Pricey Video Conferencing

I just came across Andy’s comments about the state of room based video conferencing. I have to say that I agree completely.  I’ve been to a number of Cisco Telepresence demo’s now and there’s no question it’s impressive.  The price tag kills the interest for all but the richest companies though.  $250k for the required two sides of the 3 TV Telepresence unit and that doesn’t even include the UCM system it requires or the 15mbps of bandwidth it needs for start up.  No doubt it’s easy to use and the video is absolutely incredible, but it’s just one of those technologies that hasn’t filtered down yet.

One thing Andy mentions is the ultimate ability for the home user to access the same tech.  Well, that’s a ways off but you can see it coming.  Cisco’s acquisition of Scientific Atlanta is all about just this sort of thing.  I’m kind of surprised Cisco hasn’t kicked something out in that regard.  Their assimilation usually takes a couple of months but they’ve had SA for how long now?  2 years maybe?  Bandwidth is less of a concern than in the corporate world and more and more houses have HDTV’s already installed.  Maybe Cisco’s too hung up on the “experience” which would certainly be affected by consumer class implementations.

4 thoughts on “Pricey Video Conferencing

  1. It takes a tremendous amount of dedicated bandwidth to deliver the quality replicated in the HP Halo and Cisco telepresence rooms. Dedicated bandwidth is not cheap. It would be interesting if Cisco or HP could deliver the same experience over a DSL or cable modem connection into the home.

  2. The smaller versions only (!) require 5mbps for start up if I remember right. 3mbps once it’s live. Of course, having kids running around in the back of the image will drive up the bandwidth requirement! 🙂 I think they could go with something at a lower bitrate that would be a little more reliable. The big issue is ease of deployment. Cisco has an intro to that with SA and Linksys but I’ve been unimpressed with how they’ve leveraged that so far.

    Lot of talk, not much action.

  3. There’s a number of ways to get there. I just saw something the other day about Docsys 3.0 being tested. Speeds up to 100mbps. Sure, fiber has more potential in the long run but it’s also expensive to install. Verizon’s busily running FIOS all over the place but for folks that live out in the sticks (me) that will be a long time coming. Wimax might have been able to answer some of that but it seems to be reeling now.

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