LifeSize rocks the HD conferencing world with affordable 720p solutions

LifeSize rocks the HD conferencing world with affordable 720p solutions

Summary: LifeSize Communications was the first company to release an HD conferencing solution which I covered at Interop Las Vegas spring 2005.  Now at Interop fall 2007 in New York, it appears that LifeSize has again rocked the video conferencing world by releasing 720p HD products at half the price of competing 720p solutions.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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LifeSize Communications was the first company to release an HD conferencing solution which I covered at Interop Las Vegas spring 2005.  Now at Interop fall 2007 in New York, it appears that LifeSize has again rocked the video conferencing world by releasing 720p HD products at half the price of competing 720p solutions.  The LifeSize Express sells for less than $6K and is cheaper than many standard definition video conferencing solutions.  The new LifeSize Telepresence solution can be built for a quarter of the cost of competing Video Telepresence solutions.  [Update - See gallery here]

Pictured to the left is the newest low-cost LifeSize Express 720p HD video conferencing solution.  It will ship tomorrow on 10/23/2007 and it has an MSRP of $5,999 which is nearly half the price of competing 720p HD conferencing solutions on the market.  The LifeSize Express has dual-input capability and it has HDMI input and output which carries audio.  The 720p codec in this model is limited to 1.5 mbps.  The $5,999 price comes with microphone, remote, and camera.

Pictured above is the back of the LifeSize Express.  At this time the HDMI ports which carry digital audio and video capability don't have HDCP compatibility which means you won't be able to input commercial HD DVD or Blu-ray video in to the system since they require HDCP copy protection.  At this point in time that wasn't really a priority and no other product on the market has HDCP protection either nor do they have the convenience of HDMI ports.

Pictured left is the new LifeSize Team MP product which ships tomorrow on 10/23/2007.  It has an MSRP of $8,999 and it adds 4-way continuous presence multipoint capability and supports up to 2.5 mbps.  At under $9000 the Team MP is about the same price as some competing standard definition video conferencing solutions.  Like the Express system it also supports a single camera and single display.

Pictured left is the LifeSize Room system which has been the flagship product for LifeSize for a year.  It supports up to 6-way continuous presence multipoint, VAS (Voice Activated Switching), and up to 5 mbps.  This model supports dual camera and dual screen.  Seen in the picture is a LifeSize IP phone which is powered by standard RJ45 802.3af POE (Power Over Ethernet) port.  The smaller microphones shown with the LifeSize Express and Team MP are analog microphones that go in to the microphone jack.

Pictured above is the new LifeSize Conference solution which is essentially a "Telepresence" solution without the display and furniture.  The solution is essentially two LifeSize Team MPs and one LifeSize Room system bound together by a controller.  It is extremely disruptive to the Telepresence market space because it sells for an MSRP of $39,999 when competing Telepresence solutions sell for $200K which includes the furniture and displays.

Since you can buy three 52" flat panel LCD displays for $6K and some pretty nice custom furniture and video studio lighting for $14K, you can build a LifeSize Telepresence solution for about $60K.  As LifeSize CEO Craig Malloy explained it to me in a telephone conference today, you can build a house in Texas with the remaining $140K.  In the picture above you're probably looking at $2000 of furniture and wall mounts and I can't see why you would need anything more than this other than a brightly lit room which produces a much better picture quality.  This gets you the same video Telepresence quality of systems costing 4 times more money.

Topic: Tech Industry

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8 comments
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  • LIFESIZE VIDEO CONF

    We currently use LifeSize (720p camera) here in our Hospital Nursery. It works great conferencing from one hospital to another. Giving very clear images for the doctors to see and help diagnose cases. We had a polycom system that did not do very well within the hospital environment.
    We are using a dedicated 10 gig pipe - we have it set to the highest speed and experience no glitches/slow images. A very fluid transition. The performance of the polycom system using the same lines would not come close to the LifeSize performance.
    psmallwood@...
    • From what I've seen, they both work well but LifeSize is now much cheaper

      nt
      georgeou
  • RE: LifeSize rocks the HD conferencing world with affordable 720p solutions

    HD pictures are so cool! Once you have it, you can't go back! I wish the price will get more affordable so you can buy it for small business!
    kingstarusa
    • Give it another two years and we'll start seeing it in software

      Give it another two years and we'll start seeing it in software. The new Intel 45nm CPUs being launched next month with SSE4.1 instruction set will be fast enough to do real-time 720p video conferencing. Now we just need the software and a capable camera.
      georgeou
  • Not only inexpensive

    Not only are the LifeSize HD units the least expensive, they also work the best. We just finished a technical evaluation of HD units from various vendors and the LifeSize units worked better than any others.
    gtdavies33@...
    • The HDMI ports on the Express model definitely makes it easy

      The HDMI ports on the Express model definitely makes it easy to hook up since it's 1 cable versus 5 cables for audio and video.
      georgeou
  • problem with lifesize

    I had used lifesize room for a demo purpose on ip network with in LAN but i got a bluish screen and blured picture from high defination lifesize camera how ever sametime i have connected one standard defintn polycom camera to same lifesize unit and i was getting more clear and brighter picture from standard defintn camera than high defin lifesize what could be the problem can any one suggest me
    and i have upgraded latest firmware after this problem still problem didnt resolved can any one suggest me a solution or what could be the exact problem?

    Thanks,
    Shardul
    shardul_g@...
    • Check your settings

      The Lifesize will give you a blue or green screen if you don't have the type of screen setting correct in the menus.
      pbedrosian@...