How to set up BYOD mode on Neat Bar devices

Last updated on June 24, 2024

While Neat devices deliver great experiences through the Zoom Room and Microsoft Teams Room native applications, we understand our customers may sometimes be invited to meetings on other services, without a platform-level interoperability solution available. For these scenarios, we want to give our customers a method to use Neat devices on any platform. The BYOD Mode feature offers the ability to use Neat devices for ad-hoc meetings requiring a 3rd party video service, while making the benefits of Neat’s hardware and firmware features available.

This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to enable BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Mode, on your Neat Bar, Neat Bar Gen 2 and Neat Bar Pro. For instructions on how to enable BYOD mode for a Neat Board or Board 50 please see: How to set up BYOD mode on Neat Board devices.

Warning: When running a Neat device in BYOD mode, the videoconferencing application installed during out-of-box setup (Zoom or Teams) is terminated. Because the application cannot communicate with its cloud, you may see the devices appear offline in your Zoom or Teams cloud admin portal. Connectivity to Neat Pulse is maintained during BYOD Mode.

1. Requirements

Single Cable Setup (Neat Bar Gen 2):

  • Personal Computer that supports DisplayPort Alt mode Protocol
  • USB-C cable (3.0 or higher) that supports DisplayPort Alt mode Protocol
    • Note: USB-C adapters are supported, but individual testing is required

Note: Not all USB-C cables support DisplayPort Alt Mode. Users should verify their cables support DisplayPort Alt Mode to ensure compatibility. USB-C cables certified for Thunderbolt 3 or above are compatible with DisplayPort Alt Mode.

Double Cable Setup (Neat Bar, Neat Bar Gen 2, and Neat Bar Pro):

  • Personal Computer that supports HDMI-Out through direct or dongles
  • USB-C to USB-C or USB-A to USB-C cable (3.0 or higher)
  • HDMI Cable (existing content-share HDMI cable can be used for BYOD Mode on Bar)
    • Note: USB-C to HDMI adapters are supported.

Currently, BYOD Mode supports only High-Speed (USB 2.0) data transfer rates due to temporary software limitations. Super Speed (USB 3.0) cabling is recommended for future updates supporting Super Speed connectivity.

2. Instructions

2.1: Enable BYOD Mode using your Neat Pad

  1. Navigate to Neat’s System Settings.
    • For Zoom: Settings -> General -> System settings
    • For Microsoft Teams: More -> Settings -> Device settings
  2. Under Neat System Settings -> System -> Scroll down and enable the BYOD Mode toggle.
  3. Once the BYOD Mode toggle is enabled, USB passthrough functionality becomes fully automatic. When Neat devices are wired as mentioned in 2.2 Set up cables for BYOD Mode, the devices will immediately be accessible from your computer as USB-connected peripherals.

2.2 Set up cables for BYOD Mode

2.2.1 Neat Bar/Bar Pro/Bar Gen 2

  • First connect one end of the required USB cable to the USB-C port on the back of the Bar and the other end to your computer.
  • Next connect one end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI-in port for screen sharing on the back of the bar and the other end to your computer.
Figure 1. Neat Bar Port Schematics (Simplified)
Figure 2. Neat Bar Pro Port Schematics (Simplified)
  • After you connect a USB-C cable, you will see a diagram explaining the ability to mirror or extend your computer’s display by connecting the HDMI cable from your computer to the HDMI-in port on the Bar (Figure 3). Once a computer is connected to the Bar’s HDMI-in port (Figure 2), your screen will appear on the display(s) connected to HDMI 1/ HDMI 2.
Figure 3. Neat Bar’s HDMI 1 Output Image during BYOD Mode (Computer Not Wired to HDMI-in)

2.2.2 Neat Bar Gen 2

  • Connect the USB-C cable from your laptop to the Neat Bar Gen 2’s USBC port.
Figure 4. Neat Bar Gen 2 Single cable BYOD setup

2.3. Set Neat Device as your default Video and Audio Devices

  1. Open your preferred video conferencing application on your computer.
  2. Set the default devices for the camera, microphone, and/or speakers to the Neat Device (named ‘Neat Bar…’ or ‘Neat Bar Pro…’).
    • You can enable only the hardware you need. For example, use the Neat device’s camera and microphone while using your computer’s built-in speakers etc.

Note: If you are having issues with adjusting the volume on Mac devices, please review this article by Apple on adjusting sound output settings.

Platform Setup Articles:

3. BYOD behavior

  • Once BYOD is activated the Pad will display a toggle to adjust the Neat Symmetry settings on your Pad to frame participants as individuals or groups, when possible (Figure 3). You will still have access to Neat settings; a setting wheel will be located in the top right corner of the Neat Pad’s display.
Figure 5. Neat Pad display during BYOD Mode

Note: You will need to use the Pad originally paired with your Bar/Bar Pro. Other connected Pads and 3rd party controllers will appear as disconnected from your room.

3.1 Bar Gen 2 BYOD/Content sharing behavior  

This behavior only applies when BYOD mode is already enabled in System Settings for the Bar Gen 2 depending on cable behavior

Setup In CallOutside a call
Single Cable (USB-C with DP)Screen Share into the meetingBYOD mode
Double Cable (USB-C + HDMI)Screen Share into the meetingBYOD mode
Table 1: Summary of BYOD behavior based on Cable setup

Enjoy the Neat experience on any platform!

With this, you should now be fully set to use your Neat Bar, Neat Bar Pro, or Neat Bar Gen 2 with any video conferencing application!