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Industry Directory of Streaming Media
 

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HOW TO USE THIS SITE

The grey buttons above are the various categories (components) required to stream multimedia from a website. Each category has a brief laymans description and an industry listing of all the companies that provide that service.

Companies listed with a Specifications, Demo and Contact Information link will allow you to see a demo of the product for your evaluation. In addition, the technical specifications for the product and the proper contact information is listed.


This site is a directory for executives, entrepreneurs, webmasters, entertainment professionals and others considering using Streaming Video and/or Streaming Audio for a web site or elsewhere.

The site also provides a basic introduction to the Streaming Media industry, which includes:

  • Streaming Technologies (Video, Audio, E-Mail, Text, Interactive and Wireless)
  • Encoding
  • Servers
  • Plugins
  • Codecs
  • Please read our DISCLAIMERS

    Introduction

    Streaming Video, Audio and other data (media) is one of the fastest growing industries on the internet today. According to the Gartner Group, they estimate that in 1999 the number of companies using streaming on their websites has increased from 9 to 17 percent. Before streaming existed, one would have to download an entire video or audio file, which created very long waiting times before being able to view and/or listen to it. As an example, a 10 megabyte (MB) Video file would take the following amount of time for download:

    Download
    Speed
    Time to Download
    10 MB (minutes)
    Cable Modem 3.3 Minutes
    56 K 15 Minutes
    28 K 30 Minutes


    Considering that the average internet viewer spends only 8 seconds looking at your site before they are "gone forever," these download times are too long. Most people either do not completely download or view the file.   In February of 1999, Lucasfilm came out with a trailer on their website for the upcoming Star Wars movie. It was a 50 MB video file. Traffic and download requests at StarWars.com were incredibly high for the next 48 hours and most were unable to view the trailer. (The entire internet was also sluggish due to the high traffic).


    What is Streaming?


    Streaming sends packets of data to the viewers computer, which then plays as it receives the packets of data. The viewer is then able to see the video and/or hear the audio almost immediately. Its similar to watching each frame on a movie reel as you receive it. This creates a plethora of possibilities for anyone using the internet. Some examples are:

    Instant Video on demand
  • Product videos allowing a potential customer to see and hear it in the real world before buying
  • Instructional Videos on the use of a product for customers or employees to view from home (known as distance learning)
  • Entertainment such as movies or home videos
  • Instant Audio on demand
  • Instructional Audios on a product or for customers or employees
  • Audio Books or other literature spoken from the author
  • Entertainment such as Music
  • Personal use (ie: first sounds your child makes)

  • The most important aspect of the above is that it is on demand, ie: the person gets to view/listen at their leisure at anytime and can view it numerous times. One can also conduct WebCasts, which is Live Real-Time Broadcasting of a live event, like a rock concert, football game or a radio station's broadcasts. (The viewer must be on the internet the same time as the webcast).

    The examples above are one-way streaming. That is, the viewer receives the data only.

    Now, add to this the ability for interactivity. Some companies listed in the Interactive section have this ability. Some examples of Streaming with interactivity are:

    Two-Way Interactive Video Streaming

  • A live web conference where both see and hear each other. One person is in the USA and the other is in Australia.

  • An online operator can be seen and heard by a web-based customer, assisting with the purchase of a product the customer is having problems purchasing online.

  • One to Many Interactive Video Streaming
  • Business meetings where many see one individual, the presentation, etc. and all can type their viewpoints to the presenter or to each other.

  • Live events such as concerts or sporting events can be viewed by many and all can type their comments into a common "chat forum" so the viewers can interact with each other.

  • It is the belief of many in the internet industry that Streaming may replace television and radio. For that reason, many major entertainment companies are currently engaged in some form of streaming use and/or research on their websites. This can be easily seen by attending one or more of the conferences in this industry. In addition, most Wall Street firms use some form of streaming at this time, and many are using video streaming for their international conferences and meetings. According to IDC, streaming video is expected to increase distance learning sales from USD $ 1.1 billion in 1999 to USD $ 7.1 billion by the year 2002.




    Some books on the subject are:

  • Guide to Streaming Multimedia (1998) by Jose Alvear
  • Guide to Webcasting (1998), by Peggy Miles
  • Inside Windows Media : Learn to Combine Video, Audio, and Still Images to Create Streaming Media (1999) by Microsoft
  • The Filmmaker's Handbook : A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age (1999), by Steven Ascher, Edward Pincus & others
  • Easy Digital Video : The Beginners Guide to Everything Digital (1998), by Scott Slaughter




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