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Buyers Guide: Videoconferencing & Telepresence Products

Products to make remote meetings easier


Vaddio AV Bridge Matrix Pro

The Vaddio AV Bridge Conference is a room-based HD media streaming solution enabling IP or USB streaming. It’s an appliance that “bridges” the room’s analog audio and video into a computer (PC or Mac) for UC applications, and the AV Bridge Conference includes an HD encoder with two-way analog audio to send the near-end audio to the far-end and return the far-end audio to the room’s pro mixer with acoustic echo cancelling.

The AV Bridge Conference provides an A/V interface that is controllable with an embedded web server, and the current settings are viewable from the front panel menu system. It accepts a variety of video input signals, from standard-definition composite video (480i/NTSC and 576i/PAL) all the way up to HD 1080p/60 in HDMI and component YPbPr, including the most popular PC resolutions (RGBHV or DVI).

Use the AV Bridge Conference in conferencing applications to “bridge” video and audio signals into a PC or retrofit existing conference rooms by simply plugging a USB cable into a host PC or connecting to an IP network. It seamlessly integrates with Vaddio’s HD cameras, presentation systems, video mixing consoles and other pro audio products with acoustic echo cancelling.

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Revolabs FLX UC 500

The Revolabs FLX UC 500 USB conference phone features dual speaker elements, four microphones and integrated echo cancellation. One of the design goals for the product was to up the expectations for sound quality well beyond the usual performance from conferencing devices, so that the FLX UC 500 USB can also act as the audiovisual sound system in appropriately sized rooms.

Equipped with four microphones, a wider frequency response than typical conferencing systems and higher power than other USB audio devices, the FLX UC 500 provides professional-grade sound. The sound quality is made possible by using tweeter and mid-woofer speaker elements.

Designed specifically for conference rooms, small offices, and huddle rooms, the FLX UC 500 offers full duplex support for clear calls with simultaneous audio capture and playback. Users can connect the FLX UC 500 via USB to a PC, Mac or Chromebook for use with Skype, Microsoft Lync, Cisco Jabber, WebEx and many other applications.

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Cisco TelePresence Server

The Cisco TelePresence Server provides business-quality, intuitive videoconferencing. It is one component of the Cisco collaboration infrastructure portfolio, which includes a variety of products to create and manage a range of conferencing options. Cisco Collaboration Meeting Rooms allows anyone to join a meeting using video, audio and content sharing, from any mobile, desktop, or room system, anywhere. People can meet the way they want, from one-on-one discussions to group meetings.

The Cisco TelePresence Server has a software upgrade path that enables you to deploy new features as required, and with a licensing model to upgrade its function and capabilities on an as-you-need-them basis. It has the ability to extend meetings beyond the capacity of one server by cascading server-to-server or to include WebEx Meeting Center users, extending the scale of meetings and enabling more people to join meetings. The hardware is standards-based and compatible with major vendors’ videoconferencing products.

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Lifesize Cloud

LifeSize Cloud delivers end-to-end cloud video conferencing for remote collaboration and handles a range of meeting styles. LifeSize Cloud is used to accelerate judicial processes (warrants, stay of hearing, etc.) and maintain remote collaboration with local and global colleagues. Because it’s cloud-based, the service regularly receives new features via automatic updates, so it will continue to improve over time.

Capable of connecting people where ever they are and on whatever device they have, LifeSize Cloud can connect to laptops, tablets and smartphones—all have an equal seat in the meeting. It with anyone directly, even if the person receiving the call doesn’t have a video conferencing solution of their own. LifeSize Cloud can connect up to 25 video participants per call, and each connection can range from a single person on a smartphone to a room full of people. Once LifeSize Cloud is downloaded onto a laptop and/or mobile device, users can connect to your meetings anywhere, anytime, on any device.

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Polycom RealPresence Immersive Studio

The Polycom RealPresence Group Series combines video with high-quality audio in a system with an intuitive interface. Polycom developed the product with open standards to make it easier to integrate with third-party devices. The company’s SmartPairing technology makes it possible to use your own tablet to start and manage video calls.

The system supports 1080p/60 video quality and has Polycom’s VisualBoard technology for real-time content annotation. REalPresence is interoperable with unified communications platforms such as Microsoft Lync 2013 and 2010 without expensive and complex gateways, and it supports older conferencing products such as Polycom’s EagleEye Director and Touch Control.

To make it easier to install, RealPresence has HDMI inputs and outputs to connect widely available components at the highest quality, such as cameras and displays. The system can connect up to eight locations without requiring a separate bridge.

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