’s a good-looking, solidly-built product. It doesn’t break any new ground for aesthetics — it’s a familiar form factor — designed to sit atop or underneath your in-room display. Mounts and brackets are all available.
Leading the specs is a 4K camera, six-element mic array and a 2 x 10W speaker system. It’s pitched at small- to mid-sized meeting room.
The 120° wide angle lens will suit just about any room situation with minimal fish-eye distortion. The 4K sensor is handy, even for ensuring you get an HD image after the videobar does its autoframing. The camera boasts noise reduction technology to maintain clarity in low light, which functioned well in our tests — although don’t expect it to miraculously compensate for hopelessly inadequate in-room lighting.
The facial-recognising auto framing is designed to optimally frame the shot depending on the number of participants. It’s also designed to centre the main presenter using speaker tracking tech. We found this feature to be snappy and effective.
The audio offering promises a fistful of TLAs (that’s three-letter acronyms, for the uninitiated) including AEC (Acoustic Echo Cancellation), AGC (Automatic Gain Control)
and ANS (Automatic Noise Suppression). The aim here is to balance the audio levels of all participants in the room while keeping intelligibility high. Again, or tests suggest these features work well to maintain a good balance.
Around the back you’ll find the requisite I/O, including an audio out for extra loudspeakers or a feed to a hearing assist system. If you want to add another APTAV microphone to cover a larger room, then you can do that via the RJ45 socket.
The Bluetooth functionality is a nice addition: pair the videobar to your device and you can use the videobar’s mics and speakers to take a call or you can just stream Spotify to the VB460 if you so desire.
The privacy cover that automatically shutters when the unit isn’t functioning is another welcome touch that can soothe rattled nerves in highly-confidential non-VC situations.
Finally, the remote controller is well laid out and provides access to the main features.
The APT AV VB460 may be a new entrant to an already crowded vertical but the technology itself is proven and the package is a cut above and priced well.
Lens: 1.89mm f/2.0
Field of view: 120° (diagonal)
Sensor: CMOS sensor, 8 million effective pixels
Minimum Illumination: 0.5 lux
Built-in 4K UHD camera, microphone array, high fidelity speaker & electric privacy cover
HDMI: 4KP30, 1080P60 downward compatible
USB: 4KP30, 1080P60 downward compatible
Video Codec: MPEG, TUY2, H.264, H.265, NV12
AEC (Acoustic Echo Cancellation)
AGC (Automatic Gain Control)
ANS (Automatic Noise Suppression?)
Built in face detection algorithm, automatically detect participant and provide optimal framing.
- USB3.0, Type C supports UVC1.1, UAC1.0 & higher
- HDMI, compatible with HDMI2.0
- Line In & Line Out
- Expansion Mic can be connected via an RJ45 connector
- Bluetooth 5.0