Uncategorized

Videophones are Changing Telephone Service

Some modestly priced units, including the Packet8 VideoPhone,

plug into an electrical outlet and use the Internet.

Videophone

Less than 10 years ago, videoconferencing capabilities could cost upwards of $40,000. Not only were they expensive, but they were cumbersome as well and required a skilled operator. Now you can find plug and play videophone devices for as little as $270, after rebates. Videoconferencing has stepped into the new millennium and is within reach of everyday consumers.

And videoconferencing isn’t exactly what it used to be, either. These days you don’t have to be an executive in a business meeting to find use in videoconferencing. Instant messaging systems have been adding video resources, and even web logs, or blogs, are using video as well. Videophones can now allow soldiers in Iraq to talk face-to-face with their families back home.”

Simple videophone systems can be used through your PC. The Polycom PVX system requires only a PC, web cam, and the PVX software to get started. Windows 2000 SP4 or Windows XP SP1 are required to run the software, as well as a media player. This system can be purchased for just over $100. Polycom has recently teamed up with networking manufacturer Avaya to sell their ViaVideoII videophone for PCs along with Avaya’s Softphone This joint venture will allow users to place videophone calls via a PC window for the low price of $429.Check out the Polycom website for more information.

For those interested in checking out videoconferencing first, Paltalk.com is a website that offers basic videoconferencing services for free. Members can chat with up to 6 others at a time with still photos. Upgrading the membership can provide users with two-way videoconferencing for about $40 per month. The software is free and downloadable directly from the website. Over 3 million members frequent this site and many use it as a way to make new friends or find dates.

The Packet8 by 8×8 is a plug and play videophone device which lets you “speak in color” with a 5 inch LCD. They don’t offer 30 frames a second yet, but that will change in the near future. For a flat rate every month, users subscribe to the Packet 8 service, which runs through a broadband internet connection via a router. No other hardware is needed as this standalone device operates with its own equipment. You can purchase the phone for $465 with a $200 mail in rebate. Consider that service for the phone is an additional $30 per month. See the web site for more information on The Packet8 phone.

Vonage, an internet phone service provider, and Viseon, a broadband video equipment maker, have teamed up to create a videophone similar to the Packet8. This will debut in the first quarter of 2005. The Vonage web site, contains additional information on the introduction of this product.

Satellite Videophone from 7e

VideophoneSatellite videophones have made quite a buzz recently, most notably since the war in Iraq. These light-weight, compact devices make broadcasts feasible from just about any corner of the Earth. Weighing in at around 20 pounds, these videophones are the size of a laptop computer and can be operated by only one reporter. They allow for quicker transmissions by eliminating the need for news crews to drive to satellite uplink facilities. Though the transmissions are of a somewhat poor quality, the faster transmissions outweigh this drawback. The Talking Head model by the British company 7E Communications runs around the $10,000 mark. 7e Company web site mfg of The Talking Head satellite phone.

It’s not surprising that these devices are coming down in price. Most technology becomes less expensive as it is replaced by even newer technology. Whether you are looking to beat the competition by reporting faster and easier with a satellite phone, or just looking to have a little video interaction with your cousin in Arkansas, videophones are finally within your reach.

Keep Reading...

Atomos Ninja 2 Captures Pro Res for Less than $300

Atomos Ninja 2 Captures Pro Res/DNxHR for under $300

Atomos Ninja 2 Captures Pro Res/DNxHR for under $300 First Pro-Res/DNxHR monitor-recorder under $300 The new Ninja 2 from Atomos captures Apple ProRes and AVID DNxHD recording from HDMI cameras for less than $300. The monitor-recorder allows any HD camera to record to a pro format. It avoids the internal MPEG compression. Your output goes […]

Read More

DJI No Fly Zones

DJI Limits Where Its Drone Can Fly DJI, the most popular drone manufacturer, has programmed No Fly Zones into the software of their quadcopters. This artificial fencing has been in place since 2013, but now they are continually updating it. The database on their website already lists No Fly Zones for some 50 countries. The […]

Read More

Kodachrome – A New Magazine from Kodak

“Kodachrome” is a limited edition magazine geared toward people who love “art, film and analog culture.” It goes beyond the world of analog photography and filmmaking. Kodak says it also about film, writing, sculpture, music, graphics. It is about art and analog culture. Issue 01 is being published in a “limited edition run” with 76 […]

Read More
Ultra Zoom 150 - 600

Ultra-Telephoto Zoom Lens From Tamron

The new Ultra Zoom from Tamron has a focal length of 150 to 600, f5 to f6.3.

Read More


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award