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  1. Technology
February 2, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Andover, Massachusetts based videoconferencing specialist, PictureTel Corp, has received two patents for its audio technology. The first covers PT724, a fixed-bit-rate speech encoder and decoder and the second covers the PowerMic, a 6-inch wide table-top device that houses a high quality microphones for group videoconferencing systems. The PowerMic is standard on PictureTel group videoconferencing systems. It works by ‘listening’ to the speaker and electronically steering a directional composite beam in the users direction, so that audio can be heard more clearly, without background noise from other directions. The PowerMic reduces noise by up to 12 dB with PictureTel’s noise suppression technology, according to PictureTel. PT724 is PictureTel’s audio compression algorithm. It enables audio to be compressed at 24 kbps compared to other systems have a compression rate of 48 kbps. This enhances video quality by freeing 30% more bits to be available for video compression.

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