New Videoconferencing Products On The Way



The videoconferencing market got a boost yesterday when Intel disclosed it is making a $30.5 million equity investment in PictureTel Corp. The two also announced they will jointly develop future products. Also yesterday, Lucent Technologies Inc. unveiled a new Internet-based videoconferencing system. Intel and PictureTel believe their agreement will accelerate the development of the videoconferencing market. "By working together to develop new products and market segments, we will deliver the solutions that will enable customers around the world to use visual collaboration in their mission-critical activities and make their businesses more productive," said Bruce R. Bond, chairman and CEO of PictureTel, in Andover, Mass.

PictureTel will sell and support the Intel desktop ProShare Video System 500 and the Intel TeamStation System room system. Intel and PictureTel also will develop videoconferencing and collaboration products based on a common PC platform. The two will roll out products next year that will operate over IP, ISDN, and ATM networks, and allow customers to communicate over LANs, to stream audio and video, and to do real-time conferencing.

The Lucent Collaborative Video system uses proprietary Bell Labs algorithms to offer users three different qualities of resolutions, ranging from 160-by-120 pixels to 640-by-480 pixels, at rates ranging from 30 frames per second to 0.1 frames per second. It supports the Motion-JPEG, MPEG-1, H.263/261, and T.120 standards and sells for $3,000 to $4,000.

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