Emphasis Is on
Quality"> "I think everybody is racing in this market to capture higher-quality videoconferencing. Most companies wont want to get a building permit to build out a special room [like those required by HPs Halo and Ciscos Telepresence]," said Claire Schooley, senior analyst at Forrester Research, in Foster City, Calif. "The main thing is the quality: People have been burned in the past with videoconferencing. The quality hasnt been good, and its been hard to use. Now the emphasis is on ease of use and quality. It wont ever replace face to face, but it can do pretty well." Polycom also broadened the range of its high-definition end points with the new HDX 4000 Executive Desktop and HDX 8000 Room System.Both employ Polycoms Ultimate HD, which includes not only a high-definition image resolution, but higher-quality audio and real-time content sharing.The HDX 4000 display, which can be used as an individuals PC display, includes four embedded speakers that can be used for the PC as well as videoconferences and for phone calls. It includes a network connection as well as a POTS connection for an analog phone line. A camera is built into the display, and a touch-pad to dial phone numbers is built into the base of the display. Polycom and IBM have teamed up on videoconferencing. Read more here. It allows a user to participate in a videoconference while continuing to work on his or her PC in the background. Content from the PC can be shared with participants. "Its the only system where you can work on your PC and sit in on a video call simultaneously," said Laura Shay, Polycoms director of product marketing for video solutions. Both it and the new HDX 8000 room system employ Polycoms patented Lost Packet Recovery technology, which allows the systems to tolerate greater packet loss than conventional videoconferencing without dropping calls or significantly degrading audio and video quality. While other systems will drop a video call with 6 percent packet loss, the LPR technology can support up to 10 percent packet loss, Shay said. The HDX 8000 is a turnkey system designed for typical conference rooms. It includes a high-definition camera with 12 times zoom capability, the videoconferencing system, microphone and remote control. Up to three cameras can be connected to the system, including a high-definition document camera as well as a PC. Polycom customers at commercial real estate company CoStar, who are already using the HDX 9000, are hoping to deploy both new offerings to more locations across the geographically distributed company, according to Sergio Soto, A/V supervisor in Bethesda, Md. "We were waiting for the new ones. Our CEO wants all our offices to be high definition," he said. The new TPX system is due in the fourth quarter and starts at $199,999. The new HDX 4000 and HDX 8000 end points are due at the end of October for $7,999 and $9,999, respectively. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.