Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Talk To Santa By Video Phone

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and he's as overworked as today's technology professionals. Not only does he have to support the legacy communication system of handwritten letters, but he must embrace the latest in VoIP video phones as well. Fortunately that's no problem for the man in red.

Oh, you haven't heard? Santa has been keeping up with the advances in telecommunications. His smiling face and hearty HO, HO, HO appear on Packet8 video phones thanks to 8x8, the company that invented this technology. Each year, kids at children's hospitals around the country have the opportunity to "Video Call Santa at the North Pole." But this year, the program is being opened to new Packet8 VideoPhone subscribers who want to see and chat with Santa at the North Pole. That could be you or someone at your house. Only a limited number of 10 minute slots are available, so be forewarned.

What you need to participate is the fantastic Packet8 Broadband VideoPhone. This is the product that has finally made video telephone service practical. It looks like a desk telephone with a video screen, like the ones you see on portable DVD players, added. That screen also contains a camera so that all video conversations have voice and picture in both directions.

This is no toy, but you'll have more than your share of fun when you move up to video phones. The Packet8 Broadband VideoPhone shows live full-motion video in brilliant color. There's no room full of touchy equipment to set up. You just call any party who has an identical video phone and when they answer you'll be able to see as well as speak to each other. Of course, you can still make regular voice telephone calls to people who are not yet lucky enough to own once of these video phones.

The breakthrough technology comes through using the Internet to carry the video phone calls. Normal telephone circuits just don't have the capacity to carry both voice and pictures. Earlier attempts have resulted in fuzzy and jerky pictures. Not with the Packet8 Broadband VideoPhone. You don't plug it into a phone line. Instead, you connect it to your broadband DSL or cable modem router. It shares your broadband connection with any computers you are using on the Internet.

How much does this cost? Right now you can get a pair of Packet8 Broadband VideoPhones for just $299.99 when you order them with a two-year $19.95 a month service contract per phone. Your videophone service gives you unlimited video and telephone calling to anyone in the 50 United States and Canada, plus Packet8 subscribers worldwide.

Even if all the promotional timeslots for the Santa calls are taken by now, you know where Santa lives, right? No reason at all that he can't be on the VideoPhone at, say, Uncle Bob's house, right? Wink, Wink. You may also enjoy tracking Santa's flight on Christmas Eve at the Official NORAD Tracking site.

After the holidays, you'll find lots more uses for your videophones. They're perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, new members of the family and just staying in touch with the folks far away. Use your imagination. Once you've experienced live video calls, ordinary telephone calls will seem so last century. Maybe even the century before.

Oh, you do have broadband Internet service, right? You'll need it for videophone service. Dial-up just isn't fast enough. Find DSL and Cable broadband service here.

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