A Wireless Videophone for the Holidays

By Eric Griffith

December 17, 2003

D-Link's Ethernet and Internet-based videophone recently won some awards, so there's no better time to introduce a wireless version suitable for home networks.

Home and small-business networking equipment maker D-Link Systems today announced a wireless version of their successful broadband videophone.

The new D-Link AirPlus Wireless i2eye VideoPhone, model DVC-1100, uses 802.11g or 11b connections to an access point/router. Connections to other videophone cameras are then handled over the Internet.

The original version, the DVC-1000, used an Ethernet cable to connect to a broadband router. That videophone recently won a Product of the Year award from Electronic House Publishing.

Both versions of the i2eye videophone cameras use D-Link's free i2eye directory service -- it's where every unit is registered online. The videophones match up with the phone number of the owner -- that's the number others use to seek them out a person for a video/audio conversation. The camera itself can store up to 50 contacts from the directory. All of this is done by connecting the videophone camera to a television and the broadband connection only-- no PC or phone line is needed (although a phone can be hooked to the camera to ring when a video call is received).

The included remote control will run the unit from a distance. Upgrades are automatic when available and don't require separate firmware downloads via the PC.

Both camera versions, wireless and wired, adhere to the ITU protocol H.323 for video streaming and conferencing. The audio is full-duplex so you won't step on each other in conversations. Only one-to-one conferences are currently supported.

The unit will come with a site survey tool, which according to D-Link president and CEO Steven Joe is "for automatically connecting to an existing wireless network."

Security on the device is wired equivalent privacy (WEP), not Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), but the WEP support does go up to 256-bit key encryption like on other D-Link products. It also supports SSID filtering.

The wireless DVC-1100 will be available this month for $249 MSRP. The wired version currently sells for $199 on D-Link's Web site.

D-Link recently moved from Irvine, Calif. to a new, larger headquarters in Fountain Valley, keeping up with growth it has seen in sales for several months according to numbers from Synergy Research Group, where it is number two only to Cisco's Linksys division.

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