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Technology & Manufacturing: Marketing, Web Development, E-Business


For further information, contact:
Martha LeVasseur, Director of Marketing, +1 910-395-6100
Shari Worthington, PR Counsel, +1 508-755-5242

Advances in Videophone Technology Change the Face of World Broadcasting

Reporters in Middle East Rely on Talking Head Videophone for Quick Feeds from Remote Locations

Wilmington, NC (October 11, 2001) - Satellite videophones are changing the face of international television reporting as broadcasting organizations around the world bid to break the news of current world events faster than ever. At the heart of the race is the Talking Head VideoReporter, a new ruggedized videophone that integrates the satellite technology of 7E Communications (www.7e.com) with the video compression expertise of Motion Media Technology (www.motion-media.com). Together the two have developed a new vehicle for transmitting vital first pictures of breaking news from remote locations.

The Talking Head videophone is currently being used by CNN, AOL Time Warner's international news channel, to file exclusive reports from around the word, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. CNN now has satellite videophones in most of its 30 overseas bureaus. According to Eason Jordan, Chief News Executive and Newsgathering President for CNN News Group, "The videophone has become almost mandatory equipment used by our newsgathering teams around the world. It is cost-effective technology that really enhances our operations in the more inaccessible areas in the field that we report from."

Jordan continued, "We have used the videophone to provide immediate live pictures from places as diverse as the tip of Norway when we reported on the Kursk submarine tragedy and Hainan Island in China to cover the release of the US flight crew by the Chinese government. Most recently, Nic Robertson's videophone reports out of Kabul formed the last Western television reports out of the region before all foreign journalists were asked to leave."

Talking Head vs Beeper

The Talking Head videophone replaces the reporter's still photograph and audio telephone report, known as the beeper, with live, high impact video reports. Housed in a waterproof box, smaller than a briefcase, the Talking Head is capable of sending uncut reports from correspondents via ISDN and satellite technology. Images from a video camera are fed via the videophone, digitally compressed, and sent to a small satellite terminal that beams the data via satellite or ISDN to the studio. The data is transmitted at 64 or 128 kbps-up to four times as fast as a standard telephone modem.

The "Art of Picture Quality"

Stuart Ross, Chief Technical Officer at Motion Media Technology, stated, "Successfully applying videoconferencing to the news business meant facing several challenges. To produce a high quality picture, a delicate balance had to be struck between picture resolution, smooth motion, and object detail. The Talking Head videophone accomplishes this by using a multiprocessor DSP (digital signal processing) architecture that separates video, audio, and communications functions. This design, combined with our suite of sophisticated video compression algorithms, allows for maximum video performance."

Ross continued, "The 'art of picture quality' is a delicate science that combines advanced video compression and decompression techniques with noise filtering and bandwidth considerations. Even over lower bandwidth communication channels, such as satellite data links and analog phone lines, we have been able to achieve respectable results, as evidenced by the reports coming out of Afghanistan."

"No Longer a Target Because of Satellite Dish"

The Talking Head videophone does away with the need for a journalist to book a fixed satellite facility or to use a heavy (1000 kg) transportable system to go live on the air. All that is required are two shoulder bags weighing less than 5 kg each.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also uses the new videophone technology. Steve Pearce, Organizer of Resources and Development at BBC Newsgathering, said, "Our correspondents situated on the Afghanistan border have been equipped with the satellite videophones. They will come into their own if our reporters need to go into Afghanistan. Logistically, you can move quicker with hand-held equipment and you are no longer a target because of your satellite dish. Although videophone technology does not provide the quality of images that you can expect from full broadcast satellite dishes, by enabling a dial-and-go facility, it allows us to present the news as it happens, which gives our stories higher impact," he continued.

About Motion Media Technology

Motion Media Technology (http://www.motion-media.com) is a world leader in the design of video communications products, which provide innovative and practical solutions for business and visual communications, telehealth and home care, security and surveillance, and distance learning and training. The company provides a full range of affordable, easy to use products with outstanding video and audio quality, including desktop videophones, group videoconferencing systems, remote surveillance systems, and board-level codecs suitable for incorporation into other products.

For further information contact:
Martha LeVasseur, Director of Marketing
Motion Media Technology Inc.
6714 Netherlands Dr.
Wilmington, NC 28405
910-395-6100
Fax: 910-395-6108
E-mail:
http://www.motion-media.com

PR Office:
Shari Worthington, PR Counsel
Telesian Technology
49 Midgley Lane
Worcester, MA 01604 USA
+1 508.755.5242, Fax: +1 508.795.1636
Email: