SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Bob Emmerson
SHARE



Bob Emmerson | April 14, 2010 |

 
   

Affordable Ubiquitous Telepresence

Affordable Ubiquitous Telepresence Scalable Video Coding (SVC) lets companies like Vidyo build high-quality video conferencing for enterprises that don't want to spend $100K per room

Scalable Video Coding (SVC) lets companies like Vidyo build high-quality video conferencing for enterprises that don't want to spend $100K per room

Telepresence is an application to die for, but the cost of telepresence rooms and of the network limits usage to large corporations. But increasingly, vendors are coming out with low-cost, high-quality solutions for the SMB price bracket. One such example is from Vidyo, which has introduced a telepresence room system that supports two video streams at 60 frames/second and the price is just under $7K. To that you have to add the cost of one or two monitors. A "traditional" telepresence solution would have more monitors plus a fancy environment and the price would start at around $100K.

In the newer iteration of telepresence, one monitor will display up to eight participants at a time; adding a second screen enables data to be displayed. This is judged to be sufficient for small and medium-sized businesses.

Vidyo in particular has gained attention for its unique enabling technology. For openers, unlike most telepresence systems, there's no MCU (multipoint conferencing unit). MCUs take encoded video from each participant, decode the signals, aggregate them into a composite stream, re-encode the result, and send it to the receiving participants where it is decoded.

Transcoding signals in this way is a slow process, one that introduces a delay of around 200ms. The network will typically introduce an additional 70 ms and the endpoints another 200 ms. The total delay can therefore exceed 400 ms, which is noticeable and annoying.

Vidyo's solution employs a router that routes encoded packets at multiple frame rates and resolutions to each endpoint. Because there is no transcoding, the added latency is under 10 ms. The transcoding encode/decode cycle is not required because the technology provides multiple endpoints with video streams that have been scaled to match that endpoint’s available bandwidth, processing power, and resolution capability. This is done dynamically, throughout the call, and it has been realized using advanced software algorithms that run on Intel multi-core processors. The technology therefore enables ubiquitous, personal telepresence, i.e. desktop PCs and Macs that have a webcam can participate in conference calls. Video-enabled phones are set to follow.

As well as reducing latency to around 10 ms, Vidyo’s high-speed implementation of video routing involves layering the media so that different endpoints receive individual treatments based on available bandwidth, processing power and resolution.

The solution for desktop end points is software-based and it is employed and managed via a Web-based portal (see figure below). This is basically an environment that administrators use to manage the system. However, Vidyo says that usage is very simple and this allows regular conference participants to initiate meetings via the Web from a standard browser.


The VidyoRouter architecture eliminates transcoding, routes packets to each endpoint individually, and enables transmission over best-effort networks like the Internet. The VidyoGateway provides interoperability with Polycom, Tandberg or other MCU-based systems. Teleworkers and road warriors can also participate in conferences.





COMMENTS



July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.