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Buyer's Guide to Distance Conferencing Systems

Videoconferencing has reduced corporate travel by 24 percent, according to research by the Aberdeen Group. Nearly 31 million business IP phones, which help drive audio conferencing, are expected to ship by 2012. Using VoIP for audio conferencing not only reduces travel, but also the amount of copper run through a building.


System: Cisco TelePresence System 3200
Pricing: $340,000
Included Components: HD plasma displays, three HD cameras, nine microphones, three loudspeakers, Cisco Unified IP Phone 7975G
Resolution: 1920x1080 native
Number of displays/monitors: Three
Screen class size: 65 inches
Video condecs supported: H.264 at 1080p and 720p or CIF
Network Support: Runs as an application over an Ethernet network
Built-in HD audio: Yes
Security features: X.509v3 digital certificates (MIC/LSC), Certificate Trust List (CTL), Signed Firmware Loads, Signed/Encrypted Configuration Files, SIP over TLS, Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (sRTP), S-Description Key Exchange in Session Description Protocol (SDP), DTLS Key Exchange (TLS over UDP)
Cisco TelePresence provides an alternative to travel by recreating face-to-face meetings in a virtual environment. The technology has proven to reduce travel expenses and carbon emissions across organizations, according to the company, helping to increase productivity, speed decision making, and improve collaboration.


System: Converge Pro
Pricing: $1,195-$5,695
Voice network: PSTN, HD/wideband
Frequency response: 20 Hz to 22 kHz, ± 1 dB
Dynamic range: 100 dB (non A-weighted)
Maximum gain: +20 dB per I/O
Crosstalk: <-91 dB re 20 dBu @ 20 kHz channel to channel
Administrative controls: Not applicable
Video Support: Yes, via third-party video systems
Security features: None
The Converge Pro 880T provides a complete audio conferencing system for collaboration, presentation, distance communications, and any other multi-media audio requirements. It combines ClearOne's proprietary Distributed Echo Cancellation and the company's adaptive algorithms with audio digital signal processing for automatic microphone mixing, signal routing, equalization, automatic level control, compression, and other audio processing functions. The 880T uses a rapid-configuration user interface for system setup. It also facilitates local and remote PC setup, control, and diagnostics plus compatibility with the ClearOne Tabletop controller or integration with other popular control systems.

Digital Video Enterprises (DVE)

System Model: Huddle Room 70
Pricing: $84,800 (base model, bundled version)
Included Components: Turnkey solution, works with any codec/camera of choice; lighting package and boardroom quality table included
Resolutions: Codec-dependent: 720i, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p
Number of displays/monitors: One LifeSize display
Screen class size: 65-inch HD LCD
Video codec supported: H.264
Network Support: H.323, ISDN option
Built-in HD audio: Yes
Security features: AES-256 encryption
The Huddle Room 70 is an immersive conferencing system that provides a camera hidden behind the display for telepresence between two life-sized participants (four in wide view). According to the company, its minimal footprint permits easy placement in small meeting rooms. The Huddle's high-quality image has deep rich black levels and a zero-bezel LCD image. Two 21-inch data tablets on the table improve data conferencing by providing easy-to-read text and document sharing.

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