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A videophone is a telephone which is capable of both audio and video
duplex transmission. Videoconferencing previously was limited to the
H.323 protocol (notably Cisco's SCCP implementation was an
exception), however recently a shift towards SIP videophones has
occurred. In accordance with the adoption of SIP telephony for home
users, videotelephony is also slowly becoming available to home users
from a number of hardware and software providers. Closed solutions
such as Skype also now provide video.

Videotelephony is most prominently used in large corporate
conferencing setups, and is supported by systems such as Cisco
CallManager. Other companies such as Tandberg, Radvision, and
Polycom also offer similar merchandise.

Today the principles, if not the precise mechanisms of a videophone
are employed by many users world-wide in the form of webcam
conferences using personal computers, with cheaply available
webcams and microphones and free instant messenger programs.
Thus an activity that was disappointing as a separate service found
a niche as a minor feature of products intended for other purposes.
A videophone can be created by using an old or inexpensive
computer and dedicating it to run a video softphone.

In 2004 Telmex, the biggest telephone service provider in Mexico,
introduced Videophone service over regular phone lines (apparently
H.324). The service, as of March 2006, had not enjoyed widespread
adoption. Telecom Italia supplies LG-Nortel videophones, which also
appear to be used by Telmex.

Satellite video phones have a wide range of uses, from
communications on the media, wars and conflicts to domestic needs.
They are highly efficient in beaming live footage of war from war-
ridden nations where other modes of communication have failed.
War correspondents and journalists use these phones to transmit
news from places that do not have cellular coverage.

Today satellite video phones are not just restricted to cover conflicts,
but have made large inroads into the domestic sector as well. These
days, video phones are deployed in ambulances and petroleum
installations which are located in remote areas, as well as other
applications. The major advantage of satellite video phones is that it
can broadcast live from any part of the world.

The videophone targets a wide market, from storm chasers to medical
fraternities. Besides the live video and normal voice call features, the
satellite video phones also have video conferencing. This technological
advantage allows users to transmit data and video between remote
places.

The satellite video phones provide excellent picture quality, suitable
to 64 or 128 kbps ISDN. That's because they use compression
algorithms to achieve excellent results. Users can also transmit high
quality audio signals and low speed pictures. Satellite video phones
use custom designed input output processors, which optimize the
transmission and provide video signals for both professional and
domestic phone connections.

Satellite phone connections are easy to set up in places like war fields
or during expeditions. A flat surface, free of dust and grime, should
be ideal to situate a satellite video phone. Then you should tune in the
phones for peak signal, which is usually quick and easy. The process
involves setting up the satellite video phone, dialing up to the
respective satellite and that's it. Broadcasting starts in about five
minutes.

Initially, satellite video phones cost a whopping $50,000 and weighted
above 100 pounds. Today, the latest phones hardly weigh 10 pounds
and are much smaller in size. Satellite video phones are
recommended for those who need portable and reliable systems to
deliver high precision video coverage from anywhere in the world.


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