Polycom Broadens High
-End Videoconferencing "> Changing market forces and the emergence of telepresence systems have breathed new life into the videoconferencing market. Polycom on Oct. 15 will try to capitalize on that by broadening both its telepresence and high-definition videoconferencing product lines.The new Polycom Telepresence Experience High Definition (TPX HD 306M) system is a step down in cost and build-out requirements from its high-end cousin, the Polycom RealPresence Experience (RPX) system. It is intended for a smaller group of participants conducting shorter and more frequent meetings. Like its cousin, the TPX HD 306M projects life-size images of conference participants, provides a similar in-person experience along with high-quality audio and video, is based on the same video codec standards, provides a consistent look and feel, and uses the same user interface on the touch control panel embedded in the conferencing table. Read here about Ciscos Telepresence system. It differs, however, in that it can seat six people instead of four to 28 people in the RPX, it uses three 60-inch plasma screens instead of rear projection with tall and wide displays, and it does not require the construction of a special room built to detailed specifications. "The RPX is immersive telepresence that includes acoustic ceiling tiles, large video walls, studio-quality lightinga room installed within a room like a cocoon," said Michelle Damerau, Polycoms worldwide product marketing manager for telepresence solutions in Austin, Texas. "The TPX is for small groups to get together and feel as if they were in the same room. They get plasma [screens] with high-definition video and stereo audio, and everything they need for the experience without the immersive room." The system uses eagle-eye high-definition cameras that are hidden from view, microphone arrays installed in the ceiling, and a conference table with a small touch-point panel used to control volume, set up point-to-point calls or call the help desk. The conference table can also be used for in-person meetings. "Were the only [vendor] to provide an environment where people can sit around the table and use it as a conference room when youre not on video. Thats attractive to organizations with high rents such as London, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo [and] Hong Kong," Damerau said. The new TPX can be used with other Polycom telepresence systems as well as the companys traditional videoconferencing systems and other standards-based video codecs. The first telepresence systemsHewlett-Packards Halo and Cisco Systems Telepresence Systemhave helped to shed a new light on what was a moribund videoconferencing market. "Cisco had the biggest voice in promoting telepresence. Its helped all of us out. They have done a great job in evangelizing this new technology and [boost] awareness," said Damerau. Page 2: Polycom Broadens High-End Videoconferencing
The Pleasanton, Calif., company will show off more choices for customers at its user conference in Los Angeles when it introduces a less costly version of its telepresence system along with two new high-definition videoconferencing end points aimed at executive desktops and most existing conference rooms.