Sony has introduced the first video conferencing system to feature 1080i high-definition resolution.

The Sony PCS-XG80 video conferencing system lets you watch friends, family and colleagues in high-definition, with a high 60fps frame rate. Sony says the system will bring "superb live video quality and a very natural alternative to face-to-face meetings".

Apart from seeing colleagues face to face, you’ll also be able to share data from your computer with others. From Microsoft Office documents in PowerPoint to animations and live DVDs, you can share files in HD quality at 30 frames per second thanks to the dual stream functionality which allows for two separate parallel streams of live high-definition information.

Simultaneous view

For example, both the live camera view and an animated PowerPoint presentation can be displayed in high definition on two different screens or projectors at a remote site.

You can connect to as many as five remote sites simultaneously, and there’s multi-language support for 20 different languages available if you have colleagues in other parts of the world. There is also wide-band stereo audio for crisp and clear sound.

Backward compatible

The Sony PCS-XG80 video conferencing system is backward compatible too, giving you the option of connecting with HD video quality through standard-definition high bandwidth connections.

“This [high-definition] technology allows people to engage ‘face-to-face,’ without incurring the financial, environmental and human costs of what is often unnecessary travel in today’s global business environment,” said Mike Sekiguchi, general manager for Sony Electronics’ IPELA videoconferencing group.

The Sony PCS-XG80 system will go on sale this spring. The UK price hasn’t been confirmed, but in the US it’ll set you back $8,999 (£4,555).