Placing Images And Multimedia On the Corporate Network

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 Placing Images And Multimedia On the Corporate Network  





Until recently, it was rare for a corporate network to transport images, and multimedia was more talked about than actually available. The primary use of images was for incorporation into word processing or desktop publishing applications, and most images remained local to the personal computer they were stored on.

The use of images has moved off the individual PC workstation and onto network servers and mainframes, making images available for retrieval by virtually any employee with a PC connected to a local area network or to the corporate network. In addition, the recent standardization of multimedia data storage has increased the ability of organizations to purchase or develop applications that merge audio, video, and data.

This chapter discusses methods of restructuring an existing network to accommodate the transportation of images and multimedia cost-effectively. The chapter also reviews techniques that enhance the transmission of images while minimizing their effect on the network.


In spite of the vast increase in the amount of data that must be transported to support image applications, the use of imaging is rapidly increasing. The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is especially true when considering many computer applications.

Today, several network-compliant data base programs support the attachment of image files to data base records. Using a Canon digital camera or similar product, real estate agents can photograph the exterior and interior of homes and transfer the digitized images to the network server upon their return to the office. When a potential client comes into the office, an agent can enter the client’s home criteria, such as the number of bedrooms, baths, price range, school district, and similar information, and have textual information as well as photographs of the suitable homes meeting the client’s criteria displayed on their screen. This capability significantly reduces the time required to develop a list of homes that the client may wish to physically view.


The primary use of audio is to supplement images and text with sound. Unlike a conventional PC, which can display any image supported by the resolution of the computer’s monitor, the use of audio requires specialized equipment. First, the computer must have a sound board or specialized adapter card that supports the method used to digitize audio. Second, each computer must have one or more speakers connected to the sound board or speech adapter card to broadcast the resulting reconverted analog signal.


The term multimedia is a catchall phrase that refers to the use of two or more methods for conveying information. Thus, multimedia can include voice or sound (both collectively referred to as audio), still images, moving images, and fax images, as well as text documents. This means that multimedia can be considered an extension of image storage. To understand how multimedia data storage requirements differ from conventional data storage requirements; these requirements are especially evident when considering the storage of images.





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