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HP introduces video-conferencing offerings for desktops and conference rooms

Collaboration will allow people to enjoy high-definition video experiences.

HP has introduced a suite of visual collaboration products for desktops and conference rooms that allow people to enjoy high-definition (HD) video experiences anytime, anywhere.

The new Visual Collaboration offerings expand upon HP Halo high-end studios that enables customers to run videoconferencing on their own networks or over a managed network.

HP said the new offering also provides reliable, HD-quality video while reducing network requirements and bandwidth needs over enterprise or best effort networks.

The company said this is enabled by its agreement, announced in June, to use software-based scalable video coding technology from Vidyo.
Scalable video coding is an adaptive technology that optimises the user's video experience, reduces latency and also eliminates the need for a multipoint control unit.

The new desktop and conference room offerings is ideal for dispersed teams, the Visual Collaboration Desktop software client can be deployed by all users on their own PCs and notebooks.

The Visual Collaboration Executive Desktop is a bundled, touchscreen offering that features an HP TouchSmart 600 Quad loaded with Visual Collaboration software and includes camera and headset accessories.

The company said that the new offering is designed for team collaboration, the HP Visual Collaboration Room 100 and Room 220 integrate high-quality video into multipurpose conference rooms, offering low total cost of ownership.

In addition, by operating on software-based x86 server infrastructures, Visual Collaboration offerings can reduce infrastructure costs while allowing video to run efficiently.
Further, this infrastructure can be on-premise, hosted or offered in the cloud by service providers.

HP visual collaboration general manager and vice president Rob Scott said customers need to collaborate inside and outside their companies whether they are travelling, working at home or at the office and their full range of high-quality, HD videoconferencing offerings, especially at the desktop, make that possible.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.