Cisco Pitches Pricey 'Umi' Home Videoconferencing In HD

Verizon plans to offer system to FiOS customers in early 2011

Cisco Systems is introducing an expensive residential
videoconferencing system, dubbed "umi," that can deliver up to 1080p
high-definition pictures -- a system that, if widely adopted, would
stress the upstream capacity of many cable and DSL broadband networks.

at least initially, the umi will be a pricey option, limiting its
mass-market appeal. The product, to ship in mid-November, will carry a
suggested retail price of $599, plus a monthly fee of $24.99 for
unlimited calls and up to 100 minutes of video-message storage.

Cisco umi requires a broadband connection with a minimum upload speed
of 1.5 Mbps for video calls in standard-definition, and 3.5 Mbps
upstream for 1080p HD calls. For cable, upload speeds have been an
Achilles' heel, with upstream DOCSIS connectivity typically limited to
the 5-42 MHz range.

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