Polycom looks to lower cost of video conferencing

Polycom, the telepresence specialist, is looking to cash in on the worldwide economic downturn by releasing a relatively low-cost video conferencing system.

The Polycom QDX 6000 system will cost 2,499, but will still offer DVD-quality video, even over low bandwidth links of only 256Kbps. Rivals such as Lifesize offer full high definition video conferencing solutions, but this requires faster connections and costs in excess of 10,000.

"You won't find another video conferencing system in the market today near this price point that delivers the level of voice, video and content quality or the features and performance delivered by the Polycom QDX 6000," said Joe Sigrist, senior vice president and general manager of video solutions at Polycom.

Video conferencing is becoming very appealing to companies looking to cut costs by reducing international travel. Sigrist claimed that business will recoup the cost buying two QDX 6000 units with just two or three uses that would otherwise have required the time and expense of air travel.

Polycom said that QDX 6000 will integrate seamlessly with many systems already in place in organisations, as it's based on established video conferencing standards. It can produce 480p video at 30fps and has AES encryption for call security.

It supports 16:9 widescreen by default but will also work on 4:3 monitors and offers a pan/tilt/zoom camera with 12x zoom capabilities. Dual monitors are supported, and it can take input from five video sources, which helps with collaboration.

A key feature is the use of Lost Packet Recovery technology, which is designed to deliver solid, smooth call quality even on networks that are prone to congestion. It works by reserving a small part of the bandwidth available for Forward Error Correction (FEC). Polycom said the QDX 6000 is the only product in its class that supports such a feature.

The system will be available worldwide later this month.

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.