What is ProShare?
What is ProShare?
Jonn Martell (), a Network Analyst at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, said:
I’ve used both the Intel “ProShare Video” and CU-SeeMe (Windows) for several months now. Now that the ProShare LAN product is released, I’m surprised that I haven’t seen any traffic relating to it.
I don’t think you can really compare ProShare with CU-SeeMe.
Both are probably the top in their area.
I’ll give a brief overview which is by no mean complete.
In short, each has advantages the other doesn’t have.
Intel ProShare 200 (ISDN and LAN), ProShare 150 (LAN only)
A hardware based video conferencing product that requires 2 ISA slots (one for the Intel Indeo Video board and the other for the ISDN/Sound board). I think the 150 only has one card but it’s a brand new product that I haven’t seen yet.
The current version (1.8) has just been officially released a few weeks ago.
It adds LAN based support on top of ISDN (the product was ISDN only in previous versions).
For LAN support, you need an ethernet card that supports IPX, IP (LAN Workplace/Novell TCP/IP only – no Winsock yet 🙁
It also support NETBIOS but I haven’t tested which flavor – I suspect it supports Novell’s encapsulated NETBIOS but not NetBEUI…
The unit requires a “Conferencing Manager” that limits the bandwidth utilization to whatever you set it to.
The CM unit is not required for ISDN since ISDN is point to point.
For the LAN version, the docs mention 250 Kbps per (dual) session and 650 Kbps for high quality – I have yet to test the actual requirements but they would vary depending on the transmission and I would expect them to be within the documented range.
A Conferencing Manager is what CU-SeeMe needs. The conferencing manager is a must – education works but when the product becomes widespread, you cannot expect to be able to explain the technology before people start using it. Let’s face it folks, people have problems unsubscribing from email lists!! and that’s a lot easier than figuring out bandwidth implications! 😉
Getting back to ProShare… The ISDN requires dual channels (128 Kbps) – which we have yet to test out because of Northern Telecom switch problems (btw, does anyone know of a good & inexpensive campus ISDN switch or PBX???).
The biggest drawback to ProShare is cost (a few K$) and is limited to one to one communications (unlike CU-SeeMe). It’s also limited to the Windows platform (no support for Mac, NT or Unix although that might change in the near future).
The biggest advantage is that it’s an released product, it’s color and the sound is flawless. The package come with a great little earpiece that acts as earphone and microphone. The product also has a whiteboard which enables individuals to share documents, pictures and even applications.
In some way, CU-SeeMe is more advanced because of the software compression, one to many conferencing and cross-platform capabilities but ProShare is more of a complete product and probably currently the best price/performance system for Windows users.
On 12 Dec 1994 Dan Updegrove () said:
Just had a demo from my Intel rep on ProShare, which comes in four packages for high-end Windows PCs only:
Point-to-point white-board and limited info sharing ($99)
Above plus application sharing ($299)
Above plus color video & audio over IPX, IP, NetBIOS ($2,500), which includes a zooming color camera and a video compression board
Above plus support for ISDN ($1,500 with ISDN contract signed within 90 days — at least that’s the deal here in Pennsylvania).
This is a very slick product suite that is being marketed (to date) as an ISDN or LAN service; it’s use on the Internet has not, apparently, been given a lot of thought. Since it wants 200 kbps using UDP, ProShare is not a very Internet-friendly application, but at least it’s point-to-point.
I’d urge CU-SeeMe devotees to have a look — if for no other reason than to see what “the competition” is up to. I got the impression, by the way, that Intel has no interest in a MacOS version.
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