Polycom OTX Halves Bandwidth Needs For Immersive Telepresence

By Doug Allen Comments
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Unified communications stalwart Polycom has just introduced its Polycom Open Telepresence Experience (OTX) 300, a next-gen “Immersive” telepresence solution that is being positioned as a cornerstone of its voice/video and telepresence conferencing portfolio. The OTX sports Polycom’s full feature-set for its telepresence line, but is specifically designed to drive channel partner sales by supporting  full 1080p video resolution at only half the bandwidth of “comparable” systems.

Using its new H.264 High Profile video compression technology, a proprietary implementation built on industry standards, Polycom claims the OTX lowers the total cost of ownership while eliminating the need for network capacity upgrades at each end-point to carry bandwidth-hogs like video conferencing and unified communications (UC).

The company is touting some pretty impressive figures for potential savings to the customer. Compared to a similar implementation from chief rival Cisco, Polycom claims a company of 1,500 employees can save $600,000 in total cost of ownership over one year; at 3,000 employees, the number jumps to $1.1 million; and for businesses with 5,000 employees, the total balloons to $2.1 million, based on the number of immersive systems and room systems used. The estimate includes costs for bandwidth, services and maintenance as well.

Moreover, H.264 can support high definition video at any bandwidth from 512 kbps up; full-motion DVD-quality, or standard definition video, requires as little as 128 kbps.

“We have implemented H.264 High Profile on our Polycom HDX systems and the results are impressive,” said John Vitrano, vice president of service support for CA Technologies. “We can run our systems at reduced bandwidth without impacting quality. We are encouraged that Polycom is implementing it on their bridges and immersive telepresence products, as this will allow us to get the benefit of H. 264 High Profile in more applications.”

H.264 is being integrated into Polycom’s RMX 4000 and 2000 HD video conferencing series, as well as its existing immersive telepresence portfolio, including the RPX, ATX and TPX lines, which are designed for more fully collaborative meetings. The OTX will be available in Q3.

Polycom is following its usual channel-friendly marketing strategy, selling the OTX through certified partners around the world “with complementary supporting implementation and managed telepresence services” to offer customers a soup-to-nuts business solution. In addition to the benefits of H.264, the company is also emphasizing the OTX’s standards-based interoperability with other telepresence and video conferencing endpoints; native integration support for select third-party UC and networking platforms, such as Microsoft Office Communications Server R2 and Microsoft Exchange, as well as scheduling capabilities through Microsoft Outlook; a full 1080p high-definition video protected by its Lost Packet Recovery QoS technology; and minimal room modification requirements that include front and rear environmental walls and optimized lighting.

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