polycom_logoPolycom announces the QDX 6000, its latest room system that is designed to deliver 4CIF (704 x 576 pixels) video resolution in a 16:9 or 4:3  format at a breakthrough price point: MSRP=$3,999. Although the product uses the H.264 protocol which is capable of HD, the goal for the platform was to push standard definition technology into a high resolution presentation, so as to buttress the low end of the HD-capable HDX product line with a very attractively priced high resolution package.

Note that [[High Definition video]] defines 720p as 1280 x 720 square pixels, while 1080p is 1280 x 1080 square pixels. CIF typically implies horizontally rectangular pixels which means that fewer pixels in the first dimension are required to deliver the proper 16:9 format. This also may create some forms of jagged edges at very low refresh rates or certain lighting conditions.

captionThe system ships with codec, 2 microphone pods and remote control wand, as well as appropriate cables but no  VGA cable to plug your PC into the H.239-capable codec. QDX can support dual monitors, as many as five camera inputs, the latest SirenTM 22 and StereoSurroundTM audio codec for the highest quality stereo audio experience, [[AES]] encryption for privacy in transmission and a very slick closed captioning capability (Polycom's Bob Knauf is shown taking the snapshot of the screen while looking up at the camera) that is accessible through the codec's web management interface.

Available as both the rolling caption across the bottom of the screen and as a fixed caption, shown at the top, this kind of text reiteration of the spoken word is helpful in hearing disabled environments or language translations settings like in international distance learning settings, an international conference over video or the like. Like the weatherman feature, this innovation can make video conferencing fun, or least make the mundane corporate video meeting seem more like FoxNews.

The QDX 6000 is packaged with color-coded consumer-style component, camera, audio, phone and Ethernet interfaces, an installation video, a first call phone support service and a year of unlimited parts and labor warranty.

Designed for the video newbie in the small medium business market, this unit is meant for the workgroup with 3-5 locations, minimal IT support and small capex budgets. Naturally, it will be sold everywhere, by all manner of Polycom distribution channel. It is entirely plausible that service providers reselling Polycom phones for their hosted unified communications offerings will also resell thespolycomrangee units to their installed base. They will like the ease of selling – simplicity of packaging, simplicity of installation and vendor-supplied telephone support – without a lot of AV specialization requirements… and their customers will like the ease of buying – with no complications in support or operations.

Although some large networks may want to own some of these units, they are not schedulable as are the HDX or SVX product lines with the DMA system. Status can be determined, but centralized management services are limited. As well, there is no multi-point bridge onboard, so access to a bridge/MCU will be required for more than point-to-point meetings.

First units will ship February 16, 2009.

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