Polycom Offers Up Latest Videoconferencing Solution


Conferencing vendor Polycom is making some noise in the videoconferencing space.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company today released the VSX 7000, an entry-level videoconferencing unit that features a high-fidelity speaker and subwoofer along with proprietary software to provide near-CD-quality sound, according to the company.

The VSX 7000 also boasts TV-quality video using H.264 video compression, which delivers a higher-quality picture at about half the bandwidth of previous videoconferencing solutions. "This new standard can make video calls with less bandwidth," said Michele Damerau, senior product manager for video communications. "Before people would have to use 768 or 572 Kbytes to get decent communication. Now they can use 384 or 256 Kbytes and get decent communications."

The product also features a fully customizable user interface, enabling users to configure the system functionality depending on their skill level. The unit can show both locations onscreen simultaneously, or set up in the traditional one-location format, depending on the user's needs.

The system consists of a camera with high-fidelity speaker, subwoofer and separate microphone that screens out extraneous noise but can pick up a conversation in any corner of the room. It can support up to four sites over ISDN or IP.

The VSX 7000 is the latest in Polycom's integrated solution it calls Polycom Office, which integrates all the company's communication products, from its conferencing phones to Web collaboration environment to its desktop videoconferencing systems and more, to create next generation communication systems and thereby help improve a company's productivity, said company president Robert Hagerty.

"Wherever there is geographic dispersion, what's most important is productivity improvement. The more improved the productivity, the more competitive a company can be," he said.

The VSX 7000 has a list price of $5,999 base price, which includes a one-year hardware warranty and 90-day software warranty.