Oracle to bring video to all

Video is not just for high-bandwidth intranets anymore. By mid-1997, Oracle plans to extend its video server technology to the open Internet.

Oracle (ORCL), the software company that has already brought moving pictures and sound to corporate intranets, plans to extend its video server technology to the lower-bandwidth world of the public Internet by the middle of 1997.

The server, which the company expects to begin beta testing by the first quarter and release to the market in the second quarter of next year, will make streaming video viewing a reality for the average Netizen by adapting the technology to widely-used low-bandwidth modems, such as the 28.8-kbps variety, according to Oracle.

The company has dubbed them "edge servers" because they will be deployed at ISP (Internet service provider) sites, not on the video provider's Web site, in an effort to move cached content closer to users, cut down on bottlenecks, and increase reliability and quality.

Asserting that "high-quality video services will be a key differentiator for Internet service providers," the company said it expects ISPs to begin offering premium service options to their customers that would include such video and audio options. Oracle said another market for the product will come from companies delivering products and services on the Web.

The Oracle Video Server will be available on platforms including Sun, HP, Digital, and Microsoft NT.

No pricing was announced.