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Video Conferencing

By brian_coffey62 ·
I have been asked by a friend to look into setting up video conferencing for her company. She needs to connect up to five managers at once from different sites within one country (Ireland)over 128k internet connection. Bandwidth ( I think ) should not be a major issue as the video side does not need to stream terribly fast, just maintain a presence. A whiteboard would be a handy feature, also the ability to view .ppt files simultaneously.
Even if nobody can offer any advice on what's required,if anyone looked into this before and gave up on the grounds of cost, I'd be interested to hear at what cost point (per site) did you decide it was unfeasible.
Thanks in advance.

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We used Picturetel - it was great!

by davidpmartin In reply to Video Conferencing

Picturetel came out with a complete system they called IPower about 18 months ago - it has proprietary hardware and software that makes it the best product on the market, IMHO. We used it to do exactly what you are talking about - video,collaboration,whiteboarding with powerpoint slides, you name it - from Thailand to the US - and it was an outstanding success. And the price - this is what will **** you away - about $10,000 dollars US for a a single complete station - camera, speakers, IPowerbox - everything but the LCD projector (that would be entirely up to you).

Did I mention we did it over 128K bandwith - with heavy traffic, and lots of networks delays? Don't know what kind of algorithms they use to control the delay on the network (its proprietary and frankly I didn't care) but it worked great!! We had Picturetel in a head to head competition with Polycom - PictureTel won hands down for all the reasons I mentioned above.

With five managers at five site at once, you will probably need a H.323 Multi Control Unit (MCU) or a Gatekeeper of some kind on the network somewhere - get together with your local Cisco CSE to find out - the stuff we used from Cisco cost around $30,000 but we had more sites - the problem is thatyou can only connect 4 Picturetel IPowers together without a MCU.

Your total cost with the Picturetel/Cisco solution for the scenario above - my best guess - $80 to 90 thousand US dollars. It may sound expensive - but its a WHOLE lot cheaper than about 3 years ago.

Hope this helps.

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