British Telecommunications Plc, Motorola Inc and Avesco Plc’s VideoLogic Ltd have formed a technology alliance to push personal computer-based multimedia communications into the mass market. Videoconferencing will be the initial aim of the deal, in the form of a personal computer videophone which brings last year’s VideoLogic-IBM multimedia deal into play with a multimedia chip set being developed by Motorola and British Telecom. The videophone will be marketed by VideoLogic. The chip set will use a signal processor as its engine, with communications and video interface chips. There will also be a video encoder and decoder chip, and the latter will function at 6 GIPS. This chip set, on an add-in board, will connect to a personal computer motherboard containing the VideoLogic-IBM audio and video processing chips (CI No 1,953). VideoLogic will use a base of resellers as its vehicle to market the system, which will appear in 1995, complementing the CoCo videophone developed by IBM and British Telecom, which will appear by year-end in personal computer form and in the first quarter next year in stand-alone form, priced at UKP3,000 and UKP2,500 respectively. The system, which will be an ISDN product until network technology can cope with the transmission rates, will contribute to what British Telecom optomistically sees as a UKP19,000m videotelephony market by the end of the decade, UKP13,600m of which it says will come in the form of network revenue – better sell your airline shares if you believe it. It estimates that video calls require roughly twice the bandwidth and three times the duration of a normal telephone call.
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