More companies are finding ways to use video over intranets, which has led to an increasing number of IT firms developing products for them.
First is IBM, with its forthcoming Video Server range, which are additions to the RS/6000 family. IBM claims the Media Streamer Solutions, a package of hardware and software, and the Video Charger Server software for AIX, will make it easier for businesses to manage video files and incorporate real-time on-demand video into their Internet or intranet communications.
IBM envisages that the product will be used by companies with intranets which want to make better business presentations.
Although prices in the UK have not yet been set, the software will cost $28,600 in the US. There is also a range of leasing and other finance options.
IBM Media Streamer Solutions, which cost between $128,770 and $224,000 in the US, are a suite of programs for broadcast, cable and satellite applications, and are expected to ship at the end of February. They can be used for information kiosks, video-conferencing, corporate broadcasts and remote learning.
Network giant Cabletron is also targeting this market. It bought Oasys in December for an estimated $9m. Craig Benson, Cabletron's chairman and chief executive, said: 'This will put Cabletron in a position to manage the gigabit-speed carrier networks which will enable a new era of voice, video and data services.
Fore Systems, leader in the ATM switch market, also made a strategic acquisition to help provide video over networks. Cambridge company Nemesys produces ATM video encoders and decoders. By marrying the acquired technology to its existing ATM switches, Fore hopes to give users a complete solution for high-speed video networks.
Niel Viljoen, director of audio and video systems at Nemesys, said: 'The deal gives us access to much greater development resources and a worldwide distribution. End users will get better integration of video over ATM networks, and new developments such as the delivery of video over intranets and the Web.'
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