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Android based videoconferencing system does 9-way sessions

Jul 9, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 1,203 views

Grandstream’s “GVC3200” is an Android based videoconferencing device that offers 9-way SIP/Android sessions, a 12x zoom HD camera, and triple HDMI displays.

Any Android device with a front-facing camera is potentially a personal videoconferencing device, especially now that Google Play has apps like Skype and Google Hangouts. Yet, we haven’t seen many Android- or Linux-based systems that do business-class, room-sized videoconferencing, let alone non-video conferencing systems like this week’s Android-based DCN Multimedia Conferencing System from Bosch. The only recent exception we can recall is Google’s VC-ready Chromebox for Meetings, which runs the Linux-based Chrome OS.

(click image to enlarge)

The new GVC3200 from Grandstream Networks will likely have other Android competitors in the coming years — possibly even the DCN system, which has a 3-megapixel camera that has yet to be activated. We saw no announcement for the GVC3200, which was first spotted (via an FCC filing) by Liliputing on July 6. However, the GVC3200 has a Grandstream product page, and it’s available on pre-order for $3,995.

That’s actually a reasonable price for a business-class VC system with a built in MCU, which in this context refers to a multipoint control unit rather than a microcontroller unit. The GVC3200’s MCU bridge enables 9-way hybrid-protocol conferencing. More specifically, you can have a 4-way conference at 1080p, 5-way at 720p, and 9-way at VGA resolution.

GVC3200 with triple HD displays
(click image to enlarge)

The remote participants don’t need to own GVC3200 systems of their own, as the system interoperates with any third-party platforms that use SIP, including VC systems from Blue Jeans, Cisco, Polycom, Huawei, and Grandstream’s own high-end IPVideoTalk Pro. The system can also patch in anyone using any Android videoconferencing app, and there’s a customized Android app available. More importantly, you can mix SIP and Android streams in the same sessions.

Grandstream provides no details on the processor that runs the Android 4.4.2 stack except that it has a “high performance hardware ISP (Image Signal Processing) engine.” The fact that the system has three 1080p HDMI ports that support triple simultaneous displays suggests it’s probably a recent generation Intel Core, or possibly Intel Braswell SoC, although a few ARM SoCs, including the i.MX6, integrate GPUs that can support three simultaneous video outputs.

GVC3200’s remote
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Skype, Skype for Business, and Hangouts are all included along with a variety of other Android apps. The system let you share a connected computer screen, record video conferences, and schedule and starts calls.

The 2-megapixel PTZ camera features a 1/3-inch CMOS sensor, HD resolution, 12x zoom, and a 70° field of view. You can expand upon that with 23° tilt and 90° pan controls, which can be controlled locally or remotely.

Video resolution is 1080p at 512Kbps and 720p at 384Kbps, and if you’re stuck with 64Kbps, there are a variety of formats available to push your pixelated face to the far corners of the planet. A wide variety of video and voice codecs are also supported.

GVC3200 rear-panel detail
(click image to enlarge)

The GVC3200 is equipped with a gigabit Ethernet port, dual-band 802.11n, and Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR, which responds to an available remote control with multi-touch keypad. The system supports third-party Bluetooth speakers and microphones, and also has a built-in mic, external mic, speaker, and speaker port. A cascadable mic and speaker are marked as “pending.”

Other features include the aforementioned three HDMI outputs, as well as a VGA/HDMI combo input at up to 1080p. A USB port, SD slot, reset button, and 128 x 32 OLED display are also provided.

The system runs on 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz power, and has a 12V output. Many more details are supplied in the datasheet linked to below.

GVC3200 on YouTube

Further information

The GVC3200 is available for pre-order at B&H and The Telecom Spot for $3,995, with no mention of availability. More information may be found at Grandstream’s GVC3200 product page. The Telecom Spot also has a nice overview.

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