Re: pricing
Tue, 8 Oct 1996 20:12:37 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 8 Oct 1996, Alysa Bono wrote:

> Sorry Stephen and whoever else reads this. I was in such a rush before.
> I am not starting from scratch. I would need the video capture board,
> speakers, microphone, video camera, and a video capture board. I am
> using a Windows based machine. It is a Compaq Prolinea 466. I have
> everything else that I need. I would really appreciate your input on
> what products are the best to get my feet wet with until I find out how
> involved my company should get with all this. I see us very soon going
> to confrence room videoconferencing. I just need something to show the
> suits how this new technology works. Thanks for all your help, and if I
> left out any information please let me know. Thank you, Alysa

I don't know if the suits will be impressed with CU-SeeMe or any other
over-the-net videoconferencing programs as they are extremely toyish
looking and are basically unreliable...: Can your company handle it if
on the day of the conference the net is overly congested and you're
getting half a frame a second?

You must realize that even on a good net-day, you're going to get a max of
2 frames-per-second (sustained) on a 28.8 connection (on both sides), or
possibly 6 frames-per-second on ISDN on both sides.

The difference in the price is very significant between 28.8's and ISDN's
(for the monthly ISDN service, for the modems, for the installation cost),
and so is the quality of sound+picture.

For example, here in Miami:
ISDN monthly cost $65
Installation $200
Internet Service Provider, monthly - $70
ISDN "modem" $250

Plain Old Tel Service (POTS) monthly $30 (business rate)
Installation $25
ISP monthly $20
28.8 modem $100

On a 28.8 connection, you can forget about any kind of reliability in
picture, not to mention sound (really bad)... On ISDN, it's not that great
either b/c you'd still want to use the Net to save on LD charges (so
expect delays and uncertainty there), but it's still a much more feasable
solution. (The best solution would probably be ISDN on both sides,
dialing in directly [incurring LD charges] and getting stable frame rate
and sound quality. Do others agree?)

The static costs you'll have either on ISDN or 28.8:
2 Pentium machines (P133's recommended), 32MB memory each
2 SoundBlaster 32 cards (to use full duplex sound) $140 x 2
speakers, microphone under $50 x 2
2 Connectix B&W Quickcams (no fuss and does the job fine) $100 x 2

You mentioned video cameras and capture boards - you don't need those if
you get a quickcam. You would want a video camera ($400) and a capture
board ($300) if you plan to tape the conferences, or if you want the
ability to transmit VCR images (hooking the capture board to a VCR instead
of a video-camera temporarily), and maybe if you want the ability to have
someone as a cameraman aim and zoom in at the faces of the changing
participants in the conference. (You can't zoom with the quickcam, though
I supporse you could have someone move around with the quickcam on a
sliding tripod or something crazy like that.)

Could be fun actually...