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Polycom’s V500 provides good video and sound quality, IP and ISDN connectivity, and remote administration. The unit is a solid H.264-compliant video conferencing solution for small and medium-sized conference rooms or telecommuters. Budget-conscious businesses seeking a no-frills video conferencing endpoint should carefully consider the V500.
At 11.42″ X 2.67″ X 6.50″ (W/H/D) and 2.5 lbs., the V500 fits nicely on top of the 27″ RCA television that we used as a monitor.
The V500’s camera must be manually aimed and focused. A small switch above the camera’s lens opens and closes the privacy shutter.
The V500’s integrated microphone and audio outputs provided good sound quality.
The V500 has one Mini-DIN S-Video and one composite RCA video outputs. It has two RCA stereo and one 3.5 MM headphone audio outputs. Our test unit was an IP-only model and you can see the RJ-45 jack next to the power socket and power switch. An IP/ISDN version is also available.
We placed the V500 in a 17′ X 15′ rectangular conference room. The V500 base unit and 27″ RCA television (our display device) fit nicely along one of the room’s short walls, which left plenty of space around the room’s 8′ oblong table.
Yes, that’s me in the photo. I left the V500’s privacy shutter open to show the image quality. The monitor’s image is slightly washed out due to my camera’s flash.
The V500 delivers good video and sound quality and offers nice features, such as remote administration and management, at an attractive price. The IP-only unit we tested retails $1,999 and the IP/ISDN version costs $2,999. Yet the unit lacks integrated collaborative tools, cannot host multipoint calls, and has a limited range of audio and video connections. These limitations make the V500 a good VC endpoint for locations that need no-frills video and audio communication.
This picture shows an actual video conferencing call to the V500 from a Polycom VSX 3000 unit in my office.
This picture shows the V500’s view of the video conferencing call to the Polycom VSX 3000. The V500 provided good video and sound performance during our video conferencing (VC) tests, although quality depended on the other devices in the VC call, and network connection speed. Video was clear and fluid and well-synchronized with the audio. The unit’s integrated microphone and audio outputs provided good sound quality. The V500 offered satisfactory echo cancellation, but performance depended on the remote device. Echo cancellation was good when we connected to another Polycom VC endpoint. When we connected to a PC/Webcam setup, echo was a problem and we routinely used our existing telephone system for audio.
This photo was taken during the same video call as photo Number 9, but the image shows the picture-in-picture box at the bottom right of the screen. The box appears black because I have the privacy shutter closed.