Polycom Delivers First ‘Surround’ Stereo, Conference Phone/Video Integration & SIP Video for Award-Winning VSX Line
PLEASANTON, Calif. â€“ July 12, 2004 â€“ PolycomÂ®, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM), the worldâ€™s leading provider of unified collaborative communications solutions, today announced Version 7.0 software for its award-winning Polycom VSXâ„¢ video conferencing products. The new software upgrade delivers the first â€œsurroundâ€ stereo audio, breakthrough integration of a conference phone with a video system for maximum ease of use initiating a video call or adding an audio call to a video meeting, and the first video system support for the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), following demonstrations of Polycom VSX systems in industry-first end-to-end Microsoft and Nortel Networks SIP infrastructures at two Spring industry shows. In addition, Version 7.0 enables meetings with up to 20 locations, without the need for scheduling the meeting or additional network hardware. Version 7.0 supports the complete line of Polycom VSX systems from the office-based VSX 3000 to the new performance VSX 8000 (see related announcement today titled: â€œPolycom Introduces VSX 8000: Industryâ€™s Most Powerful Video Conferencing Solutions for Systems Integratorsâ€).
â€œWeâ€™ve seen unprecedented adoption of the Polycom VSX line since we introduced it in October,â€ said Ed Ellett, senior vice president and general manager of video communications at Polycom. â€œA single software architecture makes the VSX a robust platform uniquely suited to innovation. With the addition of PolycomÂ® StereoSurroundâ„¢ technology, Polycom is delivering on our promise of creating a video conferencing experience that is better than being there. By creating seamless interoperability between our award-winning SoundStation VTX and Polycom VSX product series, video conferencing is now literally making a phone call.â€
Breakthrough StereoSurround captures the spatial sound quality of in-person meetings
Polycom StereoSurround delivers the most natural and realistic conferencing experience by adding a spatial dimension to video calls. StereoSurround enables listeners to know where different speakers are in the room, providing greater intelligibility and comprehension even when simultaneous conversations are taking place. In a Polycom video call with StereoSurround, audio is captured using multiple microphones and reproduced using high fidelity stereo speakers so the voice of the person sitting on the left side of the room is heard on the left speaker while the voice of a person walking around the room will travel naturally from one side to the other. StereoSurround is a result of Polycomâ€™s patented Sirenâ„¢14 (14KHZ) audio and sophisticated stereo echo cancellers.
First voice and video integration of conference room systems
Polycom is leading the industry in providing end-to-end converged communications of voice, video, web and data calls on a single line in order for people to communicate virtually as they do in real life, using all their senses. Customers can now use a SoundStation VTX 1000â„¢ conference phone to dial video calls and add audio participants to a video call taking place on a Polycom VSX 7000 or VSX 8000 series system. This industry-first integration provides a familiar phone dialing interface for video conferencing users, brings video conferencing to audio conferencing users, and leverages an organizationâ€™s investment in SoundStation VTX conference phones and Polycom VSX video systems by allowing them move to converged communications through a simple software upgrade.
â€œEnabling users to dial a video call from a conference phone will help drive wider use of video conferencing and the connection cleans up the conference room table by enabling the phone to serve as the video system microphone,â€ said Andrew Davis, managing partner of Wainhouse Research, an industry research firm focused on conferencing and collaboration. â€œPolycom has made ease of use a driving factor in development — from their graphical user interface to network administrator capabilities that enable the same four-digit extension for video as well as voice calls. Polycom conference phones have achieved icon status so the video dialing process will now be a very familiar process.â€
In addition to Polycomâ€™s own integration of the Polycom VSX with audio, IP telephony providers Avaya and Nortel Networks are Polycom partners incorporating the VSX into their environments for the converged desktop voice and video experience. New software in Version 7 also enables the Polycom VSX line to interoperate with Ciscoâ€™s CallManager 4.0 for video telephony at the touch of a button. (For more information on the VSX in a Cisco environment visit http://www.polycom.com/partners/Cisco to download a free copy of the technical white paper.)
Industry-first SIP support on video systems
Polycom is a pioneer in the migration of IP voice, video, web and data communications to the new SIP standard. The promise of SIP is new applications and web services that recognize presence, mobility and user preferences, the availability of instant multimedia communications over all types of devices, and multimedia conferencing that can be launched from any application.
Polycom first supported SIP on its award-winning SoundPointÂ® IP desktop phones in 2003. Today all VSX systems support SIP and by year-end a SIP-enabled MGCâ„¢ audio/video bridge is scheduled to be available, enabling Polycom to become the first end-to-end SIP solution provider. Polycom VSX systems currently interoperate with SIP implementations from Microsoft Live Communication Server and Nortel Networks Multimedia Communication Server (MCS) 5100 and 5200 products. Polycom is also working with other partners including Avaya for SIP compatibility while continuing to lead the development of video extensions for the SIP standard within the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force).
Additional new functionality across the VSX product line includes:
- H.239 People+Contentâ„¢ â€“ Customers continually request industry standard features. In response we have added the recent standard protocol for sending/receiving high-resolution content on a video call.
- H.264 video â€“Enables higher quality video over lower bandwidths Voice add-in capability â€“ VSX 7000 and VSX 8000 can add voice-only participants over ISDN or using the SoundStation VTX 1000 integration; VSX 8000 also supports POTS
- Enhanced multipoint capabilities â€“ VSX systems now support up to 20 video/audio locations on a call, local video on a VGA second monitor and chairperson control over video conferences.
- Cisco AVVID support â€“ To ensure Polycom equipment works seamlessly in all customer environments, all Polycom VSX systems have met the Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice and Video Integrated Data) Partner Program test criteria for interoperability.
- Enhanced installation and network management capabilities â€“ VSX systems now support UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), SNMP, web monitoring, and web management.
- Support for API Commands â€“ Enables easy integration with conference room control systems
- Closed Captioning support â€“ Polycom is committed to addressing the communication needs of all customers. Using VSX Web Closed Captioning utility users can type in text or attach a teletype device to the video codec for a service to provide Closed Captioning support.
Pricing and Availability
Polycom VSX Release 7.0 software is scheduled for availability in July. All customers who have software service agreements will have access to the latest VSX software.
Polycom, Inc. is the worldâ€™s technology leader of high-quality, easy-to-use video, voice, data and web conferencing and collaboration solutions. The Polycom Officeâ„¢ is our continued commitment to make distance communications as natural and interactive as being there by providing best-in-class conferencing solutions that are interoperable, integrated and intuitive to the user. The Polycom Office is based on industry standards and supported by an open architecture that promotes interoperability in multi-vendor environments and complements leading network infrastructure platforms. For additional information, call 1-800-POLYCOM (765-9266) or +1-408-526-9000, or visit the Polycom web site at http://www.polycom.com/.
Polycom, the Polycom logo and SoundPoint are registered trademarks and Polycom Office, VSX, Polycom StereoSurround, Siren14, MGC, People+Content, SoundStation VTX 1000 are trademarks of Polycom in the U.S. and various countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Â©2004, Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved.
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events, future demand for our products, and future growth prospects that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are only predictions, which may differ materially from our or our industryâ€™s actual future events or results. Further information on potential factors that could affect the Companyâ€™s financial results are discussed in our 2003 form 10-K , quarterly reports on form 10-Q, and other reports filed by Polycom with the SEC.