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Net video gets a rush

U.S. Robotics will provide video communications packages that will include VDOnet software and the company's 33.6-kbps voice-video-fax modems.

U.S. Robotics (USRX) announced today that it will provide video communications packages that will include VDOnet software and USR's 33.6-kbps voice-video-fax modems.

USR is apparently betting that people will be more intrigued with video delivered over the Internet once consumers can upgrade their modems to USR's 56-kbps technology which becomes publicly available next year.

USR says they will be working with VDOnet to create video streaming sites that use the company's proprietary 56-kbps modem technology. The software-hardware package will allow people to view on-demand and live video streams from the Web sites that use VDOLive servers.

Under ideal conditions, the 56-kbps modems will be able to show 15 to 19 frames per second at a frame size of 320-by-240 pixels, according to a VDOnet spokesperson. Conditions affecting the frame rate include site traffic and the quality of the consumer's connection to the public switched network.

USR will include VDOnet software in two models of their Bigpicture product line, the company said. The Bigpicture Video kit contains a 33.6-kbps voice-video-fax modem which is upgradable to 56-kbps technology, NTSC color video camera, and a video capture card. Another kit with just the video modem and capture card will also be bundled with VDOnet software. No pricing or availability was announced.