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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.
An example of that was the German Reich Postzentralamt (post office) video telephone network serving Berlin and several German cities via coaxial cables between 19.
The development of the crucial video technology first started in the latter half of the 1920s in the United Kingdom and the United States, spurred notably by John Logie Baird and AT&T's Bell Labs.
TV channels routinely use this type of videotelephony when reporting from distant locations.
In 1984, Concept Communication in the United States replaced the then-100 pound, US0,000 computers necessary for teleconferencing, with a ,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 development of advanced video codecs, more powerful CPUs, and high-bandwidth Internet telecommunication services in the late 1990s allowed videophones to provide high quality low-cost colour service between users almost anyplace in the world that the Internet is available.
Although not as widely used in everyday communications as audio-only and text communication, useful applications include sign language transmission for deaf and speech-impaired people, distance education, telemedicine, and overcoming mobility issues.
Simple analog videophone communication could be established as early as the invention of the television.
Such an antecedent usually consisted of two closed-circuit television systems connected via coax cable or radio.