Focus groups are used by companies & organizations to obtain consumer opinions on varying subjects, and typically consist of participants sitting behind a one-way mirror as researchers study their reactions like something out of a TV drama. The participants are asked a series of questions in a room, completely unknowing of who’s behind that dark, enigmatic glass window.
“Clients will contact us and say that they need 20 people from New Orleans of varying ages,” says Christopher Cantrall, CEO of Nola Perspectives. “So we set them up with the right participants, provide the facility and allow them to get the market data they need.”
An Alternative Perspective
But Nola Perspectives likes to do do things a little differently. Founded by Christopher Cantrall & Casey Mintzer in 2017, Nola Perspectives handles all of the research & recruitment when it comes to finding the right people for their clients needs, and provides a central facility for the studies to be conducted. Except instead of watching from behind a one-way mirror, their clients enjoy the view from a completely different room.
“The reason we do this is because of our shared office space. We have our focus group room on the 1st floor, and our viewing room on the 4th floor," said Cantrall. "But by doing a high-definition stream from one room to another via a LAN connection, we can achieve results as accurate as any other facility!”
So how do they send the video? Using a point-to-point video-over-IP stream. In the focus room is a GoPro Hero 6 mounted to a tripod, sending video to a Teradek Cube 655 encoder.
From the Cube, Cantrall has the live video feed streamed directly to his Core account. Core is Teradek’s cloud-based stream management platform that allows for optimized control of video streams, including multi-destination distribution, remote configuring, monitoring, and in this case, hassle-free pairing to decoder devices.
From Core, the feed is sent directly to the Cube decoder and streamed on the viewing room’s 2 HDTVs. Audio is also brought in via the same route. The video is sent in 1080p30 to capture every detail of the participants.
Simple and Effective
For Cantrall, the Cube + Core end-to-end solution gives him 3 advantages that are critical to his business. The first is allowing his clients to observe the participants on video.
“At times, I’d have 10 people in the viewing room at the same time. They need to be able to watch the study closely, and since we’re watching from TVs, we want the quality to be top-notch.”
Second is recording. Market research groups always require video recordings for later study, so Cantrall records the stream on both Cube and in Core. The in-cloud recording gives him not only a backup stream for extra security, but also easy access to the stream from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Third is maintaining a low profile in the study room.
“People are more honest in front of a camera than a one-way mirror,” explains Cantrall. “Cameras are less intimidating and creates a more relaxing environment for the participants, which gets a more authentic experience for our clients. The small form factor of the Cube makes it easy to do a stream from the study room to the viewing room without having tons of obvious equipment in plain sight.”
But the most important benefit is the confidence it gives Cantrall and his startup business. When big clients trust Nola Perspectives to get the job done, it’s essential that Cantrall can trust his tech to perform. Cube has been a key instrument in helping develop his company.
As they look to upgrade to a larger facility, Cube point-to-point streaming will continue to be a staple of their business strategy.
“For me, it’s all about the reliability. I want to be fully confident that the signal will go through from one office to another without having to worry about adjusting settings every time we start. I can just turn on the Cube and rest assured that it will work every time.”