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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old March 27th, 2003, 12:07 PM   #1
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videophones

What are these videophones that reporters in Iraq are using? Anyone have pics of them?
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Old March 27th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #2
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I believe this is the actual device that CNN and MSNBC is using:

http://www.scotty.at/cms/cms.php?pageId=23

Here is a link to news articles in relation to the networks using them:

http://www.scotty.at/cms/cms.php?pageId=17

For the broadcast-quality footage (like one of the skirmishes at Um Qasr that was broadcast live on CNN) I believe they were using a swe-dish SNG briefcase rig and a PD150 or XL-1:

http://www.swe-dish.com/templates/page.asp?id=1857

fun stuff - I want one!

-Phil

<edit>

there were a couple of edits to this post--I was learning how to make the hyperlink clickable...

cheers,

-Phil
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Old March 27th, 2003, 11:01 PM   #3
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Wow, that's some pretty cool stuff!
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Old March 28th, 2003, 12:05 AM   #4
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Price on these anyone?

I'd also like to know how much the uplink service is.

I know Sat phones are anywhere from $1 to $4/min
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Old March 28th, 2003, 03:57 AM   #5
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No prices posted. I wonder how much the SWE DISH goes for?
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Old March 28th, 2003, 02:12 PM   #6
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Web research and data mining is one of the primary responsibilites of my day job, as well as part time for Google Answers. http://answers.google.com/answers/main

Out of curiosity, I did some more research on the videophones. The basic models out there primarily utilize a PC running Microsoft's netmeeting!!! It allows you to jack-in external video and audio sources via S-video and RCA. (At a resolution of 240x180, I don't understand the S-video...)

Here is another popular unit used by the networks:

http://www.7e.com/content/products/th_1.htm

Videophones primarily use the Inmarsat constellation of satellites and the Global Area Network services (GAN).

http://www.inmarsat.org/GAN/gan_index.htm

For those who are curious, INMARSAT stands for International Maritime Satellite Organization. Inmarsat is an international cooperative of more than 50 countries that operates a global system of satellites for mobile communications.

GAN provides "on-demand" bandwidth, without the need for a IP lease. Basically, you turn on the unit, press connect, and voila! you have an IP address on their 64kbs network

As a matter of fact, Inmarsat had to create a new coverage region to handle the additional bandwidth required by so many videophones in the region.

http://www.inmarsat.org/news_story.cfm?id=273

As far as pricing, it seems the average price for GAN high speed data is around $8.00 or so per minute.

http://www.xantic.net/default.asp?V_DOC_ID=3199

This probably plays a large role in the answer to my question elsewhere on this forum about noticing less "live" coverage from the networks.

By the way, here's some more links on the SWE-Dish

http://www.satnews.com/stories2/2oct2001-8.html

http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/104/C888/

<edit>

SWE-Dish runs in the neighborhood of $80,000-$100,000 per unit, depending on which model you get.

</edit>

As time permits, I'll add some more information about this mode of communication.

cheers

-Phil
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