Vidyo Challenges Cisco, Polycom With Browser-Based Video
Vidyo is unveiling a host of new products that officials said will offer users a better video conferencing experience at a cost much lower than what's offered by larger vendors, such as Cisco Systems and Polycom.
At the Gartner Symposium and ITExpo 2012 in Orlando, Fla., this week, Vidyo officials are demonstrating a software-based Executive Desktop System that they said offers better performance than hardware appliances on the market at a price that is as much as 10 times lower than competitive solutions. In addition, Vidyo also is showing off a browser-based video conferencing solution that offers up to 1440p decode capabilities and enables users to easily collaborate with people who are using such business video applications as Skype, Facebook and Google Talk.
The company also is giving users a look at its next-generation HEVC (H.265) codec design, which will result in higher quality video conferences over narrow bandwidth networks, which will mean lower bandwidth costs, according to Ashish Gupta, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of corporate development for Vidyo.
The latest solutions are part of Vidyo's strategy to offer flexible and scalable software-based video conferencing tools that give users the high-quality experience of more established hardware-based technologies, but at a significantly reduced price. Such differentiation is important to a company like Vidyo, which is competing against the likes of Cisco, Polycom, Logitech's LifeSize Communications unit and Avaya, which earlier this year bought Radvision.
They all are competing in a market that Vidyo officials said could grow to as large as $22 billion.
"Our latest innovations continue to demonstrate our technology lead and our commitment to make hardware-oriented business models obsolete," co-founder and CEO Ofer Shapiro said in a statement. "Vidyo was the first company to identify and prove that a new software-based architecture was needed to deliver the scale required to support hundreds of millions of personal endpoints."
Vidyo's Gupta noted that his company's offerings enable video conferences with multiple participants without the need of costly hardware-based multipoint control units (MCUs).
"This is something that some of the incumbents are starting to announce now," he told eWEEK.
Cisco, Polycom and others also are making significant software moves with their technologies. Polycom officials Oct. 8 launched the company's largest product rollout, which included an expansion of its RealPresence software platform, including the CloudAXIS Suite of software that enables enterprise users to connect with others that are using other video conferencing platforms, including Skype, Facebook and Google Talk, through a browser via private or public clouds.
Vidyo's Gupta argued that his company's software offerings are more mature than those from the likes of Polycom and Cisco, and are offered at a fraction of the price.
The company's new Executive Desktop system offers up to 1080p30 encode and 1440p60 decode, a higher resolution than competing offerings. Through the software solution, executives can receive a high-quality video experience on whatever endpoint they are using at the time, whether at home, on the road or in the office. It also offers licensing that is tied to the user, rather than the endpoint, giving executives even more flexibility, according to Gupta. The offering essentially makes executive desktop hardware appliances obsolete, he said.
Through the browser-based offering, users can get a high-quality, telepresence-like experience through the browser rather than requiring video conferencing hardware or soft clients that must be installed.
Vidyo also is shipping an open standards-based, multi-protocol video server, which supports the H.264 AVC, H.264 SVC, H.263, H.323 and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standards. Such support helps "future-proof" Vidyo's offerings, Gupta said. The company is planning a virtualized version of the video server for VMware environments, which will enable users to leverage cloud-based deployments. That will be released in the first quarter of 2013.
In addition, the company is demonstrating its HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) codec design. Vidyo and Samsung Electronics submitted the design to the ITU-T standards body earlier this month, and Vidyo officials want to show off its benefits—in particular, that the H.265 design requires half the bit rate of H.264 SVC for the same quality. This capability will result in lower bandwidth costs. Vidyo will offer HEVC support for free as a software upgrade to customers who already have a maintenance agreement, Gupta said.