LifeSize Adds Mobile HD Streaming To Video Center Play


LifeSize Communications on Tuesday added HD video content streaming for mobile devices to its flagship video management appliance, the latest step for the video company's expansion beyond its well-known video endpoints and into the broader infrastructure arena.

Specifically, the LifeSize Video Center will now be enabled for mobile streaming, meaning users can access live and on-demand HD video content from PCs, but also Apple iPhones, iPads and iPods connected to Wi-Fi or cellular networks. The one-way streams, such as from corporate or classroom presentations, are accessed via Web browser without any additional software needed, according to LifeSize.

In addition, the Video Center now includes automatic adaptive streaming, meaning that users can stream an HD recording from a LifeSize 220 Series video endpoint at up to four different bitrates -- preserving the quality of video on mobile devices or even in instances of choppy bandwidth.

Users can also access and store video content using their existing network attached storage (NAS), and the LifeSize Video Center's API is enhanced to let developers build Video Center content into third-party systems.

LifeSize first debuted the Video Center in April 2010 -- an appliance that processes HD video where it's created and offers advanced management of video content for network administrators and users to stream, record, auto-publish and store video, audio and data content.

The new enhancements will all be part of LifeSize Video Center Version 1.2, which will be available for download in March. Video Center is currently listed at $29,999 MSRP.

Cost savings and ease-of-use are two of LifeSize's most important value propositions to VARs and customers, said Rafi Anuar, product manager -- especially as a compelling alternative to video channel heavyweights like Cisco and Polycom.

"These are built from scratch, in house: both the endpoint side of the portfolio, and the infrastructure side of the portfolio, which includes Video Center and our bridge products," Anuar told CRN.

"When we set out to do Video Center, we looked at how existing solutions were architected," he added. "We use the LifeSize 200 series to transcode the video before it ever leaves the endpoint -- all that heavy transcoding work is being done right on the endpoint."

Video Center can offer up to 20 concurrent HD recordings, and 50 in standard definition. It can also enable up to 1,000 live video streams and up to 350 simultaneous on-demand streams, all in 720p30 HD video.

LifeSize, which was acquired by Logitech in 2009, has about 15,000 customers in 100 countries, according to its executives.

Its channel program, which LifeSize retooled about a year ago, numbers about 1,500 VARs, and OEM and integration partnerships with the likes of Avaya and Microsoft.