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LifeSize launches first videoconferencing bridge

HD video technology specialist and Logitech subsidiary, LifeSize Communications, has released its first in-house developed stand-alone videoconferencing bridge, finally putting an end to criticisms that it is an 'endpoint company' not a provider of compete videoconferencing systems.

The new product, the LifeSize 2200, supports up to 16 participants and at $US4000 per port, in the US, is claimed to offer the lowest price point in the industry for HD videoconference bridges.

LifeSize has produced only HD video equipment since its formation in 2005 and its stated aim has always been to make HD video affordable to the small business market. Its equipment is presently able to support multiparty conferences using bridges built into some of its endpoints. It also OEMs a stand-alone bridge from RadVision which its supplies to organisations offering LifeSize-based videoconferencing as managed services.

Tim Fulton, LifeSize country manager for Australia and New Zealand, told ExchangeDaily: "A lot of people would position LifeSize as an endpoint player. From today that comment is no longer valid. And you will see further development around bridging capability'¦It gives us the next level of credibility against our competition and it gives reassurance to our customers that we are creating HD products at affordable price points."

He added: "The aim of LifeSize has always been that we want to drive video to everybody in organisations from government and large enterprise to SMBs, and price is the main barrier to doing that."

Fulton said the product would be available in Australia over the next few weeks and that retail pricing would be at the discretion of distributors. "We sell in US dollars. They are responsible for shipping, local taxes and currency hedging."


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One distributor, IPL, recently announced a joint LG LifeSize video unit that retails in the US for $US2,999 at a price of almost $A5000, excluding GST. However, Fulton suggested that prices paid by individual customers could be somewhat lower than this list price.

Fulton said the new bridge, the LifeSize 2200, had been built from the ground up for the high definition experience and would be followed by others. "It has been developed over the last three years leverage our knowledge and understanding from the bridges embed in our endpoints. It is the first step on our journey into stand-alone bridge architecture and this is phase one of what will be an number of announcements over the next several quarters."

The 2200 supports HD video 720p at 30 and 60 frames per second and 1080p at 30 frames per second. According to Fulton, "a lot of bridges today downgrade the quality for everybody on a multiparty call to the quality of the lowest quality endpoint. Our new architecture enables every user to enjoy the best quality possible based on their own and the sending endpoint." He added that the unit would support any standards compliant video endpoints.



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