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Intel, Real team on Web streaming software

The chip giant and the streaming media leader say they have jointly developed new software that will deliver clearer and smoother images over the Web.

    Aiming to bolster Internet video, Intel and streaming media leader RealNetworks today said they have jointly developed new software that will deliver clearer and smoother images over the Web.

    With the product, dubbed Intel Streaming Web Video, the chip giant and RealNetworks said companies will be able to receive better-quality images, comparable to VHS videotape or DVD images. It is part of RealNetworks' RealVideo and RealSystem software, which transmit audio and video over the Web, and will run on PCs using Intel chips, the companies said in a statement.

    Intel has been busy stepping up its efforts to compete with a crowd of well-established streaming media companies. It is also finding new avenues for additional revenue by turning its focus to services.

    Heavyweights such as RealNetworks, Yahoo (through its acquisition of, Akamai Technologies and even Microsoft have placed their bets on the fast-growing market. Several research firms have projected that media and broadcasting services will become a $2.5 billion industry by 2004.

    RealNetworks has been moving quickly to beef up its services in the increasingly competitive streaming media business, primarily against behemoth Microsoft. Earlier this week, RealNetworks unveiled Real Entertainment Center, which bundles some of the company's most popular products into one offering, including a new version of audio and video streaming software.

    The streaming video software Swimming with sharks jointly developed by Intel and RealNetworks includes new algorithms that improve smoothness of motion and readability of text and graphics as well as reduce common video fuzziness and image distortions, the companies said.

    They say the software will let businesses offer downloadable video programming with quality comparable to broadcast television. That could open the door to more heavy-duty streaming such as pay-per-view programming, sporting events and concerts.