An experiment in videoconferencing

An early experiment was carried out by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in 1992 with the cooperation of the AIIC Technical and Health Committee.

The conditions of the ETSI experiment included sound at 7 kHz (i.e. a bit rate of 384) and 3.1 kHz (a bit rate of 128), which represent the upper and lower ends of ISDN sound quality. Even the best ISDN sound is at present considerably lower than the 12,500 kHz stipulated for interpretation equipment in ISO standards 2603 and 4043, and IEC standard 60914.

At the time, the ETSI concluded: "We now know that the lower levels of video and audio bandwidth do not support simultaneous interpretation, leaving open for further study the possibilities for the higher level, especially with further improvements in codec design leading to improved picture and, above all, sound."

The videoconferencing demonstration organised by the aiic Technical and Health Committee in 1997 gave interpreters the opportunity to compare satellite broadband sound with transmission via improved copper telephone cable, i.e. ISDN sound.

Indeed, the demonstration confirmed the ETSI findings: accurate interpretation cannot be guaranteed at the current state of the art in videoconferencing systems.

A copy of the ETSI study can be obtained from the aiic Secretariat in Geneva, or directly from the ETSI Secretariat:

European Telecommunications Standards Institute


    Postal address: F-06921 Sophia Antipolis CEDEX - FRANCE
    Office address
    : 650 Route des Lucioles - Sophia Antipolis -Valbonne - FRANCE


Recommended citation format:
Technical Committee. "An experiment in videoconferencing". March 24, 2000. Accessed February 17, 2019. <>.

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