Organisations considering a refresh of traditional, standard-definition (SD) video systems should purchase high-definition (HD) video systems from now on, according to Gartner.

Gartner says that some HD videoconferencing solutions have reached a price point that¹s low enough (less than $10 000.00 per endpoint) to appeal to most businesses that are considering updating their videoconferencing technology.
"The HD videoconferencing market is still in the early maturity phase, with market penetration of these systems only in the single digits so far (less than 5%)," says Rich Costello, research director at Gartner. "However, it has reached the point where it's a significant upgrade in terms of quality, and it's competitive enough in terms of cost, to appeal to organisations evaluating videoconferencing technology for room-based environments."
Gartner expects the transition to HD solutions to be a driving factor for the estimated annual growth of the worldwide videoconferencing market in the 20% to 30% range during the next couple of years.
Although an uncertain economic outlook for 2008 is causing organisations to reconsider and perhaps curtail their IT spending plans, an investment in new HD videoconferencing equipment can produce long-term benefits for the customer and the environment.
Costello says that helping to decrease the amount of executive travel is a key factor, especially at a time when the US economy is so uncertain and fuel prices <-particularly gas and jet fuel – are so high. Other benefits include contributing to a company¹s "green IT" initiative; increasing employee available/productive work time and other indirect and difficult to measure savings and benefits.
Gartner advises organisations considering a move to HD video technology to consider other cost considerations when budgeting for migration, including: provisioning an appropriate room; ensuring that adequate bandwidth is available; and anticipating an increase in use rates.