IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

Hands-on review: Poly Studio P15 Personal Video Bar

By Darren Price
Tue 22 Jun 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Over the last year and a half, I’ve watched countless absolutely horrendous video presentations that have made my toes curl. It’s fair enough that COVID-19 caught us all unawares. If, however, you are presenting to a paying audience, or want to maintain the same level of professionalism remotely as you would face-to-face, you need a decent webcam and audio set-up.

During the first half of 2019, a pair of $2 earbuds dangling from your ears and jittery images from that dusty old webcam from 2010 was fine. But it's not anymore. And hasn’t been for a while. Washed-out video, hollow audio, and a backdrop of your dining room just don’t cut it.

The folks at Poly have been trying to sort out the current video conferencing amateur hour with a range of products to put the professional back in professionalism. They sent over one of their latest products for testing.

The Poly Studio P15 Person Video Bar is an impressive beast. It can be affixed to a mount or tripod, or rested on any flat surface. It does come with a stand for resting the device on top of your display.    

The P15 is an elegantly designed device. The fabric front provides a uniform finish punctuated by the camera in the centre and the stylish Poly logo on the right side. At just over 400mm long it looks out of place anywhere but on the top of your TV. Sitting atop my 32” monitor, the device seemed rather imposing.

The device is easy to set up. It has its own independent power supply and is connected to your PC, Mac, or laptop via a USB Cable. 

The enclosed “Quick Start Guide” is annoyingly brief. It seems designed to get the device going, without providing any further information on optimising the camera or audio to get the most out of your investment. For more information, you need to head on to the Internet.

Poly equipment uses the company’s Poly Lens app to control and adjust settings. With the app installed I was granted some additional control over the device. To be honest, the Poly Lens software is not very intuitive and doesn’t apport the same amount of display option as I have with my $100 Logitech camera. I found using the Windows camera app to be just as effective.   

The Poly Lens app does have a link to the P15’s PDF manual. It’s not the most informative document, concentrating on the nuances of video conferencing more than the technical aspects of the device. For instance, whilst the manual identifies the two USB Type-A sockets on the device, it neglects to advise that these can be used as a USB hub. They are in a bit of an awkward position. They are low-powered USB sockets and no good for use as a power source for my USB LED studio lights.

The Poly P15 is compatible with Nvidia Broadcast for some more advanced auto-panning and background removal/blurring effects.  

For the fully 4K image, the video bar needs to be connected to a PC or Mac via the USB Type-C cable, supplied. The supplied cable is only about 1m long, which limited where I could position the camera (my PC being on the floor and my desk being long with a monitor in the middle).

The camera’s 90-degree field-of-view is the BIG DEAL and something that more dynamic presenters may relish. If you’ve spent the last year-and-a-half hunched over a laptop, peering into a camera, whilst mumbling into the tinny mic, the Poly P15 will blow your mind. 

The camera’s tracking and zoom ability allow it to keep the presenter in the frame, whether sitting up close up walking about within the huge field of view. This allows for a more natural presentation style.

Rotating the lens closes the camera for privacy with a green light to let you know that the camera is active. There’s no external way of muting the mic, this would have to be done in your conferencing software.

The P15 has three microphones and one speaker. The microphones have no problem picking up audio from a few metres away and the speaker reproduces crisp audio. The speaker seems to flatten the sound of people speaking, taking out room echo and making them very easy to hear.

My biggest disappointment with the camera is that it only caters for 30 frames per second. This is a bit of a shame for a device costing AU$1500. A 4K 60 fps camera would have opened the P15 up to streaming and really professional video presentations.

The Poly Studio P15 Personal Video Bar is just the device to allow remote presenters and video conferencing to have almost the same level of professional flare as you’d expect face-to-face.

The documentation could do with being a little better but, for the most part, the device is plug and play. I would have liked to have seen 60 frames-per-second as opposed to 30, but 30 is fine for low-bandwidth video conferencing, which is what the P15 is really designed for.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
CISOs need to consider a risk-based cybersecurity strategy
Rather than talking in terms of attack vectors and vulnerabilities, CISOs and security decision-makers must look at actual business risk.
Story image
CM Group recognised as Best Overall MarTech Company
MarTech Breakthrough has ranked CM Group as the Best Overall MarTech Company for the third year running and Cheetah Digital as Best Overall Marketing Campaign Management Solution.
Story image
Unified Communications
Gold Coast private hospital improves comms with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise solutions
With further demands placed on health workers as a result of the pandemic, they need efficient and adaptable solutions that help them effectively serve their communities.
Story image
Workday research finds A/NZ organisations becoming leaders in digital agility
New research from Workday and IDC has revealed that Australia and New Zealand are becoming leaders in digital agility.
Story image
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne implements data ecosystem with Talend
Talend has announced that The University of Melbourne (UoM) has selected Talend Data Fabric for its cloud data platform.
Story image
Contact Centre
Treasure Data launches new customer experience functionality
Treasure Data has introduced a new strategic vision and product positioning for Customer Data Cloud, reflecting the company's focus.
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Mendix
Mendix is a low-code platform used by businesses to develop mobile and web apps at scale, and Jornt joins us today to discuss how these offerings work, and what benefit they have in the development process.
Story image
Lucid Software
Lucid Software expands enterprise offerings with enhanced slack apps
Lucid Software has expanded its enterprise offerings with enhanced slack apps for its Lucidspark and Lucidchart technology.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Why the right ERP (and partner) is crucial to an innovative and successful business
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a foundational step to ensuring a robust business model; here's why choosing the right one could be vital to ensuring long-term success and innovative results.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Top tips for making your finance transformation program a resounding success
Planning to make 2023 the year you embark on a wholesale finance transformation program? It’s a move that will stand your enterprise in excellent stead as you navigate the complexities of the post-Covid business landscape.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Dramatic uptick in threat activity with exploits growing nearly 150%
"While it’s not a surprise given increased attack opportunities like remote work, it’s still a worrying development and one we cannot ignore."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Concentric AI protects sensitive data with new capabilities
The new capability reveals sensitive data shared across email and business messaging platforms and highlights who has inappropriate access to content.
Story image
Lacework launches new capabilities for better threat detection
Lacework has announced new capabilities that enable organisations to uncover more critical threats to their infrastructure and empower teams.
Story image
Education sector seeing highest volumes of cyber attacks
When breaking down the numbers to education attacks by region in July 2022, A/NZ was the most heavily attacked.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner unveils key emerging tech to watch in 2022
"Such technologies present greater risks for deployment, but potentially greater benefits for early adopters," says Gartner.
Story image
Dynatrace extends application security capabilities for runtime environments
Dynatrace has announced that it has extended its Application Security Module to detect and protect against vulnerabilities in runtime environments.
Story image
Australian IT security concerns higher than before pandemic
Australian organisations are more concerned about cyberattacks than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.
Story image
Why enhancing bot protection for web and API endpoints matters
The trouble with bots is that they aren’t all bad. Unfortunately, this can make it challenging to detect malicious bots that find their way into your system and threaten your business.
Story image
Data protection: How SMEs can secure online consumers’ trust
Consumers believe how a company treats their data reflects how they treat their customers, according to a new survey.
Discover why a localised cloud ERP is the way to go for Australian businesses.
Link image
Story image
Augmented Reality
TeamViewer remote access software integrated into RealWear Cloud
TeamViewer has announced a major expansion of its partnership with RealWear, a leading provider of assisted reality wearable solutions for frontline industrial workers. 
Story image
Investment in APAC cold storage to reach $5 in next decade
Investment in Asia Pacific’s cold storage market is expected to grow fivefold in the next decade, according to JLL.
Story image
Australian Defence Force
Cloudera and ADF partner for e-health management system
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has selected Cloudera as a strategic data partner to help transform its e-health management system.
Story image
Data Protection
Advancing genomic sequencing and public health with digital infrastructures
Right before our eyes, we've witnessed the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in record time. An enormous achievement in an otherwise lengthy task that previously took, on average, 10-15 years.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Fastly, INX, Kinly, SmartBear & Vectra AI
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Sophos reveals latest ransomware trend impacting orgs
Sophos has announced in a new whitepaper that Hive, LockBit and BlackCat, three prominent ransomware gangs, consecutively attacked the same network.
Story image
Data analytics
Pressure on orgs to up their data analytics game - study
A recent report from Sisense highlights data transmission, analysis, and risk management remain top concerns for data professionals in APAC.
Story image
Can biometrics help? 123% increase in Gen Zs scammed online
In the three years leading up to 2022, the number of Gen Zs who fell victim to online scams rose by 123%, according to Ping Identity.
Story image
Why security needs to shape your journey to the cloud
It's estimated that 80% of workloads could be in the cloud in the next few years. How can you make all that data secure?
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why it is imperative to keep up with technology advancements
Technology is constantly evolving, which is why digital transformations can often be complicated. What legacy items stay? Will the new and old work together? Or is there a whole new system that we need to introduce?
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Federated change is the best path to digital evolution
Businesses that can successfully manage the exponentially expanding masses of data produced by modern consumers will be the businesses that survive and prosper.
Story image
Customer experience
Scope Australia selects NICE CXone platform to streamline operations
One of Australia’s largest providers of disability support services, has chosen the NICE CXone platform to help streamline its contact centre operations.
Story image
Kaspersky uncovers new attacks by advanced persistent threat group
The attacks involved modifications of the well-known malware, DTrack, as well as the use of a brand-new Maui ransomware.
Story image
Avast reveals zero-day exploits targeting Chrome and Microsoft
Avast, released its Q2/2022 Threat Report today, revealing a significant increase in global ransomware attacks, up 24% from Q1/2022.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Appier achieves historically high growth rate of 56% YoY
"Our strong momentum over the past two quarters underscores Appier's significant growth alongside our customers."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Is your chatbot bringing down the customer satisfaction score?
The top 10 reasons why chatbots are failing to meet customer expectations and what you must do to avoid that.
Story image
Data breach
Weak breach data disclosure laws for IP theft leaves vital Australian industries vulnerable
Infoblox has seen unprecedented levels of demand for cyber protection from companies outside of the Critical Infrastructure Act who have discovered security events and those who fear falling victim to IP theft.
Story image
Cloud Security
Tenable makes additions to Cloud Security portfolio
Tenable has announced additions to Tenable Cloud Security that represent the next step in assessing threats related to cloud vulnerabilities.
Story image
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Gartner names Lookout a Visionary in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Gartner has recognised Lookout as a Visionary in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE) and one of the top three offerings in the 2022 Gartner Critical Capabilities for SSE report.