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Vidyo, best known for software that lets users collaborate visually over their desktops, is now taking on the likes of Cisco Systems and Polycom with a telepresence offering that officials say will provide better quality across more screens and at a fraction of the price.

With VidyoPanorama, company officials are looking to bridge the gap between the expensive telepresence offerings from Cisco and Polycom, which can cost $300,000 or more, and the lower quality and fewer features of products from the likes of Skype.

“You’re always trying to manage these tradeoffs,” Young-Sae Song, vice president of product marketing at Vidyo, said in an interview with eWEEK. “Then there’s us. We’re trying to bring the high quality without the high costs.”

VidyoPanaroma, unveiled June 8, is a high-definition telepresence system designed to increase the number of people—particularly remote workers—who can participate in a video conference. Initially, it will be able to run on nine screens, and that will scale to 20 screens in 2012, according to Song. It also will deliver 1080p at 60 fps (frames per second), a step up from the 30 fps that most other telepresence vendors offer.

VidyoPanorama will offer other significant differentiators than systems from Cisco and Polycom, he said. Through the number of screens that can simultaneously display participants, the Vidyo product offers greater flexibility than the immersive room system that traditionally offers up to four screens in a single place. In addition, by having everyone shown at the same time, participants are not distracted by the changing faces on those four screens, where a cough in one location may remove another location from the screen, Song said. It also means more people can join the conference through such devices as desktops and notebook, tablets and smartphones. Vidyo’s software also runs on those devices. 

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Vidyo Challenges Cisco, Polycom with Telepresence Offering