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ILP, Italy test videoconferencing

The Industrial Liaison Program and the Italian Telecommunications Study Center and Laboratory (CSELT) got together last week for a half-hour conference at the new PictureTel facility of MIT Video Production Services in Building 9.

The experiment included full duplex simultaneous transmission of audio and video, as well as still video from MIT. Transmission of videotape is also possible.

MIT was broadcasting/receiving through a PictureTel system located at the Center for Advanced Engineering Study headquarters while CSELT was using a system from an Italian vendor, AETHRA. Communication between the two systems was effected via a bridge supplied by ATT.

The experiment demonstrated the practicality of establishing video/audio links with ILP members distant from MIT. Both sides were elated, and are planning future video links with other research departments and labs at MIT.

An advantage of videoconferencing is the low cost, relative to the cost of an actual visit to or from MIT. Expenses for a videoconference include several components: there is an overhead for the use of the PictureTel system, plus technical assistance. To link with overseas systems, one needs to reserve a conversion "bridge" from a carrier such as ATT, MCI, etc. The cost of the long-distance connection is variable, depending on the distances involved.

Participating from MIT were Professor Shaoul Ezekiel and Richard Noyes, director and associate director, respectively, of the Center for Advanced Engineering Study, and Dr. Kenneth H. Goldman, the ILP officer for CSELT.

A version of this article appeared in the March 3, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 24).

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