Lots of money and hassle for the pleasure of talking to a jerky black and white picture of someone else who's been through the same expensive, lengthy procedure. This is the image many people have of video conferencing.

But they are wrong, says Creative Labs, a multimedia company hoping to rescue the reputation of video conferencing. Its ShareVision PC 3000, a PC-based product, doesn't require a pricey ISDN phone line and offers full voice, colour video, and text communications features. It will make its public dbut at the Windows Show at Olympia from 28 February to 3 March.

The product offers not just video conferencing, but also collaborative working, with an interactive on-line whiteboard, and the ability for both sides to work together on documents even when the application software is installed on only one user's system.

All the user needs is a phone line and a PC, albeit one with at least a 66Mhz 486DX2 processor, two free expansion slots, 8Mb of RAM, and 6Mb of free hard disk space.

ShareVision PC 3000 costs £999, less than half the price of many systems that need dedicated ISDN lines. Creative believes its features will expand the market for video conferencing beyond multinational businesses trying to save money on air tickets. It is targeting the system at creative and marketing services agencies, and the ever-expanding teleworking industry.