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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.

Sony Electronics

System: PCS-XG80 HD videoconferencing system
Pricing: $8,999
Included Components: HD Camera, HD Codec, two microphones, HDMI cable, A/C adapter, RF Remote Commander
Resolutions: QCIF, CIF, 4CIF, wCIF/w288p, w432p, w4CIF, 720p, 1080i
Number of displays/monitors: User-supplied
Screen class sizes: Not applicable
Video condecs supported: H.261, H.263, H.263+, H.263++, H.264
Network Support: IP, ISDN
Supported conference rates: 128 Kbps to 10 Mbps (ISDN up to 768 Kbps )
Built-in HD audio: Yes
Security features: AES-256 encryption
The Sony PCS-XG80 system is the company's first 1080i HD videoconferencing system. It combines 1080i resolution and a high frame rate of 60 FPS to deliver live video quality and a natural alternative to face-to-face meetings, according to the company. The system's backward compatibility gives users the option of connecting with HD video quality through the growing number of high bandwidth connections or through standard-definition legacy systems, which comply with industry standards, over IP and/or ISDN. The new system also features BrightFace, Video Annotation, and RF Remote functionality. With six-site multipoint conferencing, users can call up to five other remote sites, and the system supports 20 different languages.


System: Profile
Pricing: Starts at $38,900
Included Components: Integrated system with LCD widescreens), 1080p HD camera, audio component, and codec
Resolutions: Optimal definition up to 1080p HD
Number of displays/monitors: Choice of single 42-inch or 52-inch LCD display, or dual 52-inch displays
Screen class sizes: 42-inch, 52-inch, or dual 52-inch widescreen 1080p LCD
Video condecs supported: H.261, H.263, H.263+, H.264
Network Support: IP H.323, SIP
Supported conference rates: 128 Kbps to 6 Mbps, up to 10 Mbps in MultiSite (starting at 64 Kbps audio)
Built-in HD audio: Yes, 20 kHz mono and stereo
Security features: AES-256 encryption, SSH, HTTPS, 802.1x
The Tandberg Profile has an intelligent, user-friendly interface and is flexible for any team room environment, according to the company. Its three widescreen LCD display options coupled with full duplex audio and a strategically placed PrecisionHD 1080p camera allow for better eye contact and more natural communication. The sleek design of the Profile also incorporates recyclable aluminum materials, keeping in line with a company's environmental sustainability goals. Moreover, it is part of a Tandberg Total Solution for complete management and access to intelligent network services. The Tandberg Profile is interoperable with any standards-compliant videoconferencing or telepresence system.


System: Express2 Telepresence
Pricing: $99,000
Included Components: Displays, cameras, microphones, speakers
Resolution: 720p30 (60 FPS optional)
Number of displays/monitors: Two
Screen class size: 52 inches (optional Teliris InterACT Presentation display)
Video condecs supported: H.264
Network Support: IP
Supported conference rates: 30 FPS (60 FPS optional)
Built-in HD audio: Yes
Security features: H.235 encryption, including AES, optional Teliris Express2
Telepresence is a cost-effective telepresence solution designed for small working groups/teams, regional offices, remote locations, and sites without the real estate or budget to dedicate to a telepresence room. Teliris' two-screen solution is ready-to-use (requires no room build-out), fits into any existing conference room and accommodates four participants on each side. Adding Teliris InterACT TouchTable creates an even more natural experience, while the InterACT Easel interactive flip chart eliminates the need for paper print-outs.

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