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What is Duo Video / H.239 / People+Content?

Tandberg (now a Cisco organization) developed and marketed a technology that was later merged into the H.239 standard, which they called Duo Video. This, as the name implies, allowed users to send and receive two video channels between video conferencing endpoints.

This Tandberg technology worked well between Tandberg systems but did not interoperate consistently with Tandberg's chief technology rival, Polycom's own similarly capable technology called "People + Content".

Over time, a standard was developed and adopted by both Tandberg and Polycom which allows cross platform dual channel communications between video conferencing endpoints and multi point conferencing systems. This cooperation and development work between both Tandberg and Polycom later resulted in the H.239 standard. Cisco markets H.239 capability as a feature called NPP (Natural Presenter Package).

Advantages of DuoVideo / H.239

Duo Video is similar to H.239. H.239, when invoked between video conferencing systems, enables video conference meeting participants to both see people and to share images from another video source (typically a PC or Mac) at the same time. The important result is that a group of people in location A can see and hear the people in location B while all participants in both location A and B see and interact with a presentation.

Disadvantages of DuoVideo / H.239

Enabling PC images to display well on different displays at various locations simultaneously can be difficult because presentation aspect ratios can vary. For example, LED/PLASMA/LCD displays can present images in 4:3 or in 16:9 aspect ratios. Still others displays such as projectors can display images in 16:10 aspect ratios to match projection screen dimensions. These display parameters must be matched with the display capabilities of the video conferencing systems in order to produce clear and well formatted secondary video channel views.

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