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A SMOOTHER, SWIFTER VIDEO STREAM

ANIMATED GRAPHICS, scrolling text, and so-called streaming digital audio have transformed the World Wide Web into a multimedia bazaar. Now, Progressive Networks Inc. is enhancing video with software for clearer digital presentations.

The company has introduced RealVideo, a software scheme that breaks a digital video file in small chunks that can then be sent over the Internet and viewed on a personal computer with a RealVideo ''player.'' While this first version of RealVideo works with 28.8 bps modems, the playback is limited to a choppy 5 to 8 frames per second. Smoother 15-frames-per-second playback is attainable through higher-speed connections such as the T1 in corporate settings or the new 56.6 kbps modems designed for the home user. While there are competing digital video schemes, RealVideo is a ''streaming'' protocol, just like its audio predecessor, RealAudio. That means video files begin playing as soon as enough data packets arrive at the user's PC, rather than after the entire file has downloaded.

EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG


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Updated June 15, 1997 by bwwebmaster
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