Hewlett-Packard has announced a low-end version of its Halo videoconferencing platform, which allows customers to strip away some of the expensive "optional extras".
Released last year, Halo Studio is a custom-built videoconferencing room that includes floor-to-ceiling interior design and fabric, furniture and lighting -- in addition to high-end audio and video equipment co-developed with Dreamworks Animation. The studio carries a hefty price-tag of US$349,000, in addition to the ongoing fee of US$18,000 per location, per month.
The new Halo Meeting Room is priced at US$249,000 and includes the same audio and video equipment that the Halo Studio offers -- running on its fibre-based Halo Video Exchange Network -- but the matching back wall and lighting kits are sold as optional extras. It's being promoted to smaller organisations or those that may not want to invest in a permanent installation.
A single studio allows participants to broadcast video of themselves and/or computer presentations to colleagues in remote locations in real-time. It consists of three plasma monitors, cameras, audio, lighting and access to a dedicated Halo video exchange network.
Customers are responsible for providing a "shell" build of the studio, while Hewlett-Packard performs the fit-out.
Networking giant Cisco offers a similar product -- the Cisco TelePresence Meeting system..
TelePresence simulates a regular meeting environment, using three 65-inch ultra-high definition 1080p panels and three cameras aligned along one side of a boardroom table.
Halo customers include BHP Billiton, PepsiCo and AMD.
Steven Deare contributed to this report. Luke Anderson travelled to New York as a guest of HP.