11:36 AM EDT Thu. Oct. 21, 2010
LifeSize Communications on Wednesday announced its first-ever standalone video conferencing bridge, marking a significant advance for the company beyond the video endpoints and the embedded bridge offerings that have built its reputation.
The LifeSize Bridge 2200 has a modular design and offers up to 16 ports, providing customers the option to scale -- adding more ports -- according to the needs of their infrastructure. That's a big difference from competing bridge solutions that make users estimate their port needs and buy a fixed number, said Travis McCollum, a product manager at LifeSize.
"This is new to LifeSize," McCollum told CRN this week. "We've been doing embedded bridges in our endpoints since 2005, but it's taken us three years to develop this. This is an infrastructue product based on our core technology."
The 2200 can cover any codec, speed or resolution without losing either capacity or HD video quality, according to LifeSize, and also supports more than 200 resolutions and includes sustained frame rates and as much as 4 Mbps in throughput.
The company had previously offered embedded bridging capabilities in some of its endpoints, and has also OEM-ed Radvision bridges. The pricing for its bridge is less than a third of what competitive solutions cost for 720p30, 720p60 and 1080p port capabilities, LifeSize argues.
"Almost 70 percent of the market is dominated by Polycom and Tandberg, so this is a bridge that can compete head-to-head with what they offer, and head-to-head in accounts that are investing in their bridges," McCollum said.
The bridge will be available for an MSRP of $64,999 by the end of October, according to LifeSize, or a little over $4,000 per port.
LifeSize, which is owned by Logitech, currently has more than 10,000 customers and 1,500 channel partners worldwide. McCollum and Mary Miller, director of product marketing, said that the affordable bridging will help them bring a more comprehensive video conferencing solution to the midmarket and smaller businesses, but also become a more rounded video vendor in a steadily more competitive market.