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HD video conferencing: Almost like being there

May 17, 2007

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By Terry Lavender

Video conferencing may soon seem almost as real as meeting in person, thanks to technology SFU researchers are developing with partners at two other Canadian universities.

The high-definition video-streaming technology was tested last month in an experimental installation involving SFU's School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) at the Surrey campus, Concordia University in Montreal and the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto.

For 72 hours, the participants streamed live video between the three institutions in crystal-clear high-definition (HD) format over CAnet 4, Canada's research and education network. The subject wasn't particularly interesting — people walking through a park on a rainy day.

But SIAT team member Belgacem Ben Youssef says the quality of the HD image is vastly greater than that available with standard video-streaming technology and could lead to currently unimaginable long-distance video-conferencing collaborations in art, design and technology.

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