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Matrox now shipping the Millennium G550

by Rainier on Aug. 22, 2001 @ 6:39 p.m. PDT

Thanks to Digimask and LIPSinc, you can 'chat' online in 3D Online. Matrox Graphics Inc. today announced that the new Millennium G550 graphics card is now available from Matrox’s distributors. With the Millennium G550, computer users can create clones of their own heads and communicate to family and friends over the Internet via their digital twins.

“The Millennium G550, with its unique HeadCasting technology, takes voice over IP to the next level by letting you both see and hear a life-like 3D clone of your partner’s talking head,” says Dan Wood, vice president of marketing, Matrox Graphics Inc. “The G550 offers an exceptional alternative to video conferencing and it doesn’t require a high-speed Internet connection or use up huge amounts of bandwidth the way video conferencing does.”

Online Trends

Online communication continues to be a rapidly growing trend, but according to Forrester Research, only about 20 per cent of American home Internet users have access to broadband connections such as a cable modem or DSL connection. Strategis Group also points outs that a 56K modem is still the standard connection for approximately 57 per cent of business users in the US. What this means is that there are still a large number of Internet users who are not able to take full advantage of recent online communication applications, which are often bandwidth intensive.

Unique Bundle

Now, thanks to Matrox’s unique HeadCasting technology and partnerships with LIPSinc and Digimask, visual online communication is accessible to nearly all Internet users, even those using a 56K modem. The G550 comes bundled with three user-friendly packages: LIPSinc’s HeadFone for real-time online communication; Digimask, which creates a 3D replica of a person’s head from just two photographs; and Matrox’s exclusive application, the Matrox Virtual Presenter for Microsoft PowerPoint®, which allows the user to create a PowerPoint slide show accompanied by his or her own photo-realistic 3D head.

Powerful Features

The Millennium G550 DualHead® board is an AGP 4X device equipped with 32 MB of fast Double Data Rate (DDR) memory[i]. The board includes an integrated DVI-I output and extends Matrox’s lead in DualHead enabled graphics solutions with true multi-display support for Microsoft Windows® 2000[ii] and the latest eDualHeadTM features. The DualHead display capabilities of the Millennium G550 offer tremendous flexibility with one DVI-I output and one HD-15 output on the bracket with adaptors to convert the DVI to HD-15 and the HD-15 to composite or S-video. Matrox’s unique DualHead DVDMax mode provides the highest quality DVD playback and now supports streaming video playback over the Internet for a truly immersive Internet experience.

The Millennium G550 is based on the Matrox G550’s powerful 2D/3D engine, which offers improved 3D performance and explosive Windows desktop acceleration[iii]. The 360 MHz UltraSharp RAMDAC pumps out super-crisp 2D image quality at resolutions up to 2048 x1536 at the highest colour depths and refresh rates making it the premier product on the market for 2D workstation users. Incorporating trusted design and features, the new Matrox G550 is fully supported by Matrox-pioneered unified driver architecture to lower total cost of ownership.

System requirements

The recommended system requirements for the Millennium G550 are a 450 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, 56K modem, Internet Explorer 5.5 and a microphone.

Retail and Bulk SKUs

The Estimated Street Price of the Millennium G550 retail version is £95 (exc. VAT). The Millennium G550 is also available in various bulk SKUs, including output to dual DVI-I enabled flat panels, through Matrox distributors and OEM partners.

About Matrox

Matrox Graphics Inc. is the only graphics chip designer and graphics card manufacturer who draws on 25 years of industry experience to provide customers with state-of-the-art 2D, 3D and digital video acceleration, vibrant image quality and real-world functionality. A quality and innovation leader, Matrox has been recognised with over 1,000 international awards for the Millennium, Marvel, Productiva and Mystique product lines. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Matrox is a privately held company with international offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Hong Kong. Information about Matrox products, drivers, technical support and more can be found at their website.

[i] Retail version only. OEM and SI versions may differ in features and specifications.

[ii] True multi-display support provides independent resolutions and colour depths under Windows 2000.

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