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Uncompressed high-definition videoconferencing tools for telemedicine and distance learning.
Uncompressed high-definition (HD) video image quality is superior to compressed HD video provided in most commercially available videoconferencing products. Uncompressed HD videoconferencing tools provide a more immersive experience because there is no reduction of image information and, in most cases, lower latency. Four open source uncompressed video applications are reviewed that have been tested at the National Library of Medicine: three transmitting uncompressed HD video and one transmitting loosely compressed standard-definition video. The technical requirements for implementing each are described, and test results in terms of image quality, latency, and application reliability are presented. Because the hardware and bandwidth requirements for uncompressed HD video are relatively high and most applications are still under development, they are generally not ready for mass deployment. Some are, however, ready for pilot testing and experimentation in clinical settings by either those who have or anticipate having bandwidth sufficient to support them or those interested in researching the effects higher-quality video may have on diagnostic and other clinical outcomes.