07 Apr 2010
By Michael Lewis

Look at me when I am talking to you


Look at me when I am talking to you………

These are the words that used to send a shiver down my spine. But no longer. The recent release of the Telstra VVXTM 1500 Business Media Phone is the reason.

What is the VVXTM 1500 Business Media Phone?

It’s a videophone, and I was invited to take it for a test drive this week.

I know what you are thinking. Videophones are old hat. George Jetson used one over 40 years ago, and I get to try one now? So much for “modern” technology.

In my usual offbeat way, my excitement quickly turned into anxiety, when I put myself in the position Alexander Graham Bell must have been in when he invented the first telephone. As he only had one phone, there was no one out there for him to call! To whom would I make my first video call? I really didn’t know anyone with a compatible phone.

Many of you would have used a web cam and a microphone to make a video call to family and friends a long way away, or participated in a video conference with large screens, plagued by a poor, out-of-focus and unsynchronised presenter. I was pleased to see that the VVX 1500 restored my faith in technology’s ability to deliver what is promised.

So let me share my thoughts on the VVX 1500 which operates over a connection to  Telstra’s Next IP network on Telstra’s IP Telephony solution.

First and foremost, it looks impressive.

From the 16 x 9 7-inch video touchscreen, to the easy-to-use keypad, the VVX 1500 would fit nicely on anyone’s desk. It supports 6 lines, has a Gigabit Ethernet switch, and an integrated 2 megapixel camera. HD voice technology delivers clear audio. But before you grab your credit card, jump online and try to buy one, be aware that it’s a business solution and you do need to be a Telstra hosted IP telephony (TIPT) customer.

The sales blurb says “simple and fast one-touch calls”.  Had to try that one. Guess what? It’s true.  Making calls – voice or video is a simple touch of the screen.

Some feature highlights:


2megapixel camera, with a 30cm to infinity fixed focus (wonder how they measured that feature?), a privacy shutter (great if you worry someone might be watching you….), picture in picture for near end camera, and full screen or window for far-end camera.


Looks aren’t everything. The audio quality of the VVX 1500 is clearer than anything I have heard to date. The Polycom HD Voice technology really does have a life-like voice quality, no matter if you are listening via the handset, speakerphone, or the optional HD voice headset. HD voice calling delivers twice the clarity of a regular phone call. Industry reviews liken it as a move from AM radio to CD quality.

What are the key benefits of the VVX 1500?

  • “Face to face” conversations. Help enhance your productivity during meetings.
  • Save on business travel costs.
  • Reduce carbon footprint through energy saving PoE and smart motion-detection technology.

The future? (Things I’d like to see)

  • Multi-party conference calls
  • Video on demand – download training videos
  • Streaming content from the internet
  • Record the audio component of a call – great for taking minutes

Who’s going to benefit from it?

The quality of video and voice over IP now makes this type of technology and product suitable for many diverse fields – including education, medical, manufacturing and banking, to name a few. From my experience, video conference calls are now something to look forward to.

What does it cost?

The VVX 1500 is available to Telstra IP Telephony business customers  for $1500 (excl. GST), or it is available to TIPT business customers on a rental plan with Telstra for $45 (GST exclusive) per month over 36 months.

(Remember, you need at least two of them……..and you need to be a Telstra Business or Telstra Enterprise & Government customer)

Final word

I want one!


Posts: 86


  1. Joe Ricketts says:

    Why is it that Telstra Mobile Network can take 7 days to alert me that I have a message? I have numerous Black spots in Townsville where I live despite having a Blue Tick phone\ which gives me coverage over the State\ Telstra is no better than Vodaphone in coning the general public, they may be even worse than Vodaphone. I have a home email service which does not work, a mobile service which gives me messages 5/7 days after they have been left by a customer/friend , and this from the leading Telco, wow aren’t we the lucky country? 2nd rate crap which we get to pay top dollar for, who is the dumb one in this equation? not Telstra that’s for sure, it’s us!!!!
    Why do we pay for service that are not provided? why do we believe that it is just us that is having problems?. If someone can out a class action against Vodaphone, we should gang up against Telstra, until we get value for money.

    • Brendan O'Keefe [T-EX Customer Engagement Manager] says:

      Hi Joe, I’ve asked a team member to have a look at your account and see if we can isolate the problem with your messaging and other issues. Cheers Brendan.

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