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Senior Editor

A new concept in IP video

Apr 05, 20042 mins

* H.350 promises to let users find and connect to each other in IP-based video and voice environments more easily

This week we take a look at a technology that promises to make it easier for users to find and connect to each other in IP-based video and voice environments.

The specification, H.350, is an IEEE defined way of storing IP video and audio contact information in a central directory. Developed by the Internet2 Middleware Initiative Video Working Group and the Video Development Initiative (ViDE), H.350 is a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) object class specification designed to store information related to SIP, H.323 and H.320 voice and video endpoints. Such information includes their IP addresses, aliases and other connection related details.

Basiceally, because the information is LDAP-based it can be combined with a traditional corporate directory to give employees a single place to look up co-worker information and connect to them, be it via the telephone or video endpoint.

Meanwhile H.350 is appearing in commercial products, most recently Radvision’s Enhanced Communications Server 3.5 gatekeeper release, a server that authorizes endpoints on a network and provides dialing plans such as mapping a standard four-digit extension to a device’s IP address.

Others support the spec as well. For example Tandberg began supporting H.350 in its TMS 8.0 management suite in January, allowing any endpoint managed by the application – be it from Tandberg or a competitor – to take advantage of a central directory, regardless if H.350 is supported in the endpoint. HCL Technologies is already supporting H.350 in its SIP Servers and VCON plans to roll out support in its MXM management application in the second quarter with native in support in its current line of endpoints by the end of the third quarter.

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