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Polycom is throwing its hat into the high-definition video conferencing system ring, announcing during its partner conference on April 24 that its recently released RMX 2000 real-time media conferencing platform will now offer HD video conferencing.

The technology improvement is available through an upgrade in the software to version 2.0. Polycom said that its new HD entry would provide continuous presence conferencing with full transcoding on the existing RMX 2000 media processing module hardware.

The company joins Cisco in introducing a high-end HD entry to the video conferencing marketplace.

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The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company’s system enables customers to combine video conferencing endpoints with different resolutions, including HD, standard definition, and common intermediate format resolution all within the same call.

Polycom said the new capability is being demonstrated to more than 500 channel partner representatives at the Polycom Global Partner Conference in Boston, April 23-25.

“The RMX is a future-focused platform with the flexibility to support the evolving needs of our customers as they move from CIF and SD to HD video conferencing environments,” said Joe Sigrist, senior vice president and general manager of network systems at Polycom, in a statement.

By offering the capability to combine different types of end points, the system allows for a gradual transition for customers interested in making a switch to HD video conferencing, according to Ira Weinstein, a senior analyst at Wainhouse Research.

Polycom said the version 2.0 software provides support for 11 additional languages—it now supports 12 total—making it suitable for global and international organizations. The languages supported are English, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German, Korean, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Norwegian.

In conjunction with a new TI/EI interface card, the new software allows support for PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and VOIP (voice over IP) audio with dynamic configuration of audio and video resources, allowing the system to scale from 20 to 400 ports depending on the configuration of voice and video devices, as well as the video resolution selected.

The new software will be generally available early in the third quarter at no additional cost to existing software customers on a general maintenance agreement. The software is available through certified channel partners, and pricing for the modular systems starts at $53,000.