Does High-Definition Video Suddenly Make Video Conferencing More Desirable?

from the big-bets dept

Cisco is getting a lot of attention today as it unveiled a new video conferencing system that promises to make video calling feel close to human contact. For the most part, video phones have been a dud, but there is a market on the corporate side. Several big companies have bought expensive video conferencing systems, in hopes of seeing reduced travel bills and other advantages conferred by high quality visual contact. By all accounts, the Cisco product sounds quite impressive, and offers much better quality than most other products on the market. But at the same time it feels like Cisco is going in the opposite direction of where the real action is. While it's developing ever more complex and expensive communication systems, in hopes of capturing the "next $1 billion market", it's cheap communication technologies that will be the most transformative to business. But because the company is seeing fresh competition in core areas like corporate phone systems, it has to move up the food chain. That's what we're seeing across many industries in fact. As Microsoft faces competition from cheap web-based apps, it's set to drop its biggest, most complex version of Windows yet. As the film industry is attacked on the low end by people with cheap production equipment and new ways of distribution, it's responded by making bigger and bigger films. The hope for these incumbent players is that the market bifurcates, and that there's room for light and cheap products as well as premium ones that they can charge a lot for.


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    Sanguine Dream, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 9:57am

    I'm not so sure...


    The hope for these incumbent players is that the market bifurcates, and that there's room for light and cheap products as well as premium ones that they can charge a lot for.


    I don't thinik the incumbents are hoping for a divided market. It seems to me that they are hoping throw enough money at the issue (in the form of big fancy features) that the small guy can't hope to compete. And if that fails then they will cry for government regulation, which also requires the throwing of large sums of cash.

     

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    ScaredOfTheMan, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 10:14am

    Cisco's play here is simple:

    1. Cheaper than HP's solution (which big corps already buy)
    2. makes the company need bigger pipes (10G links), which then forces them to buy more Cisco gear to build or upgrade the corps network.
    3. The system is really really cool to use (I saw it in person), it really does sound like the person talking on the screen to your left is actually infront of you to your left.
    4. finally there is a trickle down effect. Yes this system cost $300K per site...list. but I am sure they have 2-5 year roadmaps where the "Telepresence Express" server will be sold to the smaller guys

     

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    Matt Mendolera, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 10:31am

    The answer: No.

    Video conferencing is about feeling everyone's presence and collaborating in a more realistic way. I don't think HD video automatically draws everyone who uses video conferencing, or who's considered it, to all of a sudden feel a good deal more confident. Where the high quality video matters is with webcasting and podcasting, because you're going to want a sleek video stream integrated into a presentation that thousands are going to see or download to their iPod--why does it matter, really, if the quality is tip-top for a collaborative meeting online (within reason, of course)?

     

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      Capt. Bligh, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 11:27am

      Re: The answer: No.

      ... why does it matter, really, if the quality is tip-top for a collaborative meeting online (within reason, of course)?

      I personally never felt any more connected or productive during the video conferencing experience. Instead, most of the time was spent in frustration - moving cams and mics, adjusting the picture and watching stop-action animation of the folks at the other end.

      But it probably does matter to the metrosexual bucking for Sr. VP so that everyone can see the pinstripes in his Armani suit, tastefully accented by the Gucci tie and the $150 highlights & hairdo ...

      I think the next big meeting place will be the virtual one. Second Life will become "MySpace in 3D" ...

       

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    Teilo, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 11:27am

    Yeah, but not until SD video conferencing becomes

    For big corps, fine. They have the money to spend, and the niche where proprietary solutions might fit.

    But for the market at large: show me even a workable 15fps 640x480 conferencing solution that is cheap, easy to use, and standardized.

    Until that happens, HD's just another toy for the rich boys.

     

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    anonymous coward, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 12:41pm

    videoconferencing systems for corporation are about as fully utilized as home gym systems for consumers.

    every big company has some kind of video conference system and it is inevitably sitting in the corner of the nicest conference room gathering dust.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 12:42pm

    Only reason video phone is a dud is cause its jerky. When its better it will catch on more.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    stop-action animation is the real problem. fix that and video-phone will take off.

     

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    mixlplix, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    stop-action animation is the real problem. fix that and video-phone will take off.

     

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    Video Conferencing, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 10:44pm

    Video conferencing

    It’s pretty straightforward… NOT! ;-) No seriously, it was pretty tech heavy, which was one of the concerns I had. We used a Polycom videoconferencing unit, connected to a bridge and then from there, we webcast it to an elearning program called elluminate! Anyway, you can always email me if you want to talk about it.

     

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    wayne helmore, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 2:40am

    Audio Visual Systems

    If you answered “yes” to this question, then you will be glad to know that current web and video conferencing services allow the host of a conference to present a slide show or power point demonstration that will be visible on the screens of all the participants of a conference. Similarly, hosts can also open and show other document formats to their attendees. If you need this kind of capability, make sure that your conference provider can give this to you.
    Visit At:Audio Visual Systems

     

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