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Editors' Notebook
December 2000

Mike von Wahlde VBrick Systems & ShareGate DSL2000


VBrick Systems

I am as wowed by new developments in this burgeoning space as much as the next guy. The industry is really heading out, all around us, and IP communications are simplifying and solidifying our manner of interaction. As our technologies have evolved to mimic day-to-day life, the feasibility of real time video and speech over communications systems may provide us with a link back to the interconnectedness of our oral and interactive human roots.

VoIP was a big first step, a step that not all have yet conquered, but if your system has proven itself capable of handling VoIP usage, the time has come for a true TV-quality optical jump. VBrick Systems is bringing 30 frame-per-second video quality to your Area Network in one plug and play, $5,000 box. While VoIP has had its development issues, the savings and interactive abilities it provides have proven useful and effective. What VBrick provides is a one-stop solution to provide TV quality video to every computer monitor in your office/multi-office system.

In fact the quality of the video provided by the VBrick system made it possible for the West Virginia Public Broadcasting to use its devices to conduct a first in the nation "digital town meeting" whereby the WVaPB used 24 of the devices connected to a Verizon Communications ATM network through leased line connection, which provided the stable, fixed bandwidth needed to offer simulcasted, broadcast-quality video that connected ten towns across the state.

"We selected VBrick products for several reasons. Functionality and video quality were of primary concern. Critical too, were cost and ease of use and installation, areas in which VBrick is unmatched. We were able to install VBrick systems quickly. They are extremely easy to manage and operate, even by non-TV people. A one-time ten-city satellite-based event would cost us $300,000, excluding special staff and equipment. Our $80,000 VBrick system is permanently available, including equipment, and it is so simple to use that we can utilize volunteer staff at each site," said Bill Acker, Television General Manager of WVaPB.

VBrick Systems' EtherneTV provides TV-quality video to an unlimited number of PCs in your network, which allows the delivery of news, training video, and other video-based information over the same area network already in place. Able to be displayed on either a computer monitor or a normal TV, the EtherneTV provides a flexible, simple, high-quality, and cost effective manner to add video to your campus system.

[ Return To The December 2000 Table Of Contents ]

ShareGate DSL2000

Here at TMC I am blessed with a T1 hookup, but at home I must hobble on by with just a 56K modem, making me tear at my scalp every time I access a flash-based site. With DSL prices finally coming down, it just may be time to make the leap, but up to this point there have been some big hurdles to broadband usage for the little guy: Wiring costs, upgrade services, and installation charges. The ShareGate DSL2000 is a consumer gateway available to service providers that will make little offices and homes into integrated communications systems using the existing wiring already in place.

ShareGate produces broadband services gateways that allow multiple devices within a premise to sustain the delivery of multiple services, such as voice, Internet, and video, all in a simultaneous and seamless manner. Offering bundled services to service providers, and promising no new wiring within the premises, distributed voice, full function EMS, and "plug, play, and forget" installation, the DSL2000 offers solutions to service providers wishing to get a leg up on the competition by giving end users the usability and benefits they require in their small offices and home offices.

The soft PBX applications ShareGate provides, including the ability to assign separate phone numbers to specific phones, per-line call blocking, and extension-to-extension calling, will prove to be a real boon to telecommuters. No longer will you have to keep little Suzy and Bobby from holding hour long phone calls about respective dating opportunities so that you can conduct business, for up to four voice lines are easily delivered through the pre-existing phone wiring. This little gray box also offers the office all the functionality of a LAN, allowing data sharing and network capabilities. Forget some information needed for that LA presentation? The Gateway also offers a personal Web portal page that allows you not only access to your files, but also allows you to manage the entire network from anywhere you have Web access. One thing unique to the ShareGate is that data bandwidth and voice bandwidth do not share the same small space. By layering voice over data through the gateway, voice quality is preserved and provided for.

Most importantly, ShareGate delivers profitability to the service provider. By combining the services of data, video, and voice over a DSL line, routed through the existing wiring in the premises, the service provider substantially reduces installation time and cost, which in turn cuts down on prices and ups consumer demand. The installation only requires the service person to hook the DSL line up to the ShareGate and then plug the device into the existing phone and power lines to provide instant service. Plug and play installation requires less training and far less expenditure for all parties. The support services also save headaches for service providers, allowing remote auto-provisioning, administration, diagnostics, and upgrades, pre-empting the need to send out costly repair people.

If you are a provider serving users who may own multiple PCs and are in need of multiple voice lines, remote access and an easy way to manage it all, I suggest you check out the ShareGate line of products. With the ability to offer bundled services to the growing nation of broadband service subscribers, the ShareGate may well be the device needed to give your company the future-proof, sticky solution.

[ Return To The December 2000 Table Of Contents ]

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