I recently had the chance to sit down, sort of, with Bryan Martin, Chairman of 8x8, Incorporated, the company behind the Packet 8 VoIP services. In the case of Packet 8, the "V" stands for both Voice and Video. Instead of meeting in the same location, we used Packet 8 DV326 video phones. In my month-long review of the Packet 8 video telephony solution, I found the quality of the service offering to be as good, if not better than my previous review of Packet 8's voice-only offering.
Our conversation was recorded on a PC and recompressed using 256k Windows Media profile. Despite this double encoding process, the video is quite good. It is important to remember that the broadband connection I used typically provides upstream/downstream bandwidths of less than 300 kb/s, so there weren't a lot of bits to compress my ugly mug.
Also during the course of our conversation, just after I asked Martin about whether the Packet 8 video phones might someday interoperate with PCs, my PC recording program crashed; pretty ironic. One might also note my rather disheveled appearance. I purposely dressed in such informal attire and made sure my hair was unkempt to show the challenges of introducing video into the remote worker environment....normally, I do try to make a better appearance when I have guests.
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The Video Phone Is Here!
December 15, 2004 Issue
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