WorldGate Communications, while continuing to push the standalone video phone concept, opened the door a crack to other video-centric communications devices by making its high-performance Ojo phones "backward compatible" with older video phone codecs under the H.263 umbrella.

This, said Hal Krisbergh, the company’s chairman-CEO, will help service providers overcome concerns that Ojo is proprietary and "ensures that you’re not going to get stuck when you buy a technology."

WorldGate also said a little more quietly – could they too be a silent partner in the mysterious JV about which no one wants to talk these days? – announced that while it will continue to promote Ojo-to-Ojo communications, it won’t stop Webcam aficionados from talking to Ojos as well.

"Not only is (Ojo) interoperable with other video phones, but it will also be interoperable with Webcams, although the performance won’t be as good as an Ojo because the PC can’t deliver the quality we can deliver," Krisbergh said. "It will be an ancillary market for people that have Ojos; not only can they use them for Ojo-to-Ojo communications, but they can at least call up and use that Webcam." – Jim Barthold

The Daily

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C-Spire’s Headed to Alabama

C-Spire signed an agreement to acquire Alabama-based Troy Cablevision . Troy, founded in 1985, offers cable, internet and fiber

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