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COMMUNICATION: Microsoft Portrait 2.1 with Smartphone support released
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 15.05.03 - 08:54:35 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News - Viewed 8293x
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Jiang Li, the brain behind Microsoft Research's Portrait for PC, Handheld PC and Pocket PC just informed me, that version 2.1 (see my review of version 2.0 here) was released with Smartphone support now as well as an video codec API for developers:

Microsoft Portrait 2.1, a research prototype for mobile video communication was released. Microsoft Portrait now supports Smartphone.
We provide video codec API in this version as requested by lots of developers.

Microsoft Portrait is a research prototype for mobile video communication. It supports .NET Messenger Service, Session Initiation Protocol and Internet Locator Service on PCs, Pocket PCs, Handheld PCs and Smartphone. It runs on local area networks, dialup networks and even wireless networks with bandwidths as low as 9.6 kilobits/second.
Microsoft Portrait delivers portrait-like video if users are in low bandwidths and displays full-color video if users are in broadband. In low bandwidths, portrait video possesses clearer shape, smoother motion, shorter latency and much cheaper computational cost than do conventional video technologies. Microsoft Portrait pursues providing presence notification, chat/voice/video functions anytime, anywhere, on any device.

I will give Portrait a closer look later.

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by Arne Hess on 15.05.03 - 10:21:23

Now only if someone creates a dongle/ adaptor that can rotate the Canary/Tanager camera to face the caller.

Then you'll have real videophone capability.

Mabuhay ~ Carlo

Posted by Arne Hess on 15.05.03 - 12:31:35

If Portrait doesn't install on your Smartphone it's because for any reason it tries to install the Pocket PC version, not the Smartphone

version. This ends that Portrait isn't installed on your Smartphone but in the ActiveSync queue for an installation on a Pocket PC!

I had to install the cab file by hand which you can find here on your PC:

C:Program FilesMicrosoft ActiveSyncMicrosoft PortraitportraitSP.ARM.CAB

Copy it to your Smartphone and run the installation with a file explorer from there, than it installs and will even ask you where to install.

Posted by Bill on 19.05.03 - 18:25:52


Does the intro of Portrait by Microsoft mean that 3 party videplayers such as Emblaze and PacketVideo will now be side-lined..??

Posted by Arne Hess on 19.05.03 - 21:00:28

@Bill: No, that's completely different.

Portrait is optimized 2-way audio and video for Voice/Video over IP as real-time communication while Emplaze and PacketVideo is Video on Demand.

Posted by Bill on 21.05.03 - 00:48:40

Hi Arne

Many thanks for the reply.

I'm must confess that I'm not a tech person and still a bit confused about where Portrait stands in relation to the others. I hope that you don't mind a further question...

I know tha Emblaze does video-on-demand (download & play?), but the company also claims to be able to stream audio/video (off the air with a little latency) and this would seem to be supported in press releases from those carriers (Orange/Wind/MM02) who are trialing their technology over 2.5G. As far as I am aware, the companies mentioned are offering a standards based end to end solution to the networks.

Both Emblaze and Packetvideo have licenced Microsoft's Windows CE for use their solutions. Both seem well entrenched on MS side in the battle with Realnetworks for the handheld market.

As far as I know, the Emblaze player bit on a handset is just a small java applet of 40k or so for decode etc - most of the hard work is performed at the server end. I'm trying to understand (with limited knowledge I hear you say!) is how all the parts fit together - Portrait with Emblaze/Pv. Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Kind regards


Posted by Arne Hess on 21.05.03 - 11:55:43

Hi Bill!

You are on the right track, overall. :-) Emblaze and PacketVideo do streaming video/audio, doesn't matter if it on demand or live BUT and this is the difference, it's transmitted from a (streaming) server to a device and point to multi-point. Many users access this single stream. Another comparable player is the Windows Mediaplayer.

Portrait on the other side also does streaming video/audio but not from a server but from another device/PC. No server in the middle is used for streaming/transmission and it works point to point. So I can stream my webcam to your device and can talk with you. It's live, not instant! A comparable product to Portrait is MSN Messenger, or better Microsoft Netmeeting.

Maybe the biggest difference between the players you mentioned and Portrait is that these players above are players only, they play videos and audio only (doesn't matter if local or streamed); while Portrait is a client which streams on two directions: to you/your device and from you/your device!

Posted by Bill on 21.05.03 - 22:21:52

Thanks Arne,

The fog is clearing... I can now see what you're getting at.

It simply has never occured to me that a 2.5G smartphone/pda would have enough processing power to encode/decode and then transmit video like this.

As far as I'm aware the up-signal (widthband-wise) from a handset is usually a good deal narrower than the down-signal from the cell mast. Also, I would have thought that the battery drain using a handset for video in this way would be very power hungry.

Or are we only talking future 3G devices


Perhaps anyway, it's time for me to lay aside my old steam cellphone and buy something more modern. 0))

Many thanks for your help.


Posted by will on 22.05.03 - 20:32:07

hi there, i was wondering if it's possible to make pocket pc to phone calls over IP using ms portrait, or any other service for that matter.



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