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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.

Hewlett-Packard
www.hp.com/halo

System: Halo Collaboration Center
Pricing: Four-Seater, $135,000, plus $9,900/month for HP Halo Managed Service; Two-Seater, $120,000, plus $9,900/month for HP Halo Managed Service
Included Components: Broadcast-quality camera; 65-inch plasma people screen monitor; 42-inch HD collaboration screen; dedicated collaboration-channel VGA connection for sharing content via laptop; two executive conference chairs; executive table with integrated VGA cable; tabletop microphone solution/fully-duplexed; custom-designed HP proprietary software and GUI
Resolutions: 1280x960 or 720p
Number of displays/monitors: Two
Screen class sizes: 65-inch plasma people screen monitor, 42-inch HD collaboration screen
Network Support: H.323
Built-in HD audio: Yes
Security features: AES-256 encryption
The Halo Collaboration Center is for executives and small teams. It comes in two-seater or four- seater models that have a small footprint and require minimal site preparation. The Collaboration Center can be placed in multiple locations, including an executive office or a conference room. Both models include Halo Multipoint collaboration with other locations worldwide, and both deliver an immersive telepresence experience, according to HP.

HaiVision Network Video
www.haivision.com

System: hai1000
Pricing: Configuration dependent
Included Components: Codec only
Resolutions: Standard definition and full frame rates up to 1080p HD
Number of displays/monitors: Up to five per system
Screen class size: Not applicable
Video condecs supported: H.264
Network Support: SIP, RTP
Supported conference rates: Up to 10 Mbps
Built-in HD audio: Yes
Security features: Not applicable
According to the company, HaiVision's hai1000 platform offers distance educators a telepresence/continuous presence-style solution delivering high video and audio quality across great distances. Achieving less than 70 milliseconds of end-to-end latency and supporting multi-display, full-screen telepresence-style contact, the hai1000 allows educators to interact with remote locations without fatigue or attention drift. By adopting continuous presence style systems, educators can offer intensive classes to remote locations, eliminating the need for students to relocate or travel great distances.

LifeSize Communications
www.lifesize.com

System: LifeSize Conference 200
Pricing: $49,999
Included Components: Three LifeSize Room 200 codecs, four LifeSize Camera 200s, LifeSize Phone, LifeSize Conference software, wireless remote control, power supplies, cables
Resolutions: 1920x1080p30, 1280x720p60, or 1280x720p30
Number of displays/monitors: Not applicable; support for three full HD video monitors and one full HD data monitor
Screen class sizes: Not applicable; attached video monitors should be 58 to 65 inches; data monitor should be 42 to 50 inches
Video condecs supported: H.264, H.261, H.263, H.263+, and H.239 (HD data sharing)
Network Support: 10/100 Ethernet, IP v4 and IP v6, H.323 and SIP, auto H.323 dialing, NAT/firewall Traversal (H.460/SIP), ISDN via optional LifeSize Networker; H.320 dialing when used with LifeSize Networker
Supported conference rates: 2.5 to 18 Mbps (768 Kbps to 6.0 Mbps per codec)
Built-in HD audio: Yes
Security features: H.235 encryption; secure (SSL/TLS) password-protected Web management tool; admin- and user-level passwords; SNMP security alerts; ability to disable HTTP, SSH, and Telnet services; Kensington Lock LifeSize Conference 200 provides technology for an immersive, mirror-room experience and gives customers the freedom to select furniture, d├ęcor, and wall color to suit their taste and budget. According to the company, LifeSize delivers full HD (1080p30/720p60) telepresence for less than the cost of other solutions, with ongoing savings though lower bandwidth requirements. Image clarity drives high system use, enabling companies to increase collaboration while reducing travel costs.

System: LifeSize Express with Focus
Pricing: $49,990
Included Components: LifeSize Express codec, LifeSize Focus HD camera with integrated HD microphone array, wireless remote control, power supply, cables
Resolutions: More than 100 resolutions, including widescreen 16:9 modes (all resolutions progressive scanning), 1280x720 (1 Mbps or higher) HD, 1088x608 (768 Kbps) , 848x480 (512 Kbps) , 768x432 (384 Kbps) , 400x244 (128 Kbps) widescreen FCIF
Number of displays/monitors: Not applicable; supports one display supporting HDMI input
Screen class sizes: Not applicable; supports any HD display supporting HDMI input
Video condecs supported: H.261, H.263, H.263+, H.264, H.239; supports dual-streaming with Video Bandwidth Balance
Network Support: IP (10/100 Ethernet) LAN, IP v4 and IP v6 support, H.323 and SIP protocols supported, auto H.323 dialing, NAT/Firewall Traversal (H.460/SIP), ISDN supported using optional LifeSize Networker, H.320 dialing with LifeSize Networker
Supported conference rates: 128 Kbps to 2 Mbps
Built-in HD audio: Yes
Security features: H.235 encryption support; secure (SSL/TLS) password-protected Web management tool; admin- and user-level passwords; SNMP security alerts; ability to disable HTTP, SSH, and Telnet services; Kensington Lock LifeSize Express delivers HD (720p30) video and HD data sharing in a compact, easy-to-deploy form factor, well suited for executive offices, conference rooms, remote offices, and home offices.



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