HP brings desktop videoconferencing to the table

The company's new range of products encompasses desktop software that can be deployed on a managed or private network, all the way up to dedicated full-room builds

HP has launched a new software-based version of its visual collaboration videoconferencing technology aimed at desktops as well as full-room suites.

The new software-based HD-videoconferencing option, dubbed HP Visual Collaboration Desktop and launched on Thursday, is also designed for notebook systems and can be run on a company's own network or a managed network.

HP's new visual collaboration products use scalable video coding technology developed by Vidyo, which the company says optimises the overall experience, reduces latency and removes the need for a multi-point control unit — used to control multiple terminals and gateways participating in videoconferences. Visual Collaboration Desktop costs $125 (£78) per 25 software licences.

"By operating on software-based x86 server infrastructures, HP Visual Collaboration solutions can significantly reduce infrastructure costs while allowing video to run more efficiently. This infrastructure can be on-premise, hosted or offered in the cloud by service providers," HP said in a statement.

Alongside the software-only offering, HP also announced the HP Collaboration Executive Desktop — costing $2,599 — which bundles an HP TouchSmart 600 desktop PC with the Visual Collaboration software pre-installed.

HP also announced the Visual Collaboration Room 100 and 220 products, aimed at team collaboration. The main difference between the two is that the 100 is limited to 720p resolution at 60 frames per second (fps), while the 200 offers up to 1080p at 30fps. Room 100 installations are available from $4,799, while Room 220 is priced from $9,499 upwards. HP says it will also continue to offer its high-end Halo products, which are designed to run specifically on a dedicated, managed network.

Underpinning the new products is the HP Visual Collaboration Portal, which comes preconfigured on ProLiant DL360 servers and allows administrators to manage configurations, authentication and licensing of system components. HP said that, in 2011, it will offer software that connects its desktop and conference rooms to its managed Halo products.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday Microsoft announced the latest version of its Office Communicator product, renamed Lync, which brings together instant messaging, videoconferencing and a voice calling service. On the same day, another key videoconferencing player, Cisco, warned of critical security vulnerabilities in its Unified Videoconferencing (UVC) 3515, 3522, 3527, 5230, 3545, 5110 and 5115 products.