Midrange telepresence systems marry high quality with affordability
The Polycom QDX 6000 and the LifeSize Express 200 deliver a high-quality face-to-face experience at a price any company will find appealingFollow @infoworld
Naturally, HD video requires more bandwidth compared to standard definition. On many tests with my marginal cable modem connection, LifeSize automatically switched to a lower screen resolution to match available Internet speed; there are 50 resolutions for the best experience at any bandwidth. But when I was able to coax enough bandwidth for high-definition video, the experience was definitely very immersive.
Next, using the Web interface, I made appropriate directory entries for non-LifeSize systems that used other standards, such as H.323 video phones. LifeSize Express didn't have any trouble connecting to these systems.
On the security side, the Web interface let me disable HTTP, SSH, and Telenet services. Privacy of conferences is handled with H.235 encryption.
Overall, LifeSize Express 200 has a lot to love. The diminutive codec is quick to set up and reduces cable clutter. When there's adequate bandwidth, picture quality is outstanding. Using and managing the system, including connecting to standards-compliant competitors, requires minimal effort.
Yet this all comes with a price: the monetary cost and some of the flexibility you give up compared to Polycom's QDX 6000 (such as more video and audio inputs). For SMBs with the appropriate network infrastructure and the need for HD video, LifeSize is a wise choice. Yet for half the cost, Polycom makes a compelling argument, especially for organizations with a number of remote offices and home workers.
|Polycom QDX 6000||$3,995||Includes system unit, remote control, Polycom EagleEye QDX camera, two conferencing microphones, and all required cables. Supports standard-definition widescreen video (480p) and H.261, H.263, and H.264 standards.||The QDX 6000's low price puts high-quality videoconferencing into the hands of small and medium-sized teams. The system securely delivers DVD-resolution video and CD-quality audio over public 256Kbps to 4Mbps Internet connections. Two monitors are supported as well as five video sources. The QDX 6000 quickly assembles, interoperates with other Polycom conferencing and competitors' systems, and the Web interface simplifies management.|
|LifeSize Express 200||$5,999 with fixed autofocus camera; $6,999 with pan-tilt-zoom camera||Codec, high-definition wide-angle camera, microphone pod, wireless remote, and all necessary cables. Supports true high-definition video (720p) and H.261, H.263, H.263+, H.264, and H.239 standards.||This reasonably priced, easy-to-use video communications system delivers telepresence to any room. High-definition video makes participants appear true-size, while high-quality, echo-free audio contributes to the immersive experience. There's dual-stream support for sharing multimedia content. You invoke calls and manage conferences using a pleasurable on-monitor interface coupled with a custom remote control.|