Monday, 17 November 2008
Finally, Desktop Video Conferencing in HD
Vidyo, Inc. is based in Hackensack, New Jersey and supplies low-cost, high-quality video-conferencing solutions. Vidyo provides leading price, performance and video quality conferencing based on its intellectual property in Scalable Video Coding. SVC is a standard of video compression that is an extension of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, or Advanced Video Coding. According to Market Watch, Vidyo provides “high-quality video and network resiliency at an attractive cost to every desktop, including remote workers.”
Traditional H.264/AVC video coding is susceptible to transmission errors. Scalable Video Coding, however, relies upon a high-quality bitstream of video that contains subset bitstreams. These subsets can be decoded individually to H.264/AVC quality. SVC addresses the problems of transmission degradation and connection quality. Vidyo’s technology sends packets of information to end users only at the rate the connection can handle. The technology has applications in streaming, conferencing, surveillance, broadcast, and storage of video. SVC technology was standardized in July 2007 and Vidyo has been one of the first companies to leverage the recent standard’s approval.
Vidyo has gone through several rounds of VC funding and, according to InformationWeek, has been signing video conferencing service providers; Cisco has licensed Vidyo’s IP for its Unified Communications desktop suite. Vidyo is especially cost effective through its use of Intel processors instead of more expensive Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chips. Vidyo operates subscription-based pricing of $30/year per desktop, creating stable cash flow.
Vidyo’s competitors in internet-based or high-definition videoconferencing include Cisco’s WebEx, MegaMeeting.com, ACT Conferencing, and Tandberg. However, few firms combine the two elements or retain IP in Scalable Video Coding. Vidyo’s peers are competing in a rapidly growing industry. A Global IP Solutions white paper found “the global market for videoconferencing endpoints was $1.1 billion in 2007, and will grow to $3.9 billion in 2014."
Vidyo’s low-cost, general IP network videoconferencing technology is easy to bring into locations previously inaccessible by HD-quality videoconferencing. Vidyo will allow small, disparate offices of large companies to inexpensively communicate with each other through videoconferencing. In turn, this increase in communications has the possibility of improving the firm’s efficiency and allowing lower level employees from around the world to network through telepresence.
During the XXIX Olympic Games, the Royal Yachting Association of England used Vidyo technology to stay connected with support staff in Qingdao, China. Additionally, IP videoconferencing has applications in remote locations. Vidyo has partnered with Attend Anywhere, the industry leader in remote medical services, to supply HD videoconferencing via desktops.
Vidyo also has an experienced leadership team behind it. Ofer Shapiro is the President, CEO, and co-founder.
Before starting Vidyo, Shapiro developed the first IP video conferencing bridge and gatekeeper technology for Radvision. According to Shapiro’s company biography, he “was also a contributor and one of the editors of the H.323 standard” He also has “over fifteen years of experience in bringing disruptive technology to market.” Vidyo’s co-founder and Chief Scientist, Dr. Alex Eleftheriadis, is an award-winning researcher with “over 17 years of research experience in video compression and communications.” He has also taught Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. According to Vidyo’s website, “Dr. Eleftheriadis has more than 100 publications, holds 12 patents, has served as the Editor of the MPEG-4 Systems specification, and is currently co-editor of the H.264 SVC Conformance specification.”
Vidyo is well positioned to market desktop HD videoconferencing solutions. The company has an IP lead and experience in the industry and should be able to create a sustainable market niche.
By Doug Bojack Technology Intelligence Unit Blog