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DIGITAL CONFERENCE TELEVISION GOES ON-LINE; WILL SOON BECOME THE NATION'S LARGEST VIDEOCONFERENCING NETWORK

 SAN FRANCISCO, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The first link in what is planned to be the nation's largest privately held videoconferencing network went on-line this week in San Francisco, launched by Leland Harden, co-founder of the company that revolutionized the video news release industry in the 1980s.
 The company, named Digital Conference Television, is currently in an aggressive expansion mode and will be adding sites in Los Angeles and Chicago during July, as well as other facilities in major U.S. markets before the end of the year.
 "Digital Conference Television will leverage this network to solidify videoconferencing as a vital business tool in everyday corporate America," said Harden, who helped launch the first nationwide satellite-based newswire service for the television news industry, called MediaLink.
 "The technology has come of age," said Harden, who adds that Digital Conference Television "will be the first to utilize the full range of fiber optic television transmission options available today -- from full-motion, broadcast quality television to the less expensive, digitally compressed television."
 Videoconferencing is an intrinsic part of the so-called "data superhighway," over which unlimited information will travel via a fiber optic network. "The data superhighway is speeding across America and Digital Conference Television expects to be in the fast lane of the movement," said Harden.
 Digital Conference Television, according to Harden, will spearhead the coming boom in the use of videoconferencing, which is expected to become a $1.4-billion industry by the mid-1990s.
 The 400-percent increase in the past four years in videoconferencing industry revenues rivals the explosive growth of the fax and cellular phone industries, which has been driven by the same factors spurring the growth in the other communications tools: time and money.
 "The technology is user-friendly and affordable," Harden said. "While the cost for a videoconference from New York to London is comparable to a round-trip airline ticket, a company saves 12 hours of flight time while a roomful of people can meet and accomplish the same goals for the same price as one person."
 As a result of these efficiencies, videoconferencing is gaining quiet recognition by a growing cadre of corporations, from small to large, as a viable alternative to business travel. In 1992, for example, an estimated 15 percent of the country's largest companies used videoconferencing for meetings.
 According to Pat McCall, an official of Mountain View, Calif.-based Educational Industrial Systems Inc., some companies in metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles or New York have discovered that videoconferences are even economical for across-town meetings.
 "Today, videoconferencing is as easy as walking into a phone booth and a heck of a lot more inviting," said McCall, a systems engineer, whose company has designed public conferencing facilities in the Western United States for two decades.
 Harden, 30, has played a key role at companies that have pioneered concepts in the communications industry since 1987, when he helped launch MediaLink as its vice president and director of sales and marketing. Harden was personally responsible for $1 million in sales every year at New York-based MediaLink. By 1990, MediaLink was recognized as the industry leader with 75 percent of the VNR satellite distribution market.
 Headquartered in San Francisco, Digital Conference Television's network will include facilities in major markets with the capability to connect to other videoconference rooms and remote sites throughout the world.
 -0- 6/24/93
 /CONTACT: Larry Williams or Jim Zelinski of Healy Williams & Co., 415-546-6166, for Digital Conference Television/


CO: Digital Conference Television ST: California IN: CPR TLS SU: PDT

SG-GT -- SF005 -- 5296 06/24/93 12:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 24, 1993
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