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Videoconferencing solutions: eight of the best

Software and hardware companies have created interoperable solutions with added app functionality that are highly flexible and offer wider appeal within modern scalable business environments.

Polycom utilises proprietary technologies for flexible solution

The Polycom Realpresence Group Series is designed specifically for huddle rooms and personal workspaces. Audio and video have been optimised for video collaboration, with a 1080p screen, support for high-definition voice and an easy-to-use interface. Content can be shared through direct HDMI or VGA connections, or via the Polycom People+Content IP application.

SmartPairing technology allows users to share and annotate documents from their mobile devices or PCs wirelessly. The EagleEye IV camera captures everyone in the room with optical zoom and optional wide-angle lens; this is coupled with EagleEye Producer technology, which frames participants using facial recognition technology.

Global availability ensures consistency in device and saves on training, which also allows customers to have standardised rooms from a support point of view.

For more Polycom solutions

StarLeaf brings interoperability

With the GT Mini 3330 Range, StarLeaf has put a strong focus on usability with a feature-rich touchscreen interface that works like a smartphone. This meeting room solution includes an advanced codec, touchscreen controller, camera and microphone.

The range contains four options that allow users to choose between an HD USB or PTZ camera and the number of support screens required, which makes it cost effective for businesses to equip huddle rooms up to large boardrooms.

The GT Mini is managed from the StarLeaf Cloud (therefore requiring no additional infrastructure) and offers quick plug-and-play installation. The usability focus extends to its interoperability, as users can call any other professional video system including Lync, Cisco, H.323 and SIP systems.

Added benefits of a cloud-managed endpoint include unlimited guest invitations, meaning users can meet anyone on any device, and unlimited company-wide distribution of the StarLeaf Breeze software. The StarLeaf Cloud also automatically upgrades the software so the user is always on the latest version.

For more on the StarLeaf Cloud

Pexip adds exclusive external user capability

Pexip’s latest update to the Infinity meeting platform is Version 10, which is easy to manage using standard enterprise IT tools, and offers interoperability. Advanced enterprise multi-protocol call control capabilities are included as well as the ability to add external registrations, which is exclusive to Pexip. This capability comes via external policy servers, providing ease of use in deployment.

The software architecture is virtualised and distributed, which enables organisations to deploy as much capacity as they want.

For more about Pexip Infinity 10

Oblong’s inclusive approach

Oblong’s Mezzanine 3 collaboration solution sees the company expand the digital workspace across multiple walls and surfaces. This includes more screen configurations and the ability to host a variety of data and content feeds that can be moved between walls.

There are also added capabilities for remote participants, with simultaneous engagement of multiple users and their devices and data.

Added benefits of Mezzanine are that hardware is not prescribed and it doesn’t place constraints on multi-location and multi-participant communication. Users from around the world can connect to meetings on mobile and wireless devices via the Mezzanine web app.

More on Mezzanine 3 by Oblong

Cisco’s package offering includes content sharing

The Cisco TelePresence SX80 Codec provides a powerful and flexible video collaboration platform. The SX80 acts as the audio and video engine to incorporate HD video collaboration applications into large meeting rooms, boardrooms and purpose-built or vertical application rooms.

The SX80 delivers up to a 1080p60 end-to-end HD video and offers support for H.265, which lays the foundation for future bandwidth efficiencies made possible by the standard. The codec offers numerous inputs and outputs, a flexible media engine and support for three screens, which enables a variety of use cases adaptable to specific needs.

Cisco offers three SX80 Integrator Packages to reduce the need for external equipment and the overall cost of enabling video in larger meeting rooms. The SX80 also has the ability to collaborate with four simultaneous video inputs and eight microphones directly to the codec and claims to have limitless integration possibilities.

Application features include support for Cisco Intelligent Proximity for content sharing to mobile devices and wireless sharing from Macs and PCs. Support extends to Switched Conferencing for enhanced layouts and enabling video on both screens of dual-screen endpoints.

The SX80 also has a full ‘Touch10’ API, allowing users to move between modes; the software is compiled as a set of modules that are tied together into one package tailored to the briefing room type. The SpeakerTrack 60 camera can find and zoom in on the active speaker in the room, facilitating a responsive dialogue between presenter and audience.

For more on Cisco’s videoconferencing offering

Lifesize provides scalability and mobile access

Lifesize Cloud recognises the needs of management, IT departments and employees by offering a videoconferencing solution that can be expanded and adapted to meet changing staff sizes as well as budget requirements. It can be accessed in meeting rooms as well as on a laptop or mobile device.

Lifesize offers a room video system with mobile apps combined with a cloud video service for a connected experience from the meeting room, office and mobile devices. The subscription-based solution integrates the meeting rooms and mobile apps and allows customers to connect person to person, like a phone call, and then expand to a group call.

A number of different ways for people to connect are supported including directory dialling, point-to-point calling and call escalation. Third-party video systems are supported as well as Mac, PC and iOS and Android devices. Lifesize Cloud allows up to 40-way group calling with the same ease of use as a direct call. Any Lync users can join meetings from their Lync client application with one click.

Users can also make use of favourites lists, audio calls, instant messaging, data sharing and calendar integration with Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook.

For the full Lifesize portfolio

Blue Jeans blends streaming and interactivity

Blue Jeans Primetime is an interactive online events platform that can connect thousands of users through large-scale broadcasting and video collaboration. Blue Jeans Primetime blends the interactivity and engagement of a video meeting with the scalability and reach of a broadcast event. It is accessible on any device allowing greater interaction between attendees and presenters.

Primetime augments the Blue Jeans cloud-based video collaboration service with new streaming capabilities to broadcast events to a worldwide audience. This includes the ability for the moderator to switch participant roles between active participant and passive observer.

For more on the BlueJeans platform

Tely Labs combines value with app functionality

TelyHD Pro offers standards-based interoperability and integrated Skype support to connect with millions of users. Suitable for conference rooms, huddle rooms and remote offices, telyHD Pro also comes with a one-year subscription to telyCloud.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) interoperability enables telyPro to use third-party cloud-based conferencing services. It is also Skype certified and includes built-in HD Skype video calling for point-to-point connections to Skype-enabled mobile devices.

Apps give users the ability to share content with remote users during a videoconferencing call from their computer. The TelyShare App enables wireless projection from PCs to any telyHD Pro-connected HDTV, and the SmartRemote App gives wireless control.

For more Tely Labs products