Vidyo Announces Higher Quality HD Video Conferencing at Significantly Lower Price Point

Vidyo Announces Higher Quality HD Video Conferencing at Significantly Lower Price Point

By Paul Robinson October 22, 2012 Leave a Comment
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Vidyo Announces Higher Quality HD Video Conferencing at Significantly Lower Price Point by Paul Robinson

At the Gartner Symposium and ITExpo 2012 being held this week in Orlando, FL, Vidyo will be demonstrating what it is heralding as product and technology industry firsts:

  • Virtualized open standards-based multi-protocol conferencing platform providing 10x cost advantage for AVC transcoding

  • $750 Executive Desktop System

  • Web browser telepresence quality experience

  • Scalable HEVC (H.265) codec for video conferencing.

Virtualized Open Standards-Based Multi-Protocol Conferencing Platform

Vidyo’s multi-protocol media server is available now and supports the following codec and signaling standards: H.264 AVC, H.264 SVC, H.263, H.323 and SIP. A virtualized version for VMware environments will ship in Q1 2013, immediately enabling customers to realize the inherent benefits of cloud-based deployments. Port price comparisons are shown in the following chart.

 

Legacy

Vidyo

Price per AVC Port

$6,000

$1,200 ($600 virtual;
$0 VidyoWay)

Price per SVC Port

$2,000+

$950

Scale AVC & SVC Independently

No, fixed ratio in hardware defined quantities

Yes, modular architecture

Distributed deployment

No, cascading impacts performance

Yes, networked instances

Floating capacity

No, fixed HW ports

Yes, flexible SW licenses

Virtualizable

No, purpose built HW

Yes, 100% software

Prior to this announcement, Vidyo interfaced through a video gateway when communicating with an AVC room-based system. Their gateway solution is priced at $1,200 per port. Vidyo will now be offering a complete virtualized server for AVC at $600 a port. This software-oriented architecture is compatible with any VMware virtualized environment. There is no need to worry about hardware. Take a global enterprise, for example, with 10 people in India who will need to join into a video conference from a room-based system. You can create a VMware virtualized machine with a Vidyo media server for AVC in India. And that modular software-based media server for both AVC and SVC architectures allows you to move it across the world as a network element for deployment in a way most applicable to the enterprise.

Vidyo claims several advantages associated with this architecture. First is its modularity. You can have an AVC media server that is available to customers for those U.S. locations that need to have legacy room compatibility, while in Asia all they need is an SVC-based endpoint. This flexibility saves on the cost of the expensive AVC port in Asia. Bottom line – enterprises can do a cost-effective deployment that’s tailored to their needs. Secondly, because of its software-oriented architecture, Vidyo’s software licenses are portable. They follow a floating follow-the-sun type of model. Customers can move them across the world as needed. When employees in Japan are sleeping, licenses that would have supported them may be used in the United States, for example. According to Vidyo, floating software licenses reduce capacity required by 3x for global deployment. The third leverage point here relates to redundancy. Suppose you need to have built-in redundancy in Japan for business continuity purposes. Now for hardware systems you’ll need to install proprietary hardware as well as install the requisite software right there and then. With a Vidyo solution, the Japanese implementation could be backed up and made redundant with the American implementation, because of the flexibility to move those licenses on the virtual machine anywhere in the world. Bottom line – expensive redundancy is eliminated.

Overall, Vidyo estimates that its modular software architecture delivers 6x cost reduction for global and redundant deployments.

$750 Executive Desktop System

Vidyo is announcing a software-based executive desktop that can work on any hardware. This solution reflects the way executives really work, giving them a choice of using high-end consumer hardware at home, the office, or while on the road. Users get the benefits of software economics – a floating concurrent-use license that follows the user instead of being attached to a specific device. The new Executive Desktop system delivers up to 1080p30 encode and 1440p60 decode – nearly twice the resolution of traditional 1080p desktop appliances that cost 10x more than Vidyo’s solution.

Web Browser Telepresence Quality Experience

Vidyo will demonstrate its browser-based 1440p system for B2B and B2C video conferencing that allows customers to easily connect with a single click to anyone on Skype, Facebook, Google Talk and other business video applications. The Vidyo browser-based telepresence experience is delivered without requiring special purpose hardware or softclient installation. A web browser plug-in is, however, downloaded and installed the first time the user’s device uses SVC.

Scalable HEVC (H.265) Codec for Video Conferencing

In early October Vidyo announced that it and Samsung Electronics, Co. Ltd. cooperatively submitted an HEVC design to the ITU-T in response to the call for proposals for scalable coding extensions of the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. The announced ITExpo 2012 demonstration will show that Vidyo’s H.265 design requires half the bit rate of H.264 SVC to achieve the same or better quality at 1080p60. This translates to lower bandwidth costs and the ability to have higher quality video conferences over narrow bandwidth networks. But this is only a part of the story. The codec alone provides the benefits of higher compression. You still need to deploy the right architecture to deliver the benefits of scalability with the error concealment and rate matching without transcoding.

Since it was introduced to the market in 2008, the VidyoRouter architecture has taken full advantage of this codec. It performs transcoding-free packet switching using Vidyo’s patented Adaptive Video Layering (AVL) technology. VidyoRouter dynamically optimizes video streams to the capabilities of each individual endpoint and network conditions by leveraging H.264 SVC-based compression technology and Vidyo’s intellectual property (IP) enabling high fidelity video communication between Vidyo’s own SVC based endpoints. This approach eliminates costly Multipoint Control Units (MCUs) while offering high error resiliency and low latency rate matching. Vidyo also recently announced a solution that allows service providers to virtualize its VidyoRouter architecture, enabling a cloud-based Video-as-a-Service model.

Using a “future-proof software approach” to avoid obsolescence of currently deployed assets, Vidyo will deliver HEVC support, as a free software upgrade for both infrastructure and endpoints, to those customers currently supported by a maintenance agreement.

What This Means to You

To Customers: Vidyo, founded in 2005, is a disruptive, relatively new entrant to the video conferencing market offering SVC-based solutions at significantly lower price points than traditional solutions. The company is winning large competitive deals in both hybrid (desktop and conference room) and room-only accounts. Today, Vidyo has 2,000+ Fortune 100 and SMB customers. Vidyo charges licensing fees for endpoints but not for room systems, as the company is willing to forego revenue in the room market to go after the larger opportunity. This pricing scheme is enabled by the company's software-based offering that does not require a dedicated network or MCU.

Vidyo’s brand of H.264 SVC codec – which it licenses to Teliris and Google, among others – maximizes quality according to network conditions, and provides a better user experience on low-bandwidth endpoints like tablets. The alternative H.264 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) MCU requires transcoding in order to deliver video conferencing when multiple endpoints are involved. Transcoding introduces latency and jitter, reducing the overall quality of the experience. In order to correct the issues, often error resiliency algorithms are employed, which further increase bandwidth requirements. Vidyo’s new approach delivers a high quality, highly scalable video conferencing solution that provides seamless interoperability with legacy solutions.

IDC anticipates that eventually H.264 SVC will become the industry standard, along with the current H.246 AVC standard. In addition to the elimination of MCUs, SVC runs on the standard Internet and is able to adapt flexibly and in real time to bandwidth availability, rather than require a separate QoS network, removing the need for expensive network upgrades. By shifting video conferencing solutions to more software-centric models and allowing them to run over the Internet, SVC technology unleashes the ability for high-volume video conferencing on non-room-system devices.

Today, major players in the industry, including Microsoft and Polycom, have announced the addition of scalable video coding to their systems. This will enable all players to interoperate without transcoding. The bottom line here is that video desktop and mobile applications are the wave of the future and Vidyo is a leader in this market with SVC IP built up over the last five-plus years. Nonetheless customers need to do their due diligence and closely evaluate the leading competitive offerings to find the best solution for their unique needs. One place to start is with this Forrester view of Room-Based Video Conferencing.

To Partners: Vidyo continues to be the leader of the pack when it comes to SVC innovation. The company estimates that its disruptive architecture will allow both service provider and reseller partners to sell into a total addressable market of $22 billion by 2015. According to Gartner: “By 2015, over 200 million workers globally will run corporate-supplied videoconferencing from their desktops.”

 

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