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Videophones: The killer application for broadband?
Wednesday 25 February 2004 15:05:00 by Sebastien Lahtinen

Although videophones have been around for a long time, they have mainly been used by businesses to teleconference around the world. More recently, we have seen the launch of 3G mobile phones which has introduced this medium the mass mark. Now, more devices are coming out which take advantage of broadband to deliver video telephony to users.

The D-Link DVC-1000, a videophone that connects to your TV is already on the market at under £200+VAT and is probably one of the cheapest solutions in video conferencing. However, this isn't an ideal solution for regular use and short calls as it isn't a particularly small device you can install on every desk.

Pic-Tel has launched the IVP4500, an all-in-one IP videophone which works using the common SIP as well as H.323 protocols which allows it to integrate easily into existing VoIP infrastructure. This is slightly more expensive at £495+VAT but includes a colour screen with the device

"The feedback we're getting from the market is that SIP is the way forward for IP based video conferencing. It gets round the long-standing issues with firewalls that H.323 had, and as a result there's a real momentum growing for SIP based end points. The beauty of this product is that it works on H323 or SIP, so we're finding customers taking it in H.323 format now, with a view to upgrading the hardware when they're ready to launch SIP services. The upgrade only takes 5 minutes, and it's free."

Chris Preston (Director), Pic-tel

More information can be found here. [seb]

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