I prefer Tandberg VC units over Polycom. Users found them easier to operate and I liked the support/pricing we got from Tandberg.
My usage of VC has been in industry where there was generally a reasonable amount of bandwidth on site and across the WAN links. The users were fairly tech savvy too. Started off using them for e-learning/training and then later for general business communications (the tech downturn in 2000 brought in a need to reduce air travel bills).
Used to kit out small meeting rooms with Tandberg 1000s and put Tandberg multipoint units in larger meeting/training rooms and on trolleys for ad hoc usage in a variety of locations.
The larger units had the interfaces to connect a video camera for recording sessions and then editing into a Video on Demand offering.
In some instances we used the VC to connect a remote presenter to an IPTV unit to then broadcast around campus and remote locations. The IPTV unit took care of recording and making the session available as Video on Demand offering.
In some long training sessions, we had a classroom of engineers who needed to breakout to pick up emails and phone clients. A VC unit was put in the training room; another unit was then put in a breakout room and projected onto a screen so that those who were in the breakout room could keep an eye on what was going on in the classroom. Sound was left on in the breakout room but muted in the classroom.
Having been back in education now for 2 years, not had a sniff of a VC unit.
We teach latin and spanish and a number of other languages as afterschool/lunchtime extra curriculum via distance learning.
We have a small room dedicated for this, with a projector for the screen, and a decent camera. It uses a dedicated ISDN line which dials direct to the other end in england somewhere.
Im not sure of the name of the kit, Ill go have a look later.