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Look at me when I am talking to you

Tech and Innovation

Posted on April 7, 2010

4 min read

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:

Video:

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.

Audio:

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!