Low Cost Video Conferencing Systems

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: August 11, 2011

Video conferencing offers numerous benefits to small businesses, but also tends to be somewhat expensive to obtain. This article will look at three of the cheaper video conferencing systems that are currently available.

8x8 Virtual Room – 8x8 Virtual Room is an video conference solution that uses flat rate pricing – you don’t have to pay per minute. The system supports webcams, video phones, and major telepresence systems, and allows up to twenty people to take part in a session at the same time. It also has three options for video quality: low-definition, standard-definition, and high-definition.

The solution comes with many special features, including a phone number for people to call into the video conference session. It also has a content sharing mode and the ability to share just a portion of your desktop. In addition, if a meeting happens to run late, it allows overlapping meetings to occur for up to fifteen minutes (if you would like more than one meeting to happen at the same time, you will need to purchase additional Virtual Rooms.)

Polycom QDX 6000 – This video conferencing solution offers DVD-quality video and CD-quality audio at a low price. It allows users to share multimedia content during a video conferencing session and supports real-time interaction between employees. It also supports high resolution video at 256 kbps, so you don’t necessarily need to have a lot of bandwidth available at your office.

The camera has powerful features for the price – it comes with 12x zoom and 99 separate presets to quickly zoom in and out during a talk. It also supports widescreen at a 16:9 aspect ratio and can receive information from five sources at the same time (such as a computer, camera, or DVD player). High-fidelity microphones that can provide high-definition sound are automatically included with the purchase. 

VidyoPanorama – VidyoPanorama is a telepresence solution that costs significantly less than most equivalent systems. It supports 1080p at 60fps on up to 20 screens at the same time and does not require a substantial amount of bandwidth in order to properly function. The video conferencing system can also deliver high-definition video to users at 500 Kbps per screen. 

The solution is highly customizable, so customers can set up the video conference room however they want. If you would like multiple screen configurations or to place the furniture in a specific location, the system will support it. The solution also comes with special features like multipoint video conferencing with mobile devices and the ability to automatically adapting the video format instead of transcoding the video feed from one type to another.  

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