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October 23, 2007

LifeSize HD Videoconferencing Signals End of an Era

By Erik Linask, Group Managing Editor


Among the benefits of converged networking solution being deployed at businesses today is the hope that users will be able to communicate via video with others, to enhance collaboration and overall communications effectiveness in the work environment.
 
Historically, the problem has been video quality, which, of course, has since been solved. However, with the new generation of video equipment, even the best standard definition video communications solution leaves something to be desired — businesses need HD videoconferencing solutions. Think about it, once you saw your favorite baseball or football team play in HD video, would you turn back to SD video? Probably not.
 
Now extend that same thinking to your businesses video equipment. Why not demand the same from your office communications system as you do at home? 
 
Which is precisely what a growing number of businesses are now investing in — HD videoconferencing solutions that offer the best possible audio and video quality, allowing them to interact more effectively with colleagues and customers.
 
LifeSize Communications (News - Alert) is taking advantage of this growing trend towards replacing legacy video infrastructures with HD videoconferencing solutions, now introducing an expanded product set, which it says will revolutionize the HD videoconferencing space — the video communications space as a whole, in fact.
 
“We built this company to deliver an experience so compelling that people would naturally select video communications instead of traveling,” said Craig Malloy, CEO and founder, LifeSize Communications.  “With our expanded product portfolio, superior video quality and price leadership, we see the end of the standard definition video era and the beginning of mainstream adoption of high definition for everyone.”
 
The addition to LifeSize Express, LifeSize Team MP, and LifeSize Conference, together with the company’s leading solution, LifeSize Room, together offer HD videoconferencing solutions to nearly all businesses and for any environment.
 
LifeSize Express truly brings the price point of an HD videoconferencing system — not to mention the footprint — to where it is a fit for any organization (less than $6,000). Not only is it a cost effective solution, but it is simple to connect via just a few standard interfaces (i.e., power, network, camera, HDMI for HD audio and video). In fact, the cost of the LifeSize Express is less than many standard definition video systems.
 
“Launching Express is our most significant achievement since the release of our flagship product, LifeSize Room, less than two years ago,” said Malloy. “To say we are excited is an understatement.”
 
The middle tier of LifeSize’s new products is LifeSize Team MP — as well as it’s LifeSize Room solution — offers the same high quality HD video as LifeSize Express, but also include embedded multipoint capability, allowing users to conference in as many as four locations at once. Like LifeSize Express, these solutions deliver 30 frames per second and 1280x720 screen resolution at only one Mbps. LifeSize Team MP starts as less than $9,000 — lower than any other multipoint solution on the market, the company says.
 
Lastly, LifeSize Conference is the HD videoconference solution that allows integrators, consultants, and enterprises create the ultimate in custom telepresence solutions. By supporting multiple displays, using an integrated wireless control panel, in addition to the HD audio and video features of the rest of the LifeSize product suite, LifeSize Conference brings to market an HD telepresence room solution for about $40,000 — less than 20 percent of what alternatives solutions from many vendors sell for.
 
Telepresence (News - Alert) is about the authenticity of the experience, and LifeSize Conference creates the sensation of everyone being together in a single room,” said LifeSize CTO Casey King. “With LifeSize Conference, telepresence rooms are now affordable to more organizations and accessible by more employees.”
 
The combination of LifeSize Express, Team, and Conference, along with LifeSize Room, provide a complete product line that not only can meet the needs of any business and any budget, but are also compatible with one another, as well as most legacy video systems, making installation easy, and adding to the ROI of existing platforms.
 
The combination of point-to-point and multipoint solutions, as well as multi-screen and multi-camera options, collectively offer businesses a complete HD videoconferencing solution, which will also extend the value of their converged IP networks and their broadband connectivity, allowing them to have more personal, interactive, collaborative, and perhaps most importantly, realistic communications.
 
“We firmly believe that video communications will change the way people communicate, and we are proud to introduce revolutionary technology that helps people everywhere do more, travel less and be present in any environment,” concluded Malloy.
 
Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Associate Editor of INTERNET TELEPHONY, IMS Magazine, and Unified Communications (News - Alert). Prior to joining TMC, he was Managing Editor at Global Custodian, an international securities services publication. To see more of his articles, please visit Erik Linask’s columnist page.
 




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