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The New TANDBERG MXP Line Q&A

Focusing on improving presentations, multipoint and multimedia areas, TANDBERG is fulfilling customer requests for the richest user experience possible with its new MXP product line. Power Meetings Update is pleased to present an informative Q&A focusing on this exciting new video conferencing technology.

Q: Is TANDBERG utilizing SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) in any solution today?
A: Yes, TANDBERG implements SIP in TANDBERG Instant Messenger (IM) today. Currently, all TANDBERG MXP products are SIP-ready and it is TANDBERG's intention to release SIP in Q1 05.

Q: Can TANDBERG explain how SIP, H.323/H.320 and SCCP will integrate in a single environment?
A: Today TANDBERG and Cisco® have a tight integration strategy with H.323 and SCCP. TANDBERG implements Cisco's strategic SCCP protocol bringing not only telephony features to visual communications but robust implementation and management capabilities as well. Cisco CallManager is the only integrated Video Telephony product on the market. By default, Cisco CallManager is a H.323 to SCCP gateway. This means that H.323 calls can be processed and forwarded directly to SCCP systems (video or audio). As we have bridged this solution into the H323 world, TANDBERG will make sure that SIP also will work seamlessly together with a H323 and H320 solution.

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Q: How does TANDBERG operate in a Microsoft® Network?
A: No other vendor in the visual communication market offers the broad range of integration tools with Microsoft as TANDBERG. TANDBERG Management Suite provides: -Scalable directory solutions for our endpoints using Microsoft Active Directory® -Easy scheduling and reservation using Microsoft Outlook® -Video, Instant messaging and presence integration with TANDBERG IM and MSN® -Secure enterprise video, instant messaging and presence using TANDBERG IM and Microsoft Live Communications Server (LCS) -New TMS architecture and applications built on Microsoft .NET technology TANDBERG was the first in the industry to have a management system developed on the Microsoft .Net platform. It is TANDBERG's intention to further develop products that are compatible with Microsoft LCS. TANDBERG's powerful instant messaging client already integrates with LCS (and MSN) and is SIP-based. TANDBERG will continue to expand its LCS compatible products for the visual communication market.

Q: Is TANDBERG still going to develop on the B/E series codec?
A: TANDBERG released E4/B9 in July of this year which is the 11th major release of software on the series. TANDBERG is currently working on evaluating features for E5/B10 and while no date is set, TANDBERG is committed to releasing E5/B10.

Q: Why is an appliance-based product appropriate for the office?
A: TANDBERG is focused on developing high-quality, feature-rich products for visual communications, both in the group and personal space. While there are many products available in the market today, none have delivered the business quality, functionality and scalability that TANDBERG believes is necessary for wide-scale deployment. Some reasons why an appliance based product, such as the T150, is desirable for the office are that appliances have dedicated hardware and software which are designed specifically for the application. In addition, there are no virus issues and no consumer operating software stability issues.

Q: Does the T150 have MXP features?
A: The T150 is designed to address the personal communications market. The requirements are business-quality audio and video, ease of use and scalability. The T150 meets all these requirements, has the same interface as the MXP hardware and runs the latest chip sets that are available on MXP.

Q: What protocols are supported on the T150?
A: The T150 is designed for the standards-based visual communications market. The T150 supports H.323 and is SIP-ready.

Q: Can I purchase the T150 with SCCP or will it interface with video telephony?
A: TANDBERG expects to leverage its partnership with Cisco to further extend the functionality of the 150 product, however we will not ship the TANDBERG 150 available on SCCP. However with the support of ECS (Empty Capabilities Set), the T150 can register directly with Cisco CallManager for integration with IP telephony.

Q: Is it possible to send and receive presentations on the T150?
A: The T150 can receive and display XGA graphics. For sending graphics TANDBERG recommends using TANDBERG See & Share.

Q: Will Firewall Traversal Technology be implemented on T150?
A: TANDBERG will have Firewall Traversal solutions that are compatible with all H323 standards based products, not just TANDBERG endpoints.

Q: What software version does the T150 run?
A: The T150 runs L series software. The first version is L1.0

Q: Does the T150 support encryption (AES)?
A: Yes the T150 supports AES and DES encryption, like all TANDBERG products these are standard features.

Q: Can the 1500 MXP be wall mounted?
A: TANDBERG does not make a wall mount and the 1500 MXP is designed to sit on the desktop.

Q: What kind of camera is on the 1500 MXP - is there a zoom?
A: The 1500 MXP has a high quality manual tilt camera and you can pan the screen (including the camera) for optimizing view angle. As the 1500 MXP is intended to be placed on a desk near the user a zoom is not required.

Q: Does the 1500 MXP have a built-in microphone?
A: Yes, the 1500 MXP has a built in microphone located at the front of the base. No extra microphone and cables are needed on your desk.

Q: What options are available on the 1500 MXP & 2000 MXP?
A: The standard version of these products is 2Mb IP only. Natural Presenter Package, Multisite and ISDN are optional.

Q: What software version do the 1500 MXP and 2000 MXP run?
A: Both products run F series software.

Q: Is the 2000 a roll-about?
A: The 2000 has wheels that are intended to make it easier to re-position in an office or small conference room. The 2000 is not intended to roll from conference room to conference room.

Click here for additional TANDBERG MXP technolgy information.

For additional information regarding IVCi products and services, or to speak to a representative, please contact IVCi at 800-224-7083, or click here to have an IVCi Representative contact you.


Waving Hello, From a Distance

By Michel Marriott, New York Times

WHEN Melody Wilt, a new grandmother, made the 10-hour drive from her home near Reading, Pa., to her daughter's house in Chapin, S.C., for Thanksgiving, she took along more than a 20-pound smoked turkey.

She went bearing a U.S.B. Web camera, sophisticated teleconferencing software and an Internet-inspired vision that will allow her to continue visiting even after she returns home. ''I want him to be able to see me, to hear my voice,'' she said of her 3-week-old grandson, Joseph Sinclair Lewis. ''I want to be able to read stories to him and share some of his firsts.''

Mrs. Wilt, a manager at a regional educational services agency, said videoconferencing technology had gotten so good, so affordable and so easy to install and use that she is comfortable using it to open a two-way video window between her and her grandson when she is unable to visit in person.

''It's great timing that this technology has gotten to this point,'' Mrs. Wilt, 52, said shortly before making the drive south with her husband, Arthur. ''It seems like the perfect way for me to see all the many changes he is going to go through.''

There are no definitive numbers on how many people use Web-based videoconferencing. But there is anecdotal evidence that face-to-face electronic communication is gaining a foothold beyond the executive suite, and that the typical home users are no longer the stereotypical geeks straining to see each other over crude Webcams connected by sluggish modems.

''It was in a novelty phase,'' John Carey, a professor of communications and media management at the Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration, said of the first wave of Webcam use. ''It was mostly techies and exhibitionists, people who show themselves, and pornography and all of that.''

Today's consumers have more options. A high-end system can cost as much as a flat-screen plasma television. Some modestly priced units plug into an electrical outlet and use the Internet.

Long a mainstay of science fiction, the concept of being able to see and speak with someone over a vast distance, or even a short one, languished for decades in laboratories and tangles of technological choke points. Chief among them was adequate bandwidth, said Robert C. Hagerty, chief executive of Polycom, the market leader in video conferencing, which makes the $149 PVX system that Mrs. Wilt has in Pennsylvania and is installing for her grandson in South Carolina.

''You need a good connection,'' he said, acknowledging that broadband adoption in North America is rapidly increasing. He noted that today's typical high-speed connection is capable of carrying, in both directions, at least the 128 kilobits of data per second that ''rich media'' requires. In other words, that is the baseline for television-quality color images that sync reasonably well with equally clear audio.

Additionally, Mr. Hagerty said, significant improvements in videoconferencing software, like the new H.264 video compression standard, are helping to make the technology more efficient and accessible.

''We talk with our hands; we show our body language,'' he said. ''We lose all those things in a phone call.''

With improved video conferencing, he added, ''we get them all back.''

Professor Carey said consumers' desire for videoconferencing had been partly stoked by the popularity of instant text messaging, which has been adding video capabilities. Even blogs, he said, are including video.

''What didn't work three years ago now works reasonably well,'' he said.

Professor Carey also noted that early tests of videophones found that many people, particularly women, were put off by the prospect of being seen by callers before they were prepared to be seen. ''A lot of people were concerned that they'd get a videophone call and they'd be in a bathrobe or their underwear.''

Those concerns have been eased by technology, he said. Most modern systems give users the option of transmitting their images.

In Eagan, Minn., a suburb of St. Paul, Greg Scott, the unofficial information technician for the Eagan Hills Alliance Church, is setting up high-speed videoconferencing to help local families electronically visit loved ones stationed in Iraq.

Mr. Scott, a member of the church and operator of an information technology company in the area, said he conducted a fairly successful test of the system a month ago using limited bandwidth. But his expectations rose recently when a local telecommunications company donated a T1 connection for the project.

''This is going to let lots of soldiers in Iraq with families here talk face-to-face,'' Mr. Scott said.

Click here for additional information on Polycom conferencing solutions.

For additional information regarding IVCi products and services, or to speak to a representative, please contact IVCi at 800-224-7083, or click here to have an IVCi Representative contact you.

All trade names, trademarks, and/or service marks herein are owned by their respective holders.

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