Justice opens bandwidth clog with video tool

To ease its bandwidth bottleneck, a Justice Department bureau is testing VBXcast, a video-streaming MPEG-4 appliance.

After a monthlong beta test in March, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is still using VBXcast to send building surveillance video from security cameras to a field office over a WAN.

Officials found the technology was not practical for two-way videoconferencing, however.
'It's a one-way operation,' said Peter Erikson, manager of media services at ATF's Visual Information Branch.

But VBXcast, from VBrick Systems Inc. of Wallingford, Conn., is useful for the surveillance work because its picture quality is similar to that of videoconferencing equipment for about half the price, Erikson said.

VBXcast's single- and dual-channel MPEG-4 encoders can deliver video from 8 Kbps to 2 Mbps and audio from 8 Kbps to 320 Kbps. ATF tested VBXcast across a 384-Kbps stream.

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