Polycom introduces voice-Web-video bridge

Polycom introduces voice-Web-video bridge

A multimedia bridge coming later this year from Polycom Network Systems of Atlanta will link up to 900 participants in online meetings via telephones and browsers. Only the conference leader needs to have a VoicePlus audio bridge, which starts around $71,000 for 48-simultaneous-user conferences. If participants have videocams attached to their PCs, their images can appear on-screen in any of 23 layouts with automatic switching as the speaker changes.

Networks 'clearly are capable of delivering more' than they now do, Polycom Network Systems vice president David Gallagher said. The VoicePlus product sets up conferences using a dial-in number plus personal identification numbers. Participants can have standard, IP or Integrated Services Digital Network phones. Any standard videocam will work with the setup, Gallagher said.

The VoicePlus software provides call-detail records, Simple Network Management Protocol monitoring and automatic e-mailing of the conference phone number and PINs to participants. The Web collaboration feature requires a license for Polycom's WebOffice software, which downloads an ActiveX component to participants' PCs. They can chat with others via instant messaging, mark up documents or Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, and vote on conference topics. The leader has the power to mute or unmute participants and silence noisy cell phone lines.

Gallagher said video connections require at least 128-Kbps bandwidth; business-quality conferencing needs a minimum of 384 Kbps.

Contact Polycom Network Systems at 770-641-4457.

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