HP's Video Close-Up: A Peek At The Visual Collaboration Portfolio

HP Is Ready For Its Video Close Up

HP this week confirmed availability of its new Visual Collaboration portfolio through distribution, with Ingram Micro as the first chosen distributor.

The broader channel rollout of the Visual Collaboration portfolio, whose products were first announced in November, announces HP as a new player in the SMB and midmarket segments of the business videoconferencing space, set to challenge Cisco, Polycom and other entrenched video players.

Here's a look at the Visual Collaboration product set, as well as HP's broader video strategy as it's taking shape.

HP Visual Collaboration Desktop

HP's Visual Collaboration portfolio includes four endpoints and three infrastructure technologies, and much of the software is provided under OEM agreement with Vidyo, the software-centric videoconferencing upstart with whom HP partnered last year. Vidyo offers software using scalable video coding (SVC), a technology for enabling HD video at lower deployment costs.

First is HP's Visual Collaboration Desktop, a software client for PCs and notebooks. List price is a $125 license per 25 seats.

HP Visual Collaboration Executive Desktop

Next up is the Executive version of the Visual Collaboration Desktop, which is actually an HP TouchSmart 600 Quad pre-loaded with visual collaboration software and bundled with a camera (optionally Logitech's B910) and headsets (optionally Logitech's USB H330 headset or ClearOne's Chat 50 Speakerphone). List price is $2,599.

The desktop units include HP's TouchSmart platform, personal configuration options, H.264 SVC video quality with error resilience and echo-canceling audio, and flexible bandwidth management, among other features.

HP Visual Collaboration Room 100

Rounding out the endpoint offerings are two conference room-class multipurpose video systems, outfitted with systems, screens and software. They include the lower-end 100, at $4,799 list...

HP Visual Collaboration Room 200

...and the higher-end 200, at $9,499.

HP Visual Collaboration Portal

HP's video software operates with x86 server infrastructures, and can be deployed on-premise, in a hosted model, or through service providers via the cloud. Among the infrastructure tools in the portfolio is the Visual Collaboration Portal (listed at $9,999), which allows IT managers to remotely configure, authenticate and license system components for HP video systems. It comes preconfigured on HP ProLiant DL360 servers (pictured).

HP Visual Collaboration Router

The Router is built on HP-standard server appliances, and can serve 100 concurrent connections, including firewall traversal. It's listed at $9,999, and according to HP, can bridge calls together to create multiparty calls and enable HD multipoint conferencing at lower costs per connection than rival solutions.

HP Visual Collaboration Gateway

The last piece of the infrastructure product set in the Visual Collaboration Portfolio is the Gateway, which connects legacy H.323 and SIP videoconferencing endpoints to allow customers to leverage their older video systems using HP software. The Gateway lists at $4,999 and can support up to 2 HD, 6 SD or 12 concurrent CIF connections. More sophisticated Gateway options include a 4 HD, 12 SD and/or 24 concurrent CIF connection offering, priced at $7,499.

At left, the full HP Visual Collaboration Studio, with three-screen immersive solutions available in 2, 4, 6 and 12-seat configurations.

HP Halo

Even with the new Visual Collaboration releases, HP will continue to support its higher-end line of Halo telepresence systems, which are intended for enterprise deployment and whose configurations run about $250,000.