06590604 is referenced by 233 patents.
A personal videoconferencing system includes a videoconferencing appliance connected to a personal computer through a Universal Serial Bus (USB) or similar connection. The appliance is provided with a video camera and microphone for generating local video and audio streams. The local video and audio streams are compressed by a video and audio encoder residing at the appliance, and the compressed video and audio streams are conveyed to the personal computer over the USB connection. The appliance may be further provided with an audio decoder for decompressing a remote audio stream received by the personal computer through a network interface and conveyed to the appliance via the USB connection. A video decoder, located on the personal computer, is configured to decompress the local video stream (received through the USB connection) as well as a remote video stream received through the network interface. The decompressed video streams are then sent to a monitor for display to a user. The decompressed audio stream may be played either at a loudspeaker coupled to the audio decoder or at the personal computer.