Retail price: $399, camera; contact a Cisco sales representative for Movi pricing.
By MaryAnn Karre
Paired with the Cisco PrecisionHD USB camera, Movi enables any PC to become a premium video system that connects users to any standards-based videoconferencing system. The PrecisionHD is a hefty, sturdy piece of equipment, larger than webcams that typically travel. The Movi videoconferencing software has been updated and now permits desktop sharing, is Mac compatible, allows far-end camera control, and can connect via IP address or URI to any H.323 or end point.
Quality and Effectiveness: Developed for business use, the Cisco conferencing package features mobility, quick connectivity, and adaptability for use outside the usual videoconferencing offices. As such, it can easily be used to create a mobile learning lab anywhere, employing any laptop or desktop computer. Because Movi permits multiparty calls and content sharing between users of other “major telepresence” systems, users should be able to connect to other end points more easily than with other products.
Ease of Use: Since there is no software for the camera, using it is as easy as plugging it into a USB port. Even the firmware can be updated through the Cisco Web site. The autofocus is efficient and smooth and compensates for low light and bright spots; even handheld documents are easy to read. The Movi videoconferencing software installs simply on both PCs and Macs and can be configured for the entire system from one administrator access. Connections are made through a straightforward interface that displays contacts and recent calls; settings, devices, and video controls can also be changed here. The full-screen video display is not cluttered by toolbars or buttons, and this is especially helpful with multi-user connections.
Creative Use of Technology: With high-definition 720p, 30 frames per second, the camera communicates smoothly even in low light or with backlight. The wideband microphone mounted on top of the camera effectively and clearly picks up sound to a distance of 10 feet. Because of the product’s picture-in-picture capability for self-view and content sharing, students and teachers can share equally across a distance or within a community.
Suitability for Use in a School Env ironment: The ability to share both PC content and video, to allow all parties to see the same video and content, and the strong ultrawideband microphone and terrific focus of the HD camera combine to create an excellent distance-learning tool. Because the camera is portable, any classroom with the conferencing software or anywhere that a laptop can be carried can be a distance-learning lab. Movi can be used by one class, as a school-wide or a district-wide network, and still connect to any standards-compliant system.
¦ The capacity for multi-screen highdefinition video collaboration with many users on different devices and with any standards-based video device creates more possibilities for educational experiences.
¦ Cisco’s “intelligent network” improves video on networks not designed for video and enables users to record and archive conferences and thus make them available for further study.