Videoconferencing systems are finally affordable enough for everyday classroom use thanks to the Polycom V500 (www.polycom.com), a $2,000 video-calling system that delivers natural, enterprise-quality video communications at 30 frames per second. The system features Polycom Siren 14 wideband audio (14 KHz) and H.264 video compression for higher quality video over lower bandwidth, as well as audio and video error concealment that helps maintain quality and minimize the impact of network congestion and packet loss. The V500 also is compatible with all types of data connections, assuring that it works for virtually all institutions. In addition, the V500 features data-sharing support so schools can receive slides and other content during a video call.
This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2004 issue of THE Journal.