December 9, 1996 10 AM ET

IBM outfits RS/6000s for video streaming
By Stephanie LaPolla

  IBM has expanded multimedia offerings for its RS/6000 servers with the addition of two new real-time video products.

Set to be available in February, IBM's VideoCharger Server for AIX and MediaStreamer are designed to reach into corporations and the broadcast industry, respectively, officials said.

VideoCharger Server streams video across a network in real time, eliminating the need to download or save a file at the desktop before it is played. It supports Windows 95 clients and World Wide Web browsers, said IBM officials in Somers, N.Y.

VideoCharger runs on any RS/6000 single-processor system with AIX 4.2. Video can be encoded in a variety of formats, from low-bit-rate to MPEG-1, to work with varying network bandwidth infrastructures, said officials.

The application areas for VideoCharger range from corporate training and education to diagnosis and repair in a manufacturing plant.

MediaStreamer is a higher-end product for use by broadcast and cable companies that need to stream audio and video in both analog and digital output formats, said officials.

Running on an RS/6000 Model 39H or Model R20, the software can output multistream commercials to different outlets simultaneously, allowing demographic customization. It can store more than 1 terabyte of content.

An optional MediaStreamer Archive product stores as much as 6 terabytes of multimedia content. "That is 264,000 30-second clips or 1,000 2-hour movies," said Teresa Golden, IBM's program director for multimedia servers.

The VideoCharger is priced at $11,995 for the software and starts at $29,000 for a hardware/software configuration. The MediaStreamer package is priced from $129,000.

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