VidyoRoom: Another Low-Cost TelePresence System Needing Interoperability

VidyoRoom: Another Low-Cost TelePresence System Needing Interoperability

Summary: Another  low-cost HD video system introduced today is the latest sign that 2010 will be spent pushing  megaprecise video tech into our businesses and homes.  To me that's all very nice, spending an inordinate amount of time overseas, but the reality is that before any HD video play has much play at home or work,  interoperability is going to have to be addressed.

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Another  low-cost HD video system introduced today is the latest sign that 2010 will be spent pushing  megaprecise video tech into our businesses and homes.  To me that's all very nice, spending an inordinate amount of time overseas, but the reality is that before any HD video play has much play at home or work,  interoperability is going to have to be addressed. There's good news and bad news on that front.

The VidyoRoom HD-220  prices up to $30,000 according to InformationWeek. An entire room will run ".,.. $25,000 to $30,000 when high-definition cameras and screens, high-quality audio, and the traffic-shaping Vidyo router are factored in. " By contrast a Cisco telepresence system can run $250,000.

Similar introductions have been made by other video conferencing players. Two years ago, LifeSize (now a division of Logitech), introduced the  LifeSize Room 200 with pricing starting  at $16,999.  Polycom announced the Polycom HDX 6000 in June of last year with a price tag of under $5,999.

There are differences of course. Vidyo runs at 60 frames per second. The HDX 6000 runs at 30 FPS. The 200 runs at both speeds. The Vidyo system has the ability to encode 720p and 1080p videoconferencing streams, all can do 720 some can go to 1080.

All very nice, but the big issue here is compatibility. A video  system that connects with one or two other offices is far less useful than one that interopertes with every webcam on every desk. On this score, LifeSize had it right with the Passport system, which will interoperate with Skype video, eventually.

What's still needed is a way to coordinate all of the different high-end video system. It's not just a matter of supporting the h.323 video either. Vidyo, for example, mucks around with the video stream to eliminate the MCU.

"Vidyo doesn't require an MCU. Instead, it wraps proprietary technology around video encoded with the new Scalable Video Coding standard, which greatly increases error correction and improves the end product, doing away with the blips and artifacts that are all too common in videoconferences and especially in online video. "

Then there's having to coordinate all of the other components that are possible in a video conference - screen display, acoustical mapping, screen display and the like. Vendors have different ways of implementing and then managing these exchanges.

Cisco says the answer is to adopt its Telpresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) announced last fall. In good Cisco fashion, TIP is due to be released to a standards body for development.  It's hard to imagine HPTeliris, HP, Telris, Vidyo, Polycom, Lifesize and even Tandberg (soon to be Cisco) adopting TIP as it stands today. Give them few months of battling, haggling and arguing and they'll adopt a spec that's very similar  - or create a competing one.

Topics: Cisco, Collaboration, Hewlett-Packard

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6 comments
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  • Free Desktop App

    What your post is missing is the fact that VidyoPortal allows for video
    conferencing with any Mac or PC laptop or desktop without any addional
    cost. The software download is free. The desktop or laptop can even
    display HD quality from Room system. This alleviates the need for
    compatible hardware! Vidyo can also dial ANY H.323 endpoint using its
    Gateway.
    PMUP
    • Not so Free Desktop App

      Isn't the VidyoPortal the most expensive thing they sell? Of course the client software is free, because you have already paid for the server.

      I'm also wanting to point out that, although there is no "MCU", there is still a need for a "VidyoRouter"...
      JohnRobinson
  • RE: VidyoRoom: Another Low-Cost TelePresence System Needing Interoperability

    I agree wholly with your take on interoperability. However, we shouldn't get excited about LifeSize being ahead of the game by _eventually_ using Skype, if for no other reason that Skype's quality is not great and can be a bandwidth hog for users becoming nodes.

    There are plenty of other alternatives as well. Okay, I'm partial, but still, VSee is a great example that there are others in the ring with Vidyo that also require no MCU, are low bandwidth, don't require proprietary equipment, and can hook up just about anybody anywhere with a full slate of collaboration tools.

    Going back to interoperability, I appreciate that you've emphasized the importance of that over framerate. Really, if a movie projects at 24 fps, how important to us is having 60 fps if the collaborative tools are insufficient?
    JohnRobinson
  • There are better, more complete solutions out there

    We looked at Vidyo but chose BrightCom. Similar to Vidyo but been around a lot longer with a much wider line of products including conference room hardware. We use um and it works great.
    DrBanzai
  • RE: VidyoRoom: Another Low-Cost TelePresence System Needing Interoperability

    The VidyoConferencing system includes a VidyoGateway appliance that enables interoperability with any H.264 or H.263 endpoint via H.323 or SIP. This appliance can connect to an MCU or a legacy video conferencing endpoint.

    Furthermore, Vidyo has developed a new architecture for video conferencing that eliminates transcoding (think MCU) yet enables interoperability among endpoints with different encoding/decoding capabilities in terms of frame rates and resolutions. This is accomplished via a VidyoRouter that routes the encoded packets to each endpoint based upon their bandwidth availability, processor capability and desired resolution for every participant.

    So when you look at the VidyoConferencing solution, not only is it highly interoperable, but it delivers natural interaction because it eliminates that "killer" latency that occurs in MCU-based legacy video conferencing solutions.
    snowranger
  • Picturs of telepresence and videoconference interoperability

    On this interview you can see the journalist and Unitronics' CEO, Manuel No, on different pictures showing interoperability between telepresence and videoconference of different manufacturers
    http://www.revista-ays.com/DocsNum30/EnElDivan/No.pdf
    Enjoy them
    Dimasdimenos