Mercury Makes Meetings Better

Crestron has just released the only tabletop meeting solution that supports any web collaboration application.  It combines conferencing and collaboration tools in one easy-to-use console,  and enables people to work together regardless of location or conferencing application.

It is priced to meet tight huddle room budgets, and securely connects to the network for enterprise provisioning and management.  And Mercury is easy to deploy, easy to use and easy to manage in every space across an enterprise of any size.

Mercury addresses the three most common meeting room uses:

  1. Presentation Space:  The built-in wireless gateway enables secure, wireless presentation on the room display from a laptop, smartphone, or tablet; or connect directly via HDMI.
  2. Conference Calls:  Precision engineered speaker and microphones inside Mercury to enjoy phone calls that sound like everyone is in the same room. Use the Bluetooth audio
    to pair with mobile phones, or the built-in full open SIP conference phone to make calls.
  3. Collaborate:  Use any soft phone, web conferencing, or UC application, such as Skype®
     for Business, Cisco WebEx®, GotoMeeting®, or Slack® to collaborate right from your laptop by simply connecting to Mercury.  All other solutions lock you in
    to just one platform. Crestron Mercury can also be configured to run native Skype for Business or the Zoom UX, without a laptop.

Our Review:

The Mercury is clearly aimed at the huddle room and small-medium sized rooms that serve many purposes throughout a typical workday.  The all-in-one appliance looks smart on a meeting room table, and its 7" touch-screen is clear and crisp.  We tested the Mercury at our office and our findings are below.

Installation was easy and the kit included all necessary cables and components to connect to a display within 15' of the Mercury.  Displays that are further than 15' require USB and HDMI extenders, and allow use of CAT5 or better cable in between transmitters and receivers.

When we powered it up, the IP address was presented and using Chrome, we were able to completely configure it.  Some nice touches we encountered while customizing were allowing for custom background themes, and integration into our MS Exchange.

For testing, our Mercury was connected to a Panasonic 70" television, our Ruckus WLAN, a Shoretel VoIP port, and a Logitech webcam.  We used a Microsoft Surface for content.

  1. Presentations:  Pressing the PRESENT icon on the screen brings you to an option tree for either wireless or wired.  Pressing either will provide instructions on what the user needs to do.
    1. Wireless presentations are made by downloading and running a small app (AirMedia) on your notebook.  Once launched, the AirMedia app detects the connected Mercury and connects.  At this point, content on your screen is presented on the display.
    2.  Wired:  As expected, the wired connection produced the best results for video.
  2. Audio Conferencing
    1. We first tested the Bluetooth by pairing to a mobile phone and found both near and far end quality exceptional.
    2. Similar exceptional results were found using the VoIP interface. This was no echo, delay or broken speech.  Mercury is compatible with Shoretel, Avaya, Mitel, ONSIP and Cisco systems.
  3. Web Conferencing
    1. Web conferencing was easily accommodated by connecting the USB and HDMI cables to our PC.  The USB connection allowed us to use the webcam mounted on top of the display rather than the one on our laptop, which provided a view of all the users, and not just my chin.
    2. We tried this with several UC applications including Skype, GoTo, etc and found no issues with any of them.

PRO's

  1. User screens were intuitive and allowed us to perform any action without pulling out the manual.
  2. Mute buttons are obvious and the mute status of the call is always visual.
  3. Audio quality is impressive.
  4. For larger rooms, up to two additional proprietary tabletop microphones can be added.
  5. A second LAN port on the underside is available and can be configured to provide a secure guest network, completely segregated from the corporate network.
  6. RS232 and IR ports are available as a universal display control.
  7. When no external mic's are installed, the Mercury can be powered completely using POE, reducing the clutter under the table.
  8. Advanced security features include 802.1x authentication, Active Directory credential management, LDAP directory management, SRTP, SSH, TLS, and HTTPS.
  9. Dual LAN ports allow VoIP or wireless traffic to be isolated on a secondary network, and 802.3at PoE+ compatibility enables Mercury to be powered through its primary LAN connection.

CON's

  1. When using the wireless presenation mode, we found videos did experience some lag, and the mouse pointer jittered at times.
  2. There are no provisions for external speakers or external microphones for voice calls, which does limit this to a medium-sized room.
  3. Only one language can be selected when setting the unit up.  So for you folks with bilingual staff, this may present an issue.
  4. For web conferencing, users must know how to configure webcam and audio on their PC.  However anyone using these web services should already be comfortable with that.
  5. There were an awful lot of cables exiting the rear of the Mercury.  We recommend a flip-top box be installed in your table with USB and HDMI cable retractors for a clean appearance.  

OVERALL:

Crestron Mercury is perfect for any small or medium-sized space, and is thoughtfully designed for enterprise-wide deployment.  Mercury provides all the technology and connectivity you need in one tabletop console.  No extra components and cabling means minimal installation time per room. - which means lower installation costs. 

For the price (MSRP US$2600), this one device replaces all the technology that a typical company pieces together to meet the needs of their modern meeting space.  This one device replaces the turtle, the dongle, remotes, and the myriad of cabling ports, with a clean capable solution.

Crestron Mercury Port View