Radvision First With Desktop HD Video
More fun at InfoComm includes the announcement of the latest release of the RADVISION SCOPIA solution set. Bob Romano, the VP Marketing for RADVISION, the Israeli-American video infrastructure manufacturer, briefed me on the company's latest new features.
RADVISION is probably best known for its 10-year old agreement with Cisco to OEM their infrastructure products to Cisco. Today, the company is investing in enabling PC participation in video conferencing. The SCOPIA v5.6 is now available and introduces several new features. See our other posts about RADVISION.
Of course, SCOPIA has been integrated with both Microsoft OCS 2007 and IBM Lotus SameTime. The implementation supports integration with popular enterprise directory and authentication mechanisms as well as scheduling and calendaring. So enterprise users can coordinate desktop PC and room sessions from within their personal productivity toolkits.
Notably, the company is first to claim an HD-capable video presentation delivered to PCs.
PCs are a particular problem for HD video conferencing. Their general purpose hardware and bulky OSes do not have the performance of the special-purpose multimedia ASIC and OS that are common in room codecs and products like the LifeSize Express and the Polycom HDX line. RADVISION solves half of the PC problem – the room to PC component. The PC doesn't have the processor and software guts to deliver an HD image captured from the PC.
Using assisted processing service from the SCOPIA bridge, customers can deliver an HD image stream to PCs at 30 frames per second. This is a great step forward and one that I expect will be emulated by other bridge manufacturers (especially those claiming or planning to do HD cameras for PCs).
Another new features in this release includes a system-wide Interactive Video Response (IVR) that works just like its voice-only equivalent. Video menus can be constructed and organized. Please, no 'listen closely, our menus have changed.' I guess the avatars are in release 6?
As well, this release includes a new Recording server that enables video recording, content organization and playback using QuickTime. Using industry standard hardware, the RADVISION software is designed to be of interest to corporate training departments and educational markets. Pricing is in terms of concurrent sessions and range from $8,900 for one session to $4,500/concurrent session for 10 sessions. Annotation of recordings are also supported.
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