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Sony Introduces All-In-One Video Conferencing System For Desktop Use Or Small Meeting Space


Sony Electronics is expanding its IPELA® line of Internet protocol (IP)-based collaborative communications products with the new PCS-TL33 videoconferencing system.

Designed for desktop use or for small meeting spaces, the new system is network-ready and features a built-in digital PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) camera, speakers and a microphone in a slim, lightweight body.

“As the quality of IP networks improves, business work styles are changing to include more effective use of communication tools to the point where compact, easy-to-use systems can function in a variety of ways,” said Mike Sekiguchi, general manager of Sony’s IPELA Visual Communications group. “This new system is perfectly suited to the changing work styles of business professionals, serving as a desktop computer system or as an effective multi-point collaborative conferencing tool.”

The PCS-TL33 system brings this efficient work style to the personal level with its ability to double as a PC display, conserving desktop space and providing “all-in-one” system multi-functionality. With an intuitive graphical interface and mouse-operated, one-click dialing, Sekiguchi said the system is easy to operate with a single-layer GUI and translucent cascading menus.

Users can place a videoconference call quickly and by simply clicking on an icon for up to30 registered contacts using the one-click dialing feature. The system also offers the ability to upload picture files or capture still images from a videoconferencing counterpart. These images can then be registered as a picture icon in an address book for one-click dialing.

In addition, by installing the optional PCSA-DSM1 data solution module, this new system lets users send and receive data displayed on a PC to a videoconferencing counterpart.

With a built-in Ethernet interface, the PCS-TL33 system can be configured by plugging it into a LAN and making a few quick settings on the system’s intuitive setup menu. The system supports data-transfer rates of up to 2 Mb/s over IP networks (H.323), making high-quality visual communication possible.

The system supports 128-bit encryption for more secure videoconferencing over a network. Two encryption modes are available: One complies with the ITU-T H.235 standard, which allows encrypted communication with other H.235-compliant systems. The other is a Sony proprietary mode, which is ideal when connecting to other PCS Series systems and offers higher security.

The system has a new CMOS sensor feature. The CMOS sensor is an integrated camera with a 1/3.8 inch imager, a resolution of approximately 1.33 pixels, using the 4CIF picture format. Also included is built-in auto-exposure and back-light compensation.

There is also a “kiosk” mode to provide unattended services for such applications as remote consulting or customized distance learning, with the ability to pre-set up to 30 locations with customized thumbnail images.

The unit incorporates a privacy shutter that can be closed when users prefer not to be seen when a call comes through. It has a height-adjustment and swivel mechanism so that it can be adjusted for optimal viewing comfort. Since the unit meets VESA standards for mounting on a bracket, it can be installed in a way that maximizes desktop workspace. In addition, the all-in-one system is easy to transport because it is equipped with a handle and is relatively light in weight.

It features multiple display modes like Full Screen, Picture-in-Picture and Picture-and-Picture (including a side-by-side split screen). A convenient three-window layout mode is available, which displays presentation data on the left side of the screen while displaying videoconferencing images in two small windows on the right side.

The PCS-TL33 system complies with the ITU-T H.264 video codec, in addition to previous versions of ITU-T videoconferencing codecs to maintain compatibility with legacy systems.

Other key features include:

• High-quality audio – The system supports MPEG-4 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) at 14 kHz, as well as an advanced echo canceller and dual-integrated speakers.

• Private Phonebook on Memory Stick Media– If multiple users choose to use a single PCS-TL33 system, each can store their personal contact information on Memory Stick® media cards. After inserting the Memory Stick media into the unit it automatically recognizes and activates the private phonebook, eliminating the need to re-enter contact information to place a call.

• QoS (Quality of Service)– The PCS-TL33 provides two advanced functions to enhance QoS over a network: Adaptive Rate Control (ARC), which automatically varies the video bit transfer rate to meet changing network conditions, and Auto Repeat reQuest (Real-time ARQ™ Function), which recovers lost IP packets by buffering them at the encoder and resending any that are lost.

The PCS-TL33 system is available now through Spire Global, Sony Electronics’ exclusive sales arm for its IPELA® line of IP-based video conferencing endpoints and accessory products in the United States, at a suggested list price of $3,490.


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