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The greater 1 MHz bandwidth and 6 Mbit/s bit rate of the AT&T Picturephone in the 1970s also did not achieve commercial success, mostly due to its high cost, but also due to a lack of network effect — with only a few hundred Picturephones in the world, users had extremely few contacts they could actually call to, and interoperability with other videophone systems would not exist for decades.

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One of the first commercial videoconferencing systems sold to companies came from Picture Tel Corp., which had an Initial Public Offering in November, 1984.

In 1984, Concept Communication in the United States replaced the then-100 pound, US$100,000 computers necessary for teleconferencing, with a $12,000 circuit board that doubled the video frame rate from 15 up to 30 frames per second, and which reduced the equipment to the size of a circuit board fitting into standard personal computers.

The concept of videotelephony was first conceived in the late 1870s in both the United States and Europe, although the basic sciences to permit its very earliest trials would take nearly a half century to be discovered.

This was first embodied in the device which came to be known as the video telephone, or videophone, and it evolved from intensive research and experimentation in several telecommunication fields, notably electrical telegraphy, telephony, radio, and television.

This technique was very expensive, though, and could not be used for applications such as telemedicine, distance education, and business meetings.

Attempts at using normal telephony networks to transmit slow-scan video, such as the first systems developed by AT&T Corporation, first researched in the 1950s, failed mostly due to the poor picture quality and the lack of efficient video compression techniques.

Videoconferencing systems throughout the 1990s rapidly evolved from very expensive proprietary equipment, software and network requirements to a standards-based technology readily available to the general public at a reasonable cost.

Finally, in the 1990s, Internet Protocol-based videoconferencing became possible, and more efficient video compression technologies were developed, permitting desktop, or personal computer (PC)-based videoconferencing.

At the dawn of its commercial deployment from the 1950s through the 1990s, videotelephony also included "image phones" which would exchange still images between units every few seconds over conventional POTS-type telephone lines, essentially the same as slow scan TV systems.

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