Review: TelyHD Pro Is a Capable, Self-Contained Skype Appliance For SMBs

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TelyLabs HD


If your customers have complained about meeting delays because no one could figure out how to work the teleconferencing system you supplied, then you might consider the $649 TelyHD Pro from TelyLabs. After reviewing this simple SIP/VoIP unit, the CRN Test Center was impressed with its quick setup, ease of use and feature richness of a device costing less than the HDTV we tested it on.

Out of the box, the footlong bar turns any HDMI-equipped monitor or television into "Number Five," the robot character from the 1986 sci-fi romp "Short Circuit." Plugging in the included HDMI cable and AC adapter, the unit boots in about two minutes and is ready to configure. An automatic firmware update and installation added another five, bringing the total time from out-of-box to videoconferencing to less than 10 minutes.

A small remote provides simple four-arrow navigation with a central select button and additional controls for menu and hang-up. The menu button presents choices appropriate to the context of the current selection. When viewing a call-log entry, for example, the menu choices would be call, delete and back. Once signed into Skype, the registered user's contacts are displayed in alphabetical order on cards that cascade in a carousel. Pressing the center button initiates a call to the contact in the center card. The display can filter contacts by online status. But for organizations with a great many contacts, it'd be nice also to have a "List View" or additional filtering criteria.

The multilayer settings-menu structure is straightforward and uses a series of cascading cards to represent settings categories, but cascades are no longer circular. Admin settings include easy ways to adjust screen size (to make sure nothing's cut off from the edges of the screen), and to set the date and time, ringer volume, language, screensaver and to give the device a name. There's also a way to limit who can use the device, what types of calls can be placed or received and to whom, and whether to allow Skype searches and to log calls. All features are allowed by default.

Access to administrative settings can protected by a PIN. Skype-specific preferences include limits on incoming calls, auto-answer for all or only contacts, and automated replies. TelyHD Pro also permits changes to the Skype password and for the addition of contacts. Removing contacts requires a trip to Skype's PC-client software and the corresponding client's account. The device embeds several background images and can accept images, logos or other custom graphics through the SD card slot or USB port.

NEXT: The Testing

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