A new videoconferencing system from Tely Labs promises to make it easier and more affordable for small- and midsize businesses to conduct video calls with participants in up to six locations.
The new TelyHD Business Edition device is designed for conference rooms. The device mounts on top of a HD television. It contains a webcam to capture participants and includes four built-in noise-cancelling microphones. The device also allows users to share documents, presentations, desktops, Web pages and other content wirelessly during the conference, without the need for VGA connectors. This makes it easier for participants to share content stored on tablets and smartphones. The device can also be used for Skype video calls.
All of the locations need to be using the new Business Edition to get all of the features. Note that Telly Labs' multiparty calls aren't compatible with Skype's Premium group video option.
The TelyHD Business Edition device sells for about $500 for each location. The Business Edition also includes a one-year subscription service. Subsequent years cost $199 per year. The company says existing TelyHD devices can be upgraded to the Business Edition for $299.
The TelyHD units work with any high-definition television and require no computer for set up or use. Included is an NVDIA Tegra-2 Dual Core ARM A9 processor with hardware-based H.264 video acceleration that provides up to 720p HD video and high-quality audio, according to Tely. The units can be connected to wired or Wi-Fi Ethernet networks, and feature simple plug-and-play setup. Included with each unit is a Microsoft Windows app for desktop sharing and document collaboration, along with a full Web browser and SmartRemote apps for iOS and Android devices.
Martin Dunsby, the CEO of Hybridge IT, an IT consulting company, has been installing the Tely devices for some of its customers. Last year the company started using the devices for its own videoconferencing calls. He says the ability to connect via Skype appeals to his customers, as does the document sharing feature.
"People were showing up for presentations with an Ultrabook or other device without VGA connectors," he says. "This device allows that so that the information can be put on the big screen wirelessly" during the call.
Other vendors are also trying to simplify videoconferencing. Earlier this year, Mitel announced the UC360 Collaboration Point, which allows up to four participants on a videoconference call, and can incorporate files and documents that are stored in cloud services such as Dropbox or Google, or loaded into the system via a USB drive. Meanwhile, Vidyo's VidyoRoom aims to streamline deployment of multiparty room-based videoconferencing with technology that can support high-quality video over a standard Internet connection.