PictureTel Corp, Danvers, Massachusetts claims that its new LiveTalk is the first software-only product to enable the simultaneous transmission of speech and data over one analogue telephone line using standard modems and sound boards. The product is an enhancement to, and will be included as part of, PictureTel’s LiveShare Plus data conferencing software (CI No 2,481). Among the features are integrated, real-time, low bit rate (up to 9.6Kbps) audio compression, performed by the personal computer’s processor; dynamic data rate control and silence detection, which is said to reduce the audio bit rate during periods of silence and to provide more bandwidth for data conferencing; a manual audio override, enabling users to mute the microphone so that all available bandwidth can be used for data conferencing; and support for full- and half-duplex audio communications, depending on the sound board used. LiveTalk is priced at $100 but will be bundled free with LiveShare Plus from this month and, said the company, is available for licensing to OEM customers.
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