Features and High Utility of Polycom Multipoint Control Units

The Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) is an integral part in the videoconferencing infrastructure. Using the MCU you control multiple video streams and make one single videoconference. So, people refer to this as the bridge.

Collaboration server of the Polycom MCU

One of the Polycom Multipoint Control Unit Products is the collaboration server. The regular MCU is a digital signal processing (DSP) hardware. They have the primary duty of decoding all the incoming video streams. They then compose it into a single stream and make them accessible to each of the participants in the videoconference. Lastly, the stream they send out must be encoded. You can understand that all this requires processing power and every single phase adds up and you end up needing a lot of processing power. The scalability for hardware based MCUs depends on the ports available. If you need more participants in the conference, you will need more ports. This means more DSPs and this adds to the cost.

To overcome this hurdle, most of the bigger companies have turned to the innovative technology for multipoint conferencing known as software MCU or soft-MCU. The soft-MCU does all the work that the hardware MCU does only it does it better. The software does all the transcoding and the signal processing making the entire process more affordable, flexible, and scalable.

Economical and scalable

Since the soft-MCU makes the DSP hardware unnecessary, they become cheaper to use. The Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server 800s is one of the Polycom Multipoint Control Unitsrunning on x86 servers. It is multi-point and integrated multipoint MCU. From the point of view of the customer, the entire thing is highly scalable and they can buy just what they need for their purpose.

Dull market at present

The market is not offering anything outstanding for the videoconferencing customer. The soft-MCU solutions are also not available in profuse amounts. Most of the solutions are in the form of pure software installed using standard industry servers. Others need a hybrid solution in which the customer must buy some hardware from the solution provider. The Polycom Virtual Edition is designed for the mid-sized enterprise. You can use the soft-MCU solution to expand an existing Collaboration Server (RMX) environment. The open standard supports for the scalable video coding (SVC) is good. It can interoperate with systems that have advanced video coding (AVC) and support 40 video ports with 720p and 30fps.

Many useful features of the MCU

The innovative design helps cut down on the cost and makes the operations so simple. For instance, you don’t need expensive gateways to operate both the AVC and the SVC for your system. This reduces the risks involved and the number of cumbersome appendages.  The Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server resolves problems in video collaboration for emerging and existing standards, devices, protocols, applications, with great interoperability between unified communications environments.

The Server platform solutions give you native integration for all UC applications. In addition, it shows the lowest TCO because of the enhanced bandwidth utilisation and highest port density. The soft-MCUs offer more flexible deployment and have regular feature enhancements and updates. These frequent updates make them more suited for the competitive environment of today.

James Mathews

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