Lifesize upscales video conferencing to 1080p

Lifesize, the video conferencing company has unveiled a new high definition video conferencing system that it says offers next generation levels of performance.

The system offers Full HD' levels of quality, delivering 1080p video at 30 frames per second (fps) or 720p at 60fps. It is standards based using the H.264 codec but is also backwards compatible with older standards such as H.263.

The system can deliver its 1080p30 video at 1.7Mbps, 720p60 at 1.1Mbps, and 720p30 at 768Kbps, which the company says is significantly more efficient than competing systems from the likes of HP and Cisco.

Three systems are available. The Lifesize Room 200 consists of a multipoint control unit with transcoding, enabling as many as six participants to be in a call at one time. It also sharing of high definition documents, such as spreadsheets and presentations, and video and it has dual monitor support.

The LifeSize Conference 200 is the higher end option, offers a fully customised solution with multiple cameras to offers telepresense outside of the boardroom.

The entry-level option is Lifesize Team 200, which delivers 720p30 consisting of dual-monitor HD video, digital connectivity and an enhanced embedded multipoint control unit.

At a demo of the system is a London hotel room, Lifesize CEO Craig Molloy, told IT PRO that the system represented a price performance breakthrough in terms of bandwidth requirements and cost.

"Five years ago [video conferencing] was a large enterprise play only. For us the biggest opportunity is the small to medium sized business, " said Molloy, highlighting the system's cost as a major advantage.

Answering the question of why companies might want high definition video conferencing he said that, it enabled employees in remote locations to collaborate more easily and naturally and even have the sort of regular banter colleagues would do in the office.

In the light of the current economic climate and Molloy referenced the pressure for many companies to cut the costs of travel and on the need for green initiatives. "With this is mind we're uniquely positioned. It continues the globalisation of business."

The three systems will be available for order from November at 11,449 for the LifeSize Room 200, 33,649 for the LifeSize Conference 200, and 7,399 for the LifeSize Team 200.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.