Voice and videoconferencing vendors Polycom and Tandberg have released a flurry of products to capitalise on what analysts say is a recovering market.
Research firm Wainhouse has said the videoconferencing industry's sales in the first quarter of 2004 were up by 27 per cent.
Tandberg's new technologies, under the name MXP, include CD-quality sound, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), H.264, multipoint capability and improved graphical user interfaces. The firm has also unveiled its Codec 6000 MXP hardware.
"A lot of new customers have had videoconferencing in the meeting room or boardroom," said Hakon Dahle, chief technologist at Tandberg. "They are now going into the field and onto the factory floor with it."
Dahle said large PBX vendors are moving towards SIP, although SIP and H.323 are likely to co-exist. Tandberg has seen interest from integrators through its partnership with Cisco over the past six to nine months, he added.
Wainhouse currently rates Tandberg as second in the market behind Polycom, which has also unveiled new products backed up by upgrades to the software powering its VSX range. VSX 7 includes SIP support, improved sound quality, integration with Polycom's VTX voice conferencing products and Quicktime web streaming.
The company also introduced the VSX 8000 family of videoconferencing products.
"We've had SIP in our conferencing phones since 2003," said Tony Heyworth, director of marketing for EMEA at Polycom. "(Now) we're including SIP across the range because it's an emerging standard."
Wainhouse noted that while there are as yet few SIP videoconferencing installations the technology is attracting attention.
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