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Peer Review: Lifesize Room System

Dennis J. Murphy reviews LifeSize Communications Inc.'s LifeSize Room high-definition video communications system.

Peer Review: Lifesize Room System

Dennis J. Murphy reviews LifeSize Communications Inc.’s LifeSize Room high-definition video communications system.

My Pick: LifeSize Communications Inc.’s LifeSize Room high-definition video communications system, $11,999 MSRP

What I Like About It: The LifeSize Room from LifeSize Communications Inc. provides a true HD experience within a videoconference, enabling a simple, relaxed interaction — at a distance. This allows the people within the meeting to concentrate on the meeting, without struggling to see documents or people, which was caused by earlier technologies in this space. The short of it is that it “relieves video fatigue.”

I Would Change: I would suggest changing the length of the distance that the codec can be located from the camera. The current limitation is 25 feet, which is too short. I understand that LifeSize Communications is set to release a system that allows for a distance of 50 feet; however, I really think that would still be too short of a distance. I would also like to see the added ability to support a second HD camera.

Where I Used It: I installed LifeSize Room systems within two facilities of a global Fortune 500 financial services organization. The offices are separated by significant distance, and communication between them was essential.

My Results: Based upon the first installations within the rollout plan, we were able to meet the client’s specific objectives in every category. The LifeSize Room systems are in daily, almost constant use, and enable two physically separated teams to effectively create one “virtual workgroup.” Document sharing was also a critical component for the success of these meetings. In every instance, the LifeSize systems performed very well. Participants were able to read and understand all documents, including spreadsheets with 10-point font, without any problems. Through enhanced audio and video quality, the LifeSize Room systems provided the end-users with the ability to “look into the whites of each other’s eyes!” The systems are actually quite simple for the end-users to use, and required very little hands-on training.


System Components: LifeSize codec with stand, high-definition pan/tilt/zoom camera, LifeSize Phone fully integrated speakerphone, wireless remote control, cables

Communications: 128 Kb/s – 2.5 Mb/s; IP calls: H.323; integration to LifeSize Networker enhanced gateway for IP to ISDN H.320 connectivity; 1 x RJ45 Network LAN; 1 x RJ45 for LifeSize Networker (PoE support); 1 x RJ11 for PSTN

Support: Supports single or dual-monitor displays, plasma flat-panel displays, CRT monitors: 720p displays, VGA support, large-screen, rear-projection TV displays: 720p displays, front-projection displays, rear-projector AV room configurations

High Definition Camera: LifeSize-designed, high-definition PTZ camera includes wide-angle zoom lens, 70-degree field of view, auto focus, automatic gain control, and a 25-foot cable length

Resolution: 1280×720, 30 f/s

Video Specifications/Resolution: Widescreen FCIF – (512×288 pixels), 128 Kb/s; 2 x widescreen FCIF – (672×384 pixels), 384 Kb/s; DVD resolution (848×480 pixels), 512 Kb/s; 2 x DVD resolution (1024×576 pixels), 768 Kb/s; high definition (1280×720 pixels), 1 Mb/s

Video Standards: H.264, H.263, H.239 compliant, supports dual streaming

Video Formats: 16:9 high-definition aspect ratio

Video Inputs (6 Inputs): 1 x high definition camera; 2 x S-video; 2 x RCA in; 1 x VGA in

Video Outputs (4 Outputs): 2 x VGA/component/S-video/composite; 1 x RCA out; 1 x S-video

High-Definition Audio Conference Phone: Conference phone doubles as the microphone for video system; 16 microphones in a Circular Microphone Array with beam forming for high directivity; 100 Hz up to 16 kHz; H.323, SIP support

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