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Telepresence Options Magazine

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HP Expands Visual Collaboration Offerings with SVC and Updates HP Halo with 12 Seats

November 17, 2010 | Howard Lichtman
HP_Halo_Visual_Collaboration.jpgHP rolled out a new suite of video solutions today that capitalizes on the partnership with Vidyo they announced in June of this year at InfoComm and also reported enhancements of their HP Halo telepresence studio.  HP's new video solutions, which include room systems, software-based desktop and laptop clients, a touchscreen executive system, and video network infrastructure components capitalizes on the SVC video standard which improves video performance over best effort networks like the internet by splitting the video stream into multiple additive streams that scale up and down depending on available bandwidth. 

The solutions that HP is announcing make up a wide portfolio of offering that span from the conference room to the desktop to the back-end video network infrastructure components that help manage enterprise video deployments and provide multi-point conferences and interoperability with traditional H.323 and SIP end-points.

Here are the major components:

New Room Systems


The HP Visual Collaboration Room 220 and 100 Respectively (Click to Enlarge)

HP_Collaboration_Room_Remote.jpgHP is rolling out two new room systems, the Visual Collaboration Room 220 and 100 with list prices of $9499 and $4799 respectively without screens or cameras which can be ordered in different screen sizes and camera qualities.  The main difference between the two solutions is that the 220 is capable of 1080p @ 30fps while the 100 is limited to 720p @ 60fps. Both are capable of single or dual screen configuration and have data collaboration standard. The recommended minimum bandwidth for 1080p is at least 1 MBps and 768K for 720p.    

HP Visual Collaboration Desktop
HPVC_Desktop_Image_LR.jpgThe HP Visual Collaboration Desktop is a software-based video solution for desktops and laptops that offers high quality 720p, 60fps video at a relatively low cost point per seat.  Each license is $5 perpetually but requires the back-end Visual Collaboration Portal to manage and license, the Visual Collaboration Router for multi-point, and the Visual Collaboration Gateway for interoperability with H.323 & SIP end-points.  The licenses must be purchased in 25 seat lots.


HP Visual Collaboration Executive Desktop
The HP Visual Collaboration Executive Desktop is a 23inch diagonal touch-screen videoconferencing appliance that essentially marries the Visual Collaboration Desktop software with HP's TouchSmart PC platform.  In essence, you get a fully functional touch-screen PC with an Intel i7 - 720QM quad-core processor bundled with a Logitech B19 HD camera, a Logitech H 330 headset all wrapped up with a bow for $2599. 

HP Visual Collaboration Infrastructure

HPVC_Proliant_Server_LR.jpgThe HP Visual Collaboration Portal is for management of multiple desktops and conferences and runs $9999 and is required to support desktop software clients.  

The HP Visual Collaboration Router is a piece of video network infrastructure that handles many of the same functions as a traditional telepresence/videoconferencing Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) or similar piece of video network infrastructure.  The difference is that the router doesn't have to computationally process multiple video streams to deliver multipoint calls but acts more like a traffic cop controlling streams between multiple HP endpoints.  The switch dynamically manages frame rates, resolution, and screen layout among multiple sites where bandwidth might dictate differing qualities and connections with the HP Visual Collaboration Gateway which connects HP's systems to other vendor's standards-based telepresence and videoconferencing end-points.  Because the switch does not have to perform computationally challenging work the Router doesn't require the same processing power (and attendant costs) as an MCU which leads to dramatically lower costs per port and the ability to do multi-point without the latency associated with intermediary hardware. 

The HP Visual Collaboration Gateway connects the desktops and room systems to standards-based legacy H.323 and SIP video end-points by trandscoding H.323 and SIP to the Visual Collaboration Router. The base model is $4999 and will support 2 HD connections simultaneously and scales up for $950 per additional concurrent call.

HP's Director of Product Management, Marcio Macedo, estimated that it would cost an enterprise client less than $90,000 to outfit 100 desktops, 5 executive desktops, 2 room systems and the back-end video network infrastructure to power everything. 

HP Halo Studio Updates
A 12 Seat HP Studio with 65 inch Screens

HP also provided an update on HP Halo, their immersive telepresence offering, and reported that they have developed a 12 seat version of the HP Halo Studio which you can see above.  The new 12 seat studio starts at $347,000 and includes the front media wall (with three 65 inch screens and one 50 inch overhead collaboration screen) lighting, back wall fabric and a 12 person mahogany table. HP promises interoperability between Halo and the company's new Visual Collaboration Solutions by next year.

Read the Complete Press Release Here.

Telepresence Options' Publisher Howard Lichtman's Thoughts & Analysis

A couple of brief thoughts:

Cost-Down / Quality Up
- HP is dropping the cost of the deployment of a enterprise video solution significantly over what their previous partnerships with MCU-based video solution provider were capable of achieving.  The cost of deploying enterprise video is dropping as the ability to do 720p, 60fps video is hitting laptops and desktops.  We are seeing a convergence of low-cost HD cameras, Internet-tolerant protocols, and more cost-effective video network infrastructure continue to both improve and commoditize enterprise video.

The continuing triumph of the Scalable Video Coding (SVC) video standard - SVC rolls on.  The trend started by Vidyo has now seen wide adoption from HP, Polycom, TelirisAdobe, Magor Communications, VideoMost/SPIRIT, Google, and RadVision.

Perfect Timing - Just as the TSA rolls out their new naked body scanners and enhanced pat downs and before the airline system could crash hard as privacy advocates plan for a November 24th "opt-out" protest against the scanners and pat-down which could give airline travel a black-eye on its busiest day.  

About the Author
HSL_Headshot.jpgHoward Lichtman is the President of the Human Productivity Lab, an independent consultancy focused on telepresence and effective visual collaboration for organizations looking to improve productivity and reduce costs.  The Lab provides corporate clients with acquisition consulting, RFI/RFP creation, and ROI/TCO financial modeling on telepresence systems, telepresence managed services, and inter-networking telepresence. The Lab also provides investors with prescient insight into the rapidly growing telepresence industry.  Mr. Lichtman is also the publisher of Telepresence Options, the #1 website on the internet covering telepresence technologies and the Editor of the Telepresence Options Telegraph.

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