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April 15, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

The Unix fraternity is not going to allow the Macintosh and Windows empires to win the multimedia universe without a fight: Silicon Graphics Inc is leading the way with its Indy multimedia workstations, but the specialist manufacturers of X Window System terminals are coming up fast on the inside track. King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based Human Designed Systems Inc has just announced the addition of full motion video capability to its entire line of RISC-based X Window terminals. Called HDS Video, the new capabilities enable users of the Intel Corp 80960 RISC-based terminals to display full motion video in up to four windows, each of which can be blown up to full screen size, on their X terminal screen, with support for both analogue and digital video with on-board compression and decompression. Human Designed also announced the HDS Conference video teleconferencing application, designed to enable multiple X terminal users to communicate over Ethernet and see each other in an X window. HDS Video supports analogue and digital connections for playback and recording from a camera, a video CD-ROM or a video cassette recorder connected to the terminal. The company claims that full-screen display can be at a full 30 frames-per-second with broadcast quality. It supports Intel-Microsoft Inc Indeo compression as standard, and offers MPEG 2 hardware decompression as an option. With a video camera, the analogue source is converted to digital form and compressed using the Indeo standard so that it can be sent over the network to other users or stored in a file for later playback. HDS Conference enables two Human Designed X terminal users to set up a teleconference over Ethernet and see each other in windows on their terminal screen; a separate HDS Audio program and kit is needed for recording and playback of stereo sound. With HDS Audio, each X terminal has an internal speaker and connections for external speakers. HDS Stereo Sound and Digital Video each cost $200, Analogue and Digital Video is $500 and Conference is $200 per user. The Human Designed ViewStations all run the HDSware operating environent, an enhanced implementation of X11.5 with local X client applications such as Motif 1.2, OpenLook 3.0, 3270 and VT320 terminal emulations, Display PostScript, and productivity tools such as calculators, clocks, alarms and screensaver.

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