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LifeSize Unveils New Video Conferencing Kit

LifeSize has taken the wraps a range of new high definition video conferencing kits aimed at companies of all sizes who want to cut down on travel expenses. The company has launched three new full HD video communication systems aimed at three separate tiers of the business.

The flagship is LifeSize Room 200 which offers a standards-based 1080p picture at 30 frames per second or 720p at 60 frames per second while only requiring a maximum of 1.7Mbps of bandwidth. It also supports 720p30 dual streams enabling full-motion, high definition data sharing. The full LifeSize Room 200 package includes a built-in HD multipoint control unit with transcoding, allowing up to six participants to be in a call at one time; data sharing, allowing content to be shared during the call; multiple camera inputs and dual monitor support.

The company also unveiled its latest high end telepresence system dubbed LifeSize Conference 200, and its LifeSize Team 200 aimed at small deployments. LifeSize Conference 200 can also do 080p30 and 720p60 resolutions, life-size images and HD audio, and being a telepresence system it can be optimised to fit exact customer requirements, budgets and room environments. On the opposite end of the scale is the LifeSize Team 200 designed for workgroup conferencing on a small scale, but still offers dual-monitor HD video at 720p30, digital I/O while using only 1Mbps.

"LifeSize has taken HD to the next level with LifeSize Room 200, the industry's first available 1080p30 and 720p60 Full HD offering," said Roopam Jain, Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "Room 200 is a significant, amazing accomplishment, delivering Full HD 1080p30 and 720p60, dual-screens and packed with features for less than $17,000. With Room 200, LifeSize has once again set the bar for video quality, useful standard features, and remarkable, incredible price-performance."

During a demo of the new LifeSize Room 200 between a London hotel and the company's office in Austin, Texas, Craig Malloy, chief executive officer of LifeSize said that the current economic climate combined with the maturation of the technology was finally bringing video conferencing to bear.

Malloy admitted that the take off of video communication technology has been 'just around the corner' for well over 10 years now. He added that now it was not only viable for a large number of businesses, but that drivers such as the economic climate, green pressures, globalisation and the cost of fuel, combined with the growth in network capacity and the development of high definition, meant it was now an imperative for many organisations.

"Now more than ever in today's economic climate customers are viewing high definition video as a critical lever to help them stay competitive, bridge their globally dispersed work groups, and reduce expenses," said Malloy. According to Malloy the market is now worth $1.5bn and growing at more than 20 per cent per year, highlighting the explosive expansion of the technology. Every aspect of the LifeSize system is built by the company, allowing it to optimise the entire system completely from 'glass to glass.'

The system is also interoperable with most IP-PBX systems including Microsoft OCS, Cisco Call Manager, Siemens HiPath, ShoreTel Shoreware and will soon support call scheduling through Microsoft Outlook.