Infocomm 2007 – Polycom Introduces First Immersive Installed Audio Solution for Voice and Video Conferencing

23 06 2007

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Polycom SoundStructure Delivers Breakthrough High Definition Sound Clarity and Full-Stereo Echo Cancellation for More Productive Voice and Video Conferences PLEASANTON, Calif. and ANAHEIM, Calif., June 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Infocomm Expo (Booth #2000) — Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCMNews), the world’s leading provider of unified collaborative communications solutions, today announced the SoundStructure(TM) series, the first installed audio solutions for voice and video conferencing applications that deliver truly immersive sound quality. Leveraging Polycom’s proven technology and market leadership in installed audio solutions, the SoundStructure series are flexible, scalable, and comprehensive systems that deliver state-of-the-art performance and audio processing capabilities with breakthrough sound quality for conference rooms, class rooms, customized meeting rooms, and telepresence environments.

“Great voice quality can dramatically improve the effectiveness of audio and video conferences, and the SoundStructure series delivers a truly immersive experience,” said Paul Waadevig, global director, Conferencing & Collaboration for Frost & Sullivan. “With features like full-stereo echo cancellation and high definition audio, the SoundStructure systems enable customers to communicate over distances as effectively as if they were in the same room.”

“The SoundStructure series significantly raises the bar for installed-room audio systems, giving customers unmatched audio quality and clarity without compromise for their voice and video conferences,” said Craig H. Richardson, vice president and general manager of installed voice solutions at Polycom. “The SoundStructure series with Polycom HD Voice(TM) technology complements our industry-leading high definition HDX(TM) video conferencing solutions to give customers an unequaled experience called Polycom UltimateHD(TM). A SoundStructure system will provide a completely immersive collaboration experience that can’t be implemented with today’s installed audio solutions.”

Unrivaled Immersive Audio Quality and Clarity for Voice and Video Conferences

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The SoundStructure series features several breakthroughs in audio performance that make communicating over distances as effective as being in the same room. For example, the SoundStructure series are the first to support high-definition StereoSurround(TM) audio (22kHz) as well as full-stereo echo cancellation. This next-generation echo cancellation technology makes conversations clear by eliminating echoes while maintaining full-stereo separation of the remote talkers’ audio, even when two people are talking at the same time. In addition, new noise cancellation technology eliminates the broadest range of background noises, and a new gain-sharing automatic microphone mixer provides additional flexibility and smoother transitions to ensure robust performance in a variety of operating environments.

Greater Flexibility, Scalability; Simplified Design and Installation

The SoundStructure series are designed for installed room environments and the needs of systems integrators and audio/visual professionals. The comprehensive system features multiple input and output options and submix processing capabilities that simplify installation and provide flexibility for any room configuration. Several design features have been implemented to support integrator needs, including:

    -- 22 kHz stereo acoustic echo cancellation on all input channels
    -- Feedback elimination on all input channels
    -- Advanced ambient noise cancellation on all input channels
    -- Flexible telephony options with single-line and dual-line PSTN plug-in
       cards
    -- Seamlessly scales from 8x8 to 128x128, with all inputs available to all
       outputs
    -- Connection to Polycom HDX systems via a digital signal path
    -- 8, 12 and 16 input/output "C" (conferencing) models, plus a 12-channel
       "SR" (sound reinforcement) model designed for stand-alone sound
       reinforcement applications or as additional audio inputs to a
       conferencing system

New SoundStructure Studio software (Microsoft Windows-based) features advanced signal grouping and labeling, enabling systems integrators and audio/visual professionals to leverage existing design and configuration work during future installations. Complete offline emulation of configurations improves efficiency by reducing the time needed on-site.

“Customers will be impressed by the voice quality delivered by the SoundStructure systems, and systems integrators and audio/visual professionals will appreciate the system’s seamless scalability, advanced processing capabilities, direct integration with the Polycom HDX systems, and easy configuration,” said Richardson.

“The SoundStructure devices combine a very powerful set of features, including superb quality stereo audio, into an easy to configure system,” said Dr. Randal Abler, Associate Director of the Arbutus Center for Distributed Engineering Education, of the Georgia Institute of Technology. “High quality audio is an often overlooked but vital part of distance learning classrooms. Stereo audio conferencing will vastly improve the student’s sense of participation, which is crucial to learning.”

Polycom HDX Video Conferencing Integration

SoundStructure products are interoperable with virtually any video conferencing system. However, the series features deep integration with Polycom HDX high definition video conferencing systems, which are also designed for custom room environments and the needs of systems integrators. A simple connection between the devices sends bi-directional stereo digital audio between devices, with mute and volume control shared across the platform. Polycom HDX integration provides simplified set up and end-to-end support for features like 22 kHz StereoSurround for an uncompromising UltimateHD user experience.

Pricing and Availability

The Polycom SoundStructure series is scheduled for availability in North America, Europe and parts of Asia in Q3 2007 through Polycom certified channel partners for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of US$4,995 for an eight channel system, $6,495 for a 12 channel system and $7995 for a 16 channel system (North America). Availability in other countries is scheduled for later in the year. Regional pricing may vary. Polycom’s existing Vortex line of installed audio solutions will continue to be available and supported.

via [polycom press release]

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