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Intel shows off high-speed videophone

The chip giant is touting new videophone software for computers with cable modems or other high-speed Net connections.

Intel is showing off new videophone software for computers with cable modems or other high-speed Internet connection techniques at the Western Cable Show in Anaheim, California.

To date, videophones have been hampered by the fact that slow connections make video images jerky.

But Intel believes the speed of fast Internet connection methods will solve that See special report: 
When worlds collide problem because they can keep up with the information demands of video. As a result, customers will be lured by "richer communications" with pictures and sound that aren't afflicted by jerky motion or missing information, Intel said.

Intel will be trying out its high-speed videophone technology later this month using the cable TV infrastructure in Wild Dunes, South Carolina, a suburb of Charleston. The trial will be in partnership with Internet Cable Corporation and U.S. Cable Coastal Properties.

Intel expects the videophones to be appealing for personal use, to keep in touch with friends and family, and for professional use, to communicate with business associates.

Intel has been active in the technology for sending video images over the Internet for several years. The Santa Clara, California, chip giant has been an advocate of an International Telecommunication Union standard called H.323 for videophones or videoconferencing systems. The standard ensures that video and audio systems from different companies can communicate with each other.

At the Western Cable Show, Intel and other companies are displaying interoperating audio and video equipment that takes advantage of the H.323 standard.

The new Intel videophone software will ship installed on computers from several vendors, Intel said.

Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network, publisher of News.com.