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May 19, 2012

TMCNet Conferencing Week in Review


By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

Another huge week in the conferencing sector has come and gone, and this time without the CTIA (News - Alert) influences to carry on the news. Just goes to show it's an enormous sector to hit, so let's settle in for our Saturday standard, a complete rundown of the week that was in our Conferencing Week in Review.


First off, Skype (News - Alert) brought out a new contest to help get classrooms more connected. Their Connected Classroom Sweepstakes offered students the chance to call and speak with some big names like writers James Patterson and Jackie Collins, as well as celebrities from other fields. Those interested in entering should set up a Facebook (News - Alert) page for their class, then "like" Skype and provide a 150 word essay on how Skype is--or could be--used in the classroom. Winners will be announced May 29.

Next, Vu TelePresence and Vidtel (News - Alert) got together to launch a video conferencing service called MeetMe, geared toward small and medium-sized businesses wanting a better video conferencing presence, but unwilling--or unable--to invest in the necessary infrastructure. MeetMe uses Google's (News - Alert) GTalk, as well as Skype or SIP endpoints, so the service is overall more accessible.

Raystream then brought out a set of updates for its HD video compression solution, which looked to tackle one of the biggest problems with streaming video online: bandwidth. Raystream's compression services offer custom GPU encoding and transcoding of up to 90 frames per second to help users get the HD video they want, without breaking the bandwidth caps they're forced to live with.

Next, news came in from Avega, who announced a partnership with LifeSize Communications in a bid to bring better video conferencing tools to businesses of all sizes around the world. The combination of the two allows for better experiences, improved flexibility, and a lower total cost of installation and ownership overall.

We then had an opportunity to look at the conferencing offerings from Polycom, and ask the question, would this change the entire landscape of the conferencing industry? Polycom's EagleEye Director was looking to do just that by identifying a sound source and then focusing the cameras on that particular sound source, as matched by voice recognition systems.

Polycom then offered a new item by way of an alliance with HomeAway, the world's largest vacation rentals marketplace. With the introduction of Polycom's RealPresence Platform, HomeAway employees would be able to carry out collaborative tasks, despite the fact that HomeAway's facilities were often located in wildly disparate geographic areas.

BrideLive.com, a portal for brides, brides-to-be, and wedding professionals, brought out our next news item. With June wedding season about to fire up, BrideLive launched a joint venture with NAME--the National Association of Mobile Entertainers--to allow those involved with weddings to use video conferencing tools to get better acquainted with potential service providers.

Lastly, it was Polycom once again, bringing out their newly updated RealPresence platform to video conferencing, updating their RSS 4000 Recording and Streaming Server and their Media Manager system with the newest version.

Our global online community is always keeping watch for the biggest news in conferencing, so even in a big week like this; you know we're always keeping an eye out for the biggest items. See you back here next week for another Conferencing Week in Review!



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