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Cisco Drops Price on umi Home TelePresence and Turns On Interoperability with Rest of Portfolio

March 7, 2011 | Howard Lichtman
cisco_umi_interoperability.jpg

Cisco Systems today announced a reduction in the cost of their Cisco umi home TelePresence System, dropping the price of the 1080p model from $599 to $499, they announced a new 720p version that uses less bandwidth for $399 as well as a free HD calling client for PC and Macs that is currently in trials. More importantly, the company also announced interoperability between Cisco umi Home TelePresence and Cisco TelePresence for enterprise customers, allowing businesses that have deployed Cisco TelePresence to now connect with consumers and remote employees using umi. 


New Model and Price Reductions

When the company first rolled out Cisco TelePresence in October 2010 the quality of the video was heralded while the cost of the system and bandwidth was almost universally panned by analysts as unreasonable given the dominant pricing model for consumer video of: Free.  It looks like Cisco took the analyst advice to heart and has announced a lower priced 720p system that uses less than 1/2 the bandwidth (1.5MBps vs. 3.5MBps) of their flagship 1080p system for $399. 

The company also reduced the price of their 1080p model from $599 to $499 and more importantly, also reduced the monthly service fee from $24.99 to a more reasonable $99 a year, or $9.95 per month for both the 720p and 1080p models. 


umi Connect PC Client

Cisco also announced a new free PC client, umi Connect, for both PCs and Macs that will allow umi users to connect with non-umi users for free in addition to the system's existing free interoperability with Google Video Chat.  There is no service fee for umi connect. 


Availability

Cisco umi  1080 is now available for 499.00 at Best Buy Magnolia and at bestbuy.com; Cisco umi  720 is scheduled to be available for $399.00 early this summer.  Cisco ūmi Connect is in beta trials and is scheduled to be available via free download this summer.

Resources

Cisco umi Press Release - March 7th, 2011

Cisco Launches umi Home TelePresence with Thoughts and Analysis From Telepresence Options Publisher Howard S. Lichtman







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