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Tight squeeze

Pat Patera

The lack of bandwidth makes video reception on portable phones and computers languish. But a data compression technology unveiled by Reno-based Vivantel could burst the bottleneck.

The company unveiled its product, Vivantel AMP (Advanced Media Protocol), last month at the Spring 2006 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

“Vivantel will revolutionize the convenience of communications and home entertainment,” says Bill Sikkens, chief technical officer, “by delivering on the promise of instant high-quality video to digital equipment including fixed and wireless devices.”

The patent-pending process provides a 90 percent data stream compression, says Keven Newling, marketing director. It enhances existing media delivery systems by encapsulating the video stream, providing additional compression of 10:1 or more.

“We’ve been talking with major companies in the industry,” he says. “The first thing these visionaries in the industry said is, ‘We can’t believe it.’ Then we demonstrated it and they say they can’t believe what they’re seeing.”

The breakthrough, says Newling, is based on a different way of thinking. And, it’s applicable to all forms of data, not just video.

Current bandwidth limitations have handicapped vendors’ ability to deliver high-quality multimedia content.

Vivantel says its proprietary Advanced Media Protocol allows communication service providers to provide high-quality streaming video and a full range of IP telephony services over the current broadband networks.

That means people can place DVD-quality videophone calls. Or see full-screen, high-definition video over consumer broadband. Or get high-quality mobile video.

The technology, says Vivantel, runs on Intel processors, without the need for additional software or a proprietary viewer. Video streams are full-featured and include advanced options such as closed captioning, subtitles, multiple language tracks and full support for 5.1 digital surround sound.

It will require a connection of 2.5 MB for 1080i HDTV. (That term refers to the resolution of a high-definition screen 1920 by1080 pixels, and the small-case “i” means the video is interlaced.) The current industry best average for transferring 1080i HDTV is a requirement of about 20MB.

The company’s name, Vivantel, refers to “video and telephony.” The company was founded three years ago, and employs 13, mostly in Reno, where the management team is located. It also maintains offices in Phoenix and in Vancouver, Wash., to be near Intel.

Its holding company, Web Delivered Solutions, Inc., offers video and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone products.