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Sony Expands HD Videoconferencing Family

Sony announced its newest HD videoconferencing technology, the PCS-XG55 system, designed to bring high-quality, affordable visual communications to a range of commercial applications.

Sony announced its newest HD videoconferencing technology, the PCS-XG55 system, designed to bring high-quality, affordable visual communications to a range of commercial applications, according to the company.

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The new system includes the PCS-XG55S HD codec unit, the PCSA-CXG80HD camera unit, PCS-AQ microphone, and PCS-RF1 RF remote, and delivers up to 720p/60 fps resolution. It also provides backward-compatibility with current models in Sony's videoconferencing line.

Features include the ability to deliver high image quality and smooth vide motion via BrightFace camera technology, says the company. The system's high frame rate and high-resolution codec (1280x720 60 fps/30 fps) includes a recently developed, real-time, adaptive contrast optimization technology that the company says uses brightness information from each pixel to optimize the contrast in an image's bright and dark parts separately.

The PC-XG55 system also offers collaboration tools with H.239 dual stream capability, allowing both video and presentation data to be transferred at 30 fps, while users can send H.264 720p/30 fps and H.264 XGA/30 fps streams simultaneously. For example, both a live camera view and animated PowerPoint data can be displayed in HD on two different screens or projectors at a remote site, the company says.

A Video Annotation function allows users to point out specific parts of an image by writing on a tablet (requires optional third-party pen tablet input device). Audio capabilities include stereo MPEG-4 AAC-LC and AAC-LD stereo 22 kHz for the auxiliary input; and MPEG-4 AAC-LC and AAC-LD stereo 14 kHz for the mic input. It also supports embedded stereo and mono echo-canceling functions, and enables remote communication playback of such high-quality formats as Super Audio CD.

Other features include one-touch dialing from the RF remote commander, dual- and single-monitor modes, and a GUI with translucent cascading menu architecture. Additionally, the company adds, Intelligent QoS control reduces video artifacts caused by packet loss regardless of transmission distance by applying three methods adaptively in accordance with network conditions: adaptive FEC (forward error correction); real-time ARQ (automatic repeat request); and ARC (adaptive rate control).

The PCS-XG55 system is scheduled to be available in April with a suggested retail price of $5,899.



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