Polycom unwraps conferencing bridge for branches

Polycom Inc. continues to push the H.246 High Profile compression protocol capabilities through its video conference systems.

The company said Wednesday that its latest conference bridge, the mid-range RMX 1500, support the standard thanks to a new MPMx media processing module. The fourth model to the RMX line-up, the 1500 is aimed at branch offices.

By using the protocol on High Definition video calls, bandwidth consumption can be cut up to 50 per cent of that used by standard H.264, Polycom says.

The High Profile version is increasingly used on telepresence systems themselves – for example, last month Polycom added H.264 HP to its new three-screen OTX 300 system — but there’s an advantage to putting it on a bridge as well because of the RMX’s flexible resource capability, says Laura Shay, the company’s director of product marketing.

“If I have H.264 High Profile and you don’t, if I call you directly our systems won’t ‘talk’ in High Profile. But when you use the bridge, it negotiates with every person that calls individually. So anyone who has High Profile can take advantage of it, even if no one else on the call has it.”

Polycom estimates 60 per cent of video calls made by organizations use a bridge, so the majority of users will be able to take advantage of the capability.

The 1U-sized RMX 1500, which starts at US$43,000, is a way for organizations to extend multiparty videoconferencing to remote sites, the company says.

It includes multinetwork support for standards ranging from IP (H.323, SIP), PSTN to ISDN, and runs video at 1080p up to 60 frames per second. It can handle up to 960 media resources and 360 VOIP calls. Specifically, it can manage 15 high definition 1080p endpoints in continuous presence mode or 30 HD 720p endpoints. However, it can handle 90 H.264 endpoints.

Also on Wednesday, Polycom said its DMA 7000 appliance, which manages multiple RMX installations, now supports the Cisco/Tandberg Codian 4500 bridge as well thanks to a software upgrade. The DMA 7000 manages port allocation and usage across multiple media servers as a seamless resource pool.

Because the Codian bridge beat Polycom to High Definition support, Shay said, a number of Polycom customers bought it. The added Codian support in DMA “brings a whole new level of investment protection to our customers,” she said.

Polycom also said it is grouping its RMX, DMA and CMA management server products under the UC Intelligent Core moniker. Shay said the move is aimed at giving the image of the trio as the core of a unified communications system.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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