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Video's possibilities dominate Texpo program.

Video's Prossibilities Dominate Texpo Program News that Stanford University will test Pacific Bell's Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS) grabbed the spotlight at Texpo in Anaheim.

SDMS is Pac Bell's proposed highspeed, fiber-based bandwidth for LAN interconnections across metropolitan areas.

Stanford's Bill Yundt noted SMDS' enormous potential for computer-intensive research and development, along with its long-term promise as a means of high-speed computer information transfer.

To send a 512-by-512 pixel image at 9.6 bk/s would take four minutes. With the SMDS Stanford is trying out, it takes a fraction of a seond. 802.6-based SMDS will provide instant T1 or T3 access to fiber-based switched networks, eventually at 150 Mb/s.

Telecomm mangagers may have to change the way they view video as HDTV (high definition television) becomes widespread. HDTV standards developed in Japan 20 years ago are superior to Europe's five-year old standards, said Nicholas Negroponte, director of MIT's Media Lab.

When looking at HDTV, compare it to broadcast quality, not the junk you see at home, he advised. But picture alone may have little to do with a viewer's perception of quality. 95% of the people in one study swore the TV with better sound had the better picture. The better quality image was actually on teh poorer sounding set.

Picture quality has to be scalled--there is no reason to send the same bandwidth to a workstation as to a movie screen, he said. That will lead to charging by number of bits.

One such picture might be a version of the retail video browsing service shown at Texpo. It offers high-quality images of products provided over T1.

Pac Bell President Phil Quigley predicted an era of "virtual travel," when most meetings will be videoconferences.

Videoconferencing demos were offered in the hall, but Quigley said it is voice mail that is making virtual travel widespread. It works for one-way and two-way messaging. Added to videoconferencing, the age of worldwide virtual travel becomes practical.

At the show, a text-to-speech system, Orator, demonstrated its ability to synthesize voice in several languages. French, Chinese, Spanish were no problem. But the system works within its language structure: It will properly pronounce La Jolla as "la hoya," but will also say this is the "Hune" issue of this magazine.

Providing phone service for the conference was the Pac Bell "Restoration Express," a 48-foot trailer with $1.7 million of phone equipment.

Actually, there are two restoration vans, each identically equipped. Nelson Soler, who manages the Orange County-based van, says the units see more work in training and backup than in actual disaster work.

At the show, the van provided phone service to 118 exhibits with 700 centrex lines and 150 lines of ISDN.

It has a 5ESS switch and 6000 feet of copper and fiber cable.

Next year's Texpo is May 7-9 in San Franciscto. --Curt Harler, Editor
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Title Annotation:Texpo trade show
Author:Harler, Curt
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jun 1, 1990
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