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AMERITECH SAYS NEW INTERACTIVE SERVICES SOON MAY BE JUST A PHONE CALL AWAY

 AMERITECH SAYS NEW INTERACTIVE SERVICES
 SOON MAY BE JUST A PHONE CALL AWAY
 CHICAGO, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- It's a lazy evening and you and your family are nestled in the den considering which movie to watch.
 You make a phone call to consider the choices, and a vast library of film titles appears on the TV. Midway through the comedy you select, you pause the movie to put your youngest, who has fallen asleep, to bed. Afterward, you search to find out the titles of other movies in which the lead actor has appeared.
 If this scenario sounds futuristic, hang onto your hats -- or telephones -- because Ameritech has announced it will test how a wide array of interactive, multimedia services like the one described above can be offered over your telephone line.
 "The day is fast approaching when your telephone line, personal computer and television set will be able to do more than you -- or the persons who invented them -- ever thought," said Jim Heidenreich, Ameritech vice president of corporate strategy.
 "The United States is on the verge of an information age explosion. New entertainment services certainly have the broadest possibilities, but the main benefits initially are likely to be in health care, education and other segments of the business arena where demand is greatest and there's a high degree of interactivity."
 Beginning early next year, Ameritech, Andersen Consulting and possibly others will test the system using their own internal applications. Employees will use office computers to get information where, when and how they want it, using any combination of full-motion video, illustrations, animation, audio or computer-stored text.
 During the test, sales representatives will be able use their computers to get product information, then customize multimedia sales presentations that could include static or animated illustrations, charts and full-motion videos.
 The system will allow hundreds of Ameritech workers, each at their own pace, to take a computer-based refresher program on telephone service installations.
 "Similar types of tests are planned elsewhere in the U.S., but this is the first to use a large-scale video server connected to the telephone network," said Bill Beckmann, Ameritech manager of technology analysis and planning. "No other system in the world has the same capacity or sophistication."
 Powering the system, called a video gateway, are improvements in the way information gets compressed into tiny bits of digital code; stored on computers that let many people interact simultaneously with the data; and sent over telephone lines equipped with greater capacity, or bandwidth, and greater speed.
 Ameritech will use a large-scale computerized video server to store vast amounts of text, voice and video signals and play back the information in multimedia format to PCs based on individual requests. High-speed digital lines using broadband network capabilities will connect about a dozen Chicago sites to the video gateway.
 Ameritech hopes the test will lead to widespread availability of new, multimedia services, possibly movies-on-demand, interactive education or home shopping, as early as 1994.
 Based in Chicago, Ameritech is the parent of the Bell companies serving Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, and other information-related companies, both foreign and domestic, providing mobile communications, directory publishing, audiotex services, systems integration and lease financing. Its 1991 revenues were $10.8 billion.
 -0- 11/10/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Ford of Ameritech, 312-750-5205/
 (AIT) CO: Ameritech ST: Illinois IN: TLS SU:


TS -- NY086 -- 9393 11/10/92 15:16 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 1992
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