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A Brand New Beamer... From Vialta

Boot Camp feature for Friday, September 26, 2003

A brand new Beamer. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Not to be confused with the nickname for a certain brand of car... this Beamer is a Videophone first introduced by a company called Vialta last year...

"We've gotten great response from consumers, it's sold well. We have a lot of customer testimonials and customers coming back to buy a second, third and fourth so they can see all their family."

VP Ken Tenaglia. While the original Beamer sits alongside your telephone... and has a built in LCD screen and camera, the new device is called Beamer TV... and plugs into your family room television...

"It still works with your home phone, it's still an easy set up, easy to use, no special equipment again. The big difference is it's an alternative viewing format. So it's a much larger viewing format, it's a viewing format you're used to. Also it's a way for more than one person to be on the phone at the same time being on screen. It's great for group calls, for example, because you've got the larger screen on there."

Each Beamer TV unit will sell for about 150 dollars, about one hundred dollars less than the original Beamer...

"It's just as simple, the same set up as Beamer and the same concept of usage. You pick up the phone and call somebody else who has a Beamer or Beamer TV and then once they say hello on the other end of the line, you've got your connection, and press start."

The quality of the video... isn't perfect and can be choppy at times. There are controls that let you decide whether you prefer a sharper picture... or smoother motion. You also control whether your video sending is on or off... to protect privacy. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.