Quanta, OoVoo are latest vendors to build consumer hi-def videoconferencing

As Cisco does battle at the high end for telepresence dollars with the likes of HP, Tandberg and Nortel, the telepresence

market is also seeing much activity in the lower end of the spectrum. Quanta Computer, a contract maker of laptop computers is teaming with OoVoo, a maker of video chat software, to enable consumers to hook up their HDTVs and connect it to the Internet for videoconferencing, according to an Associated Press story. The news follows last week's Microsoft announcement of a $300 hi-def video camera that it's bringing out with Tandberg. Cisco last September said it expects to come out with a consumer hi-def videoconferencing system for about $1,000 in two or three years (the announcement was made by former Cisco chief development officer Charlie Giancarlo, so goodness knows whether this is still Cisco's plan). It will be interesting to see what happens when the two ends of the spectrum eventually collide.

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