Sony Launches New HD Videoconferencing System Under $6,000

It packs HD quality and professional features for less than $6,000--including the HD camera.
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Sony has unveiled a videoconferencing system it says brings flexibility and affordability to a wide range of government and commercial applications—all in high-definition.

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Sony PCS-XG55 high-definition videoconferencing system The new PCS-XG55 system delivers up to 720p/60 fps resolution. The new line includes the PCS-XG55S HD codec unit, the PCSA-CXG80 HD camera unit, PCS-A1 microphone and PCS-RF1 RF remote commander. And the whole deal comes in below $6,000.

“This technology allows people to engage ‘face-to-face,’ without incurring the financial and personnel costs of business travel,” said Aleta Moeller, marketing manager for Sony Electronics’ videoconferencing group. It provides backward-compatibility with current models in Sony’s videoconferencing line, and also offers users a range of features.

It can deliver high image quality and smooth video motion with its BrightFace camera technology. The system’s high-frame rate and high-resolution codec (1280x720 60fps/30fps) includes a newly developed real-time adaptive contrast optimization technology that uses brightness information in each pixel and optimizes the contrast in an image’s bright and dark parts separately. This is a key factor in creating clear pictures and optimal color tone for a range of room environments, including low-light and back-lit situations.

It also offers more effective collaboration tools, with H.239 dual-stream capability. As a result, both video and presentation data can be transferred smoothly at 30fps, and users can send H.264 720/30p and H.264 XGA/30fps streams simultaneously. Both live camera view and animated PowerPoint data, for example, can be displayed in HD on two different screens or projectors at a remote site.

A video annotation function allows users to point out specific parts in an image by writing on an optional third-party tablet.

Advanced audio capabilities include MPEG-4 AAC-LC and AAC-LD stereo 22kHz for AUX input and MPEG-4 AAC-LC and AAC-LD Stereo 14kHz for MIC input. It also supports embedded stereo and mono echo-canceling functions, and enables remote communication play-back of high-quality formats such as Super Audio CD.

Other features include easier operation with “one-touch dialing” from the RF remote commander, dual- and single-monitor modes and an intuitive GUI with a translucent cascading menu architecture. Also, Intelligent QoS control greatly reduces video artifacts caused by packet loss regardless of transmission distance by applying three methods adaptively in accordance with network conditions: adaptive FEC (forward error correction); real-time ARQ (automatic repeat reQuest); and ARC (adaptive rate control).

The PCS-XG55 system will be available in April, at a suggested list price of $5,899. The system will be available in the United States through Spire Global, Sony Electronics’ distributor and servicer for its IPELA line of IP-based video conferencing endpoints and accessory products in the United States.

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