Live streaming media is the transmission over the Internet of video of an event as it happens. Streaming is a form of online video in which the site sends video footage to a user’s machine “on the fly” rather than as a complete file.
It’s akin to the difference between watching a TV show as it airs and watching a DVD. Live streaming media is different than on-demand streaming. With the latter, the content has previously been recorded. The user then accesses it at a time of their choice, though it is still streamed to their machine rather than downloaded as a complete file.
YouTube is probably the best known on-demand streaming site. The quality of live streaming media can be extremely variable. One factor affecting it is the technology the producers of the content have used to produce the streamed file. In some cases it may deliberately be kept to a small window size or low resolution. The quality is also affected by the amount of bandwidth the website has purchased for transmitting the content.
Generally, paid streams will be better quality. This is partly because paid customers are less tolerant of stuttering or low-resolution video.
However, it’s also because a site charging for content will know exactly how many people will be watching and thus don’t run the risk of not having enough bandwidth. There are two different ways of viewing live streaming media. In one system, the content is only available directly through the relevant website, often using software which is built into the site itself. In another system, viewers will be able to watch the video through their own standalone media player software.
The website will either provide links to open the video in the software, or will provide a dedicated website address for the video itself which the user then types into their player. Live Internet streaming is also used illegally to broadcast television footage, particularly of pay-per-view events. The quality of such streams is even more variable and, of course, it’s much more difficult, or even impossible, to complain or take legal action if you don’t get what you are promised.
While some illegal streams involve direct connections to a cable TV feed of the relevant program, other work by simply pointing a webcam at a TV screen showing the footage. With legitimate live Internet streaming, some sites may impose restrictions on which sites the content can be viewed in. This is usually down to broadcasting rights which cover the countries in which the site is licensed to transmit the footage. These restrictions are not popular with users who believe international boundaries should not apply to the Internet.
Some of these users find ways to disguise their computer’s location so that they can watch the footage. | Webcasting is a broadcasting method that is nearly identical to TV broadcasting, only it is done online and there are different licenses involved. A webcaster is any person or entity that participates in webcasting, and a webcaster can be an established company or a single person. The most common type of webcaster is a musician or band, while the other common types are business people and commercial presentations.
Webconferencing is similar to webcasting, but they are not considered the same because the former is many people broadcasting to many people, while webcasting is one entity broadcasting to many. In America, a webcaster is legally known as an entity or person who obtained a webcasting license section 112 or 114 from the U. S. Copyright Office, makes nonsubscription transmissions, and creates ephemeral webcasts. The license needed for webcasting costs a fee and outlines guidelines for what can, and cannot, be done on a webcast. The ephemeral recording section means the webcast is done for a temporary time, just as a TV broadcast.
Other regions may have other licenses involved for legal webcasting. Video social media websites, where users record and post videos of themselves or commercial entities may upload episodes of shows or music videos, are not considered webcasts. While a user is similar to a webcaster, there are three main differences between these users and a webcaster. First, the recording is saved on a server for a prolonged amount of time, which goes against the ephemeral recording definition. The users also are not licensed for webcasting, and webcasts are recorded or broadcast live.
Webcasts are all live recordings. This means the webcasters are recorded live, without editing or cuts. The recording may be streamed as it is going on, or it may be webcasted later, but still in live fashion. There are two main sectors that perform webcasting: entertainment and commercial. On the entertainment side, musicians and other types of entertainers such as comedians and actors may perform on a live webcast. The other sector, the commercial sector, is typically done for business and investor relations webcasting, so people do not have to travel far to hear what is going on with a company.
Webconferencing is a technique that has been used by business people so various groups can talk to one another from a distance; while similar to webcasting, it is not the same. One difference is the intent. Webcasting is broadcast to other computers so the other members can watch, and participation is not always part of the broadcast. Webconferencing is not for watching, but so each member can speak and participate in a conference over the Internet. The other reason is the flow of the video, because webcasting is one entity to many, whereas webconferencing is many people participating with many people. Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a streaming provider. [note 1] The name refers to the delivery method of the medium rather than to the medium itself. The distinction is usually applied to media that are distributed over telecommunications networks, as most other delivery systems are either inherently streaming (e. g. , radio, television) or inherently non-streaming (e. g. , books, video cassettes, audio CDs). The verb ‘to stream’ is also derived from this term, meaning to deliver media in this manner.
Internet television is a commonly streamed medium. Live streaming, more specifically, means taking the media and broadcasting it live over the Internet. The process involves a camera for the media, an encoder to digitize the content, a media publisher where the streams are made available to potential end-users and a content delivery network to distribute and deliver the content. The media can then be viewed by end-users live. Security remains one of the main challenges with this new methodology. Digital rights management (DRM) systems are an example of a solution to keep this content secure.
Contents * 1 History * 2 Streaming bandwidth and storage * 3 Codec, bitstream, transport, control * 4 Protocol issues * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 6. 1 Footnotes * 6. 2 Citations History Attempts to display media on computers date back to the earliest days of computing in the mid-20th century. However, little progress was made for several decades, primarily due to the high cost and limited capabilities of computer hardware. From the late 1980s through the 1990s, consumer-grade personal computers became powerful enough to display various media.
The primary technical issues related to streaming were: * having enough CPU power and bus bandwidth to support the required data rates * creating low-latency interrupt paths in the operating system (OS) to prevent buffer underrun. However, computer networks were still limited, and media was usually delivered over non-streaming channels, such as by downloading a digital file from a remote server and then saving it to a local drive on the end user’s computer or storing it as a digital file and playing it back from CD-ROMs. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Internet users saw: greater network bandwidth, especially in the last mile * increased access to networks, especially the Internet * use of standard protocols and formats, such as TCP/IP, HTTP, andHTML * commercialization of the Internet. ————————————————- History In the early 1920s George O. Squier was granted patents for a system for the transmission and distribution of signals over electrical lines which was the technical basis for what later became muzak, a technology streaming continuous music to commercial customers without the use of radio.
Attempts to display media on computers date back to the earliest days of computing in the mid-20th century. However, little progress was made for several decades, primarily due to the high cost and limited capabilities of computer hardware. From the late 1980s through the 1990s, consumer-grade personal computers became powerful enough to display various media. The primary technical issues related to streaming were: * having enough CPU power and bus bandwidth to support the required data rates * creating low-latency interrupt paths in the operating system to prevent buffer underrun.
However, computer networks were still limited, and media were usually delivered over non-streaming channels, such as by downloading a digital file from a remote server and then saving it to a local drive on the end user’s computer or storing it as a digital file and playing it back from CD-ROMs. New technologies During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Internet users saw: * greater network bandwidth, especially in the last mile * increased access to networks, especially the Internet * use of standard protocols and formats, such as TCP/IP, HTTP, HTML * commercialization of the Internet. Severe Tire Damage” was the first band to perform live on the Internet. On June 24, 1993, the band was playing a gig at Xerox PARC while elsewhere in the building, scientists were discussing new technology (the Mbone) for broadcasting on the Internet using multicasting. As proof of their technology, the band was broadcast and could be seen live in Australia and elsewhere. RealNetworks was also a pioneer in the streaming media markets, when it broadcasted a baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners over the Internet in 1995. 3] The first symphonic concert on the internet took place at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, Washington on November 10, 1995. [verification needed] The concert was a collaboration between The Seattle Symphony and various guest musicians such as Slash (Guns ‘n Roses, Velvet Revolver), Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam), and Barrett Martin(Screaming Trees). When Word Magazine launched in 1995, they featured the first-ever streaming soundtracks on the Internet.
Using local downtown musicians the first music stream was “Big Wheel” by Karthik Swaminathan and the second being “When We Were Poor” by Karthik Swaminathan with Marc Ribot and Christine Bard.  Business developments Microsoft developed a media player known as ActiveMovie in 1995 that allowed streaming media and included a proprietary streaming format, which was the precursor to the streaming feature later in Windows Media Player 6. 4 in 1999. In June 1999 Apple also introduced a streaming media format in its QuickTime 4 application.
It was later also widely adopted on websites along with RealPlayer and Windows Media streaming formats. The competing formats on websites required each user to download the respective applications for streaming and resulted in many users having to have all three applications on their computer for general compatibility. Around 2002, the interest in a single, unified, streaming format and the widespread adoption of Adobe Flash prompted the development of a video streaming format through Flash, which is the format used in Flash-based players on many popular video hosting sites today such as YouTube.
Increasing consumer demand for live streaming has prompted YouTube to implement a new live streaming service to users.  Presently the company also offers a (secured) link returning the available connection speed of the user.  Consumerization of streaming These advances in computer networking, combined with powerful home computers and modern operating systems, made streaming media practical and affordable for ordinary consumers. Stand-alone Internet radio devices emerged to offer listeners a no-computer option for listening to audio streams.
In general, multimedia content has a large volume, so media storage and transmission costs are still significant. To offset this somewhat, media are generally compressed for both storage and streaming. Increasing consumer demand for streaming of high definition (HD) content has led the industry to develop a number of technologies such as WirelessHD or ITU-T G. hn, which are optimized for streaming HD content without forcing the user to install new networking cables. Today, a media stream can be streamed either live or on demand. Live streams are generally provided by a means called “true streaming”.
True streaming sends the information straight to the computer or device without saving the file to a hard disk. On-demand streaming is provided by a means called progressive streaming or progressive download. Progressive streaming saves the file to a hard disk and then is played from that location. On-demand streams are often saved to hard disks and servers for extended amounts of time; while the live streams are only available at one time only (e. g. , during the football game).  ————————————————- Streaming bandwidth and storage
A broadband speed of 2. 5 Mbit/s or more is recommended for streaming movies, for example to an Roku, Apple TV, Google TV or a Sony TV Blu-ray Disc Player, 10 Mbit/s for High Definition content.  Unicast connections require multiple connections from the same streaming server even when it streams the same content Streaming media storage size is calculated from the streaming bandwidth and length of the media using the following formula (for a single user and file): storage size (in megabytes) = length (in seconds) ? bit rate (in bit/s) / (8 ? 024 ? 1024)[note 1] Real world example: One hour of video encoded at 300 kbit/s (this is a typical broadband video as of 2005 and it is usually encoded in a 320 ? 240 pixels window size) will be: (3,600 s ? 300,000 bit/s) / (8? 1024? 1024) requires around 128 MB of storage. If the file is stored on a server for on-demand streaming and this stream is viewed by 1,000 people at the same time using a Unicastprotocol, the requirement is: 300 kbit/s ? 1,000 = 300,000 kbit/s = 300 Mbit/s of bandwidth This is equivalent to around 135 GB per hour.
Using a multicast protocol the server sends out only a single stream that is common to all users. Therefore such a stream would only use 300 kbit/s of serving bandwidth. See below for more information on these protocols. The calculation for live streaming is similar. Assumptions: speed at the encoder, is 500 kbit/s. If the show lasts for 3 hours with 3,000 viewers, then the calculation is: Number of MBs transferred = encoder speed (in bit/s) ? number of seconds ? number of viewers / (8*1024*1024) Number of MBs transferred = 500 x 1024 (bit/s) ? 3 ? ,600 ( = 3 hours) ? 3,000 (nbr of viewers) / (8*1024*1024) = 1,977,539 MB ————————————————- Codec, bitstream, transport, control The audio stream is compressed using an audio codec such as MP3, Vorbis or AAC. The video stream is compressed using a video codec such as H. 264 or VP8. Encoded audio and video streams are assembled in a container bitstream such as MP4, FLV, WebM, ASF or ISMA. The bitstream is delivered from a streaming server to a streaming client using a transport protocol, such as MMS or RTP.
Newer technologies such as HLS, Microsoft’s Smooth Streaming, and Adobe’s HDS have emerged to enable adaptive bitrate streaming over HTTP as an alternative to using proprietary transport protocols. The streaming client may interact with the streaming server using a control protocol, such as MMS or RTSP. ————————————————- Protocol problems Designing a network protocol to support streaming media raises many problems, such as: * Datagram protocols, such as the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), send the media stream as a series of small packets.
This is simple and efficient; however, there is no mechanism within the protocol to guarantee delivery. It is up to the receiving application to detect loss or corruption and recover data using error correction techniques. If data is lost, the stream may suffer a dropout. * The Real-time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) and the Real-time Transport Control Protocol (RTCP) were specifically designed to stream media over networks. RTSP runs over a variety of transport protocols, while the latter two are built on top of UDP. Another approach that seems to incorporate both the advantages of using a standard web protocol and the ability to be used for streaming even live content is adaptive bitrate streaming. HTTP adaptive bitrate streaming is based on HTTP progressive download, but contrary to the previous approach, here the files are very small, so that they can be compared to the streaming of packets, much like the case of using RTSP and RTP.  * Reliable protocols, such as the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), guarantee correct delivery of each bit in the media stream.
However, they accomplish this with a system of timeouts and retries, which makes them more complex to implement. It also means that when there is data loss on the network, the media stream stalls while the protocol handlers detect the loss and retransmit the missing data. Clients can minimize this effect by buffering data for display. While delay due to buffering is acceptable in video on demand scenarios, users of interactive applications such as video conferencing will experience a loss of fidelity if the delay that buffering contributes to exceeds 200 ms. 10] * Unicast protocols send a separate copy of the media stream from the server to each recipient. Unicast is the norm for most Internet connections, but does not scale well when many users want to view the same television program concurrently. Multicasting broadcasts the same copy of the multimedia over the entire network to a group of clients * Multicast protocols were developed to reduce the server/network loads resulting from duplicate data streams that occur when many recipients receive unicast content streams independently.
These protocols send a single stream from the source to a group of recipients. Depending on the network infrastructure and type, multicast transmission may or may not be feasible. One potential disadvantage of multicasting is the loss of video on demand functionality. Continuous streaming of radio or television material usually precludes the recipient’s ability to control playback. However, this problem can be mitigated by elements such as caching servers, digital set-top boxes, and buffered media players. * IP Multicast provides a means to send a single media stream to a group of recipients on a computer network.
A multicast protocol, usually Internet Group Management Protocol, is used to manage delivery of multicast streams to the groups of recipients on a LAN. One of the challenges in deploying IP multicast is that routers and firewalls between LANs must allow the passage of packets destined to multicast groups. If the organization that is serving the content has control over the network between server and recipients (i. e. , educational, government, and corporate intranets), then routing protocols such as Protocol Independent Multicast can be used to deliver stream content to multiple Local Area Network segments. Peer-to-peer (P2P) protocols arrange for prerecorded streams to be sent between computers. This prevents the server and its network connections from becoming a bottleneck. However, it raises technical, performance, quality, and business issues. ————————————————- A typical application, and new marketing concepts Useful – and typical – applications of the “streaming” concept are, for example, long video lectures performed “online” on the Internet.  An advantage of this presentation is that these lectures can be very long, indeed, although they can always be interrupted or repeated at rbitrary places. There are also new marketing concepts. For example the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra sells Internet live streams of whole concerts, instead of several CDs or similar fixed media, by their so-called “Digital Concert Hall”  using YouTube for “trailing” purposes only. These “online concerts” are also spread over a lot of different places – cinemas – at various places on the globe. A similar concept is used by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Livestream LLC| | Type| Private| Foundation date| New York, New York, United States|
Headquarters| 111, 8th Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10011, United States| Area served| Worldwide| Founder(s)| Max Haot Dayananda Nanjundappa Phil Worthington Mark Kornfilt| Key people| Max Haot (Chief Executive Officer) Dayananda Nanjundappa (Chief Technical Officer) Phil Worthington (Chief Product Officer) Mark Kornfilt (Chief Architect)| Employees| > 100| Slogan(s)| Discover & Experience Live Events| Website| livestream. com| Alexa rank| 1,324 (February 2013)| Registration| Optional (to broadcast)| Available in| English| Launched| 2007| Current status| Active|
A brief history of streaming media 1992 MBone RTP version 1 Audiocastof 23rdIETF mtg 1994 Rolling Stones concert on MBone 1995 ITU-T Recommendation H. 263 RealAudio launched 1996 Vivo launches VivoActive Microsoft announces NetShow RTSP draft submitted to IETF 1997 RealVideolaunched Microsoft buys VXtreme Netshow2. 0 released RealSystem5. 0 released RealNetworksIPO 1998 RealNetworksbuys Vivo Apple announces QuickTime Streaming RealSystemG2 introduced 1999 RealNetworksbuys Xing Yahoo buys Broadcast. com for $ 5. 7B Netshowbecomes WindowsMedia 2000 RealPlayer reaches 100 million users
Akamaibuys InterVufor $2. 8B Internet stock market bubble bursts WindowsMedia7. 0 RealSystem8. 0 ————————————————- History Livestream was cofounded in 2007 by Max Haot, Dayananda Nanjundappa, Phil Worthington, and Mark Kornfilt, and has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Bangalore.  It launched with a free streaming service, and introduced its white label “pro” service in April 2008 with Gannett Newspapers as its first customer. In July 2008, Gannett invested in Livestream with $10 million in funding.  In May 2009, Mogulus re-branded as Livestream. 4] ————————————————- Services Livestream is both a virtual television studio and embeddable video player, offering users the opportunity to produce and broadcast Web video in the manner of a television network. Users can stream live video or broadcast pre-recorded video in their channels, utilizing multiple cameras and on-screen graphics. Users may also collaborate with other producers anywhere in the world. Gannett Newspapers’ Indianapolis Star used Livestream to stream live coverage of the 2008 United States Presidential Election. 14] Livestream also broadcast the 2009 Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration as a live stream from New York City, while the Times Square Alliance embedded the Livestream player on its own site for simultaneous viewing.  Other users of Livestream to stream events include the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom.  It is also used by Columbia University.  Oracle, a multinational software development and consulting corporation, has integrated a customized Livestream page into its online presence. 18] Livestream is used to broadcast Facebook live announcements and interviews, the official live streaming channel from the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto. 1. Dynamic Content Will Replace Static Content Today, streaming media content creation is where Web authoring was in the mid-nineties. Most of us remember the early days of the Web, when sites were built by hand. Skilled artisans dutifully churned out HTML, page by page, to build a site. The resulting Web sites looked good at first glance. Very quickly, however, companies realized that these sites were difficult to maintain without a great deal of manual intervention.
Furthermore, presenting unique pages to individual visitors based on backend databases or user preferences was impossible. Although GUI tools emerged to help Webmasters quickly create individual pages, they alone were not enough. Companies realized that a data-driven approach to building Web sites was needed. Shortly thereafter, application servers that built individual Web pages from data stored in a database and an explosion of personalization technologies began to hit the market. As people begin to scale up their efforts with streaming content, the need for better ways to create and manage content will become critical.
Your marketing department, for instance, is going to ask for ways to target streaming messages to specific customers, and current authoring technologies are not going to cut it. More products will emerge that support the dynamic creation of streaming content and work in concert with application servers, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Knowledge Management (KM) systems. Back to top 2. Streaming Media Will Become More a Web-based Technology Than a Video-based Technology Currently, most streaming content is created in the same way that corporate marketing videos are produced.
A small crew — perhaps a producer, cameraman, and soundman —show up with a Betacam to capture the event on tape. After editing, digitizing, and encoding, the company ends up with a stream ready for the Web. The trouble with this approach, however, is threefold. It is too costly, it doesn’t scale, and it isn’t optimized for the Web. One emerging strategy for creating better Web content is known as “guerilla streaming. ” A single person with a “prosumer” (PROfessional quality conSUMER electronics) digital video camera (using the MiniDV format) quickly captures the event in one or two takes.
Post-production takes place on a PC with standard software like Adobe Premiere. The result is content that is developed specifically for the Web in a fraction of the time that it would take a traditional filming crew. We have seen Webmasters create complete video presentations with PowerPoint slides in less than one day. These new technologies allow existing Web team staff with minimal training in video production to create high-quality streaming content. Back to top 3. The Current Standards Battle Will Produce One or Two Winners Real Networks, Windows Media Player, Apple QuickTime, MPEG4, MPEG7, SMIL, SMIL 2….
OK, so who is going to win the standards battle? Today, most sites use either Real only or both the Real and Windows Media formats. It appears that, for the foreseeable future, Real Networks and Microsoft will control streaming on the desktop. Like the browser wars, this one will take a while to work itself out. Even if one standard “wins,” it is clear that companies will still have to support more than one media format. Right now it looks as if we are heading for an Internet Explorer-Netscape type of battle — approximately an 80-20 split. Both companies are pushing their own proprietary formats.
What matters to the application developer is that companies will need to support both standards and think about technologies that work seamlessly with both. What about all the new media players that provide “near TV experiences at dial-up speeds”? While the benefits of these products are compelling, they face major hurdles in the form of getting a critical mass of content encoded and desktop players installed. Back to top 4. Streaming Content Will Become More Synchronized with Other Media Web users are accustomed to the rich experience of browsing through pages and drilling down into information.
Sadly, most streaming content on the Web today consists of standalone video or audio files delivered through a media player. More and more, however, companies are creating “synchronized content. ” For example, presentations that include a talking head video with PowerPoint slides that change along with the speaker are becoming more popular. As streaming synchronization technologies improve, people will see more content that fulfills the Web’s promise of interactivity, such as video programs that respond directly to individual user interaction and educational courses that build in real-time feedback.
Today, Web developers lack the development tools to create these rich experiences and link them with existing backend systems to create these types of data driven, dynamically assembled experiences. Back to top 5. Live Media Will Make Way for On-Demand (Pre-recorded) Content If your have ever priced the cost of a live streaming event, you know how expensive it can be when all costs are included. The question is which communications must be live. Time-sensitive events like financial earnings calls or critical corporate information delivery require live streaming.
Beyond that one must weigh the benefits of real-time information with the price and performance pressures of a live event. Today, many companies are realizing that they can get many of the same benefits of live streaming by using on-demand content, and they can do so at a fraction of the cost of doing it live. By adding interactive elements like chat, polling, and phone-in teleconferencing, you can create the illusion of a live event without the on-the-spot performance pressures and expenses. Think back to the early days of television when most shows were live performances.
Contrast that with today when few programs, other than news and sporting events, are delivered live. The Web is inherently an asynchronous medium, and on-demand content will ultimately become prevalent. Back to top 6. Video Search and Mark-up Technology Will Continue to Improve As corporations increase their use of streaming, applications that can search (find the appropriate clip) and mark up (identify keywords, concepts, and scenes) video will become more important to managing the knowledge embedded in the content. Video search and markup could be the topic of a long article; there are a range of technologies you can implement today.
Most current search applications are based on two basic technologies: image searching and voice recognition. Image searching packages do a passable job of identifying scene changes and patterns in a video. Speech recognition continues to improve as CPUs get faster and data busses wider. Although most companies are thinking only about how to get streaming media online, tomorrow’s challenge lies in managing that streaming online content as another valuable piece of corporate data. Expect to see XML as a way to facilitate the exchange and re-purposing of content. Back to top 7.
The Last Mile Will Continue to Be a Barrier for the Consumer Now and for the foreseeable future, the ability to view high-quality streaming requires a broadband connection. Companies can still stream audio to the average AOL user, but streaming video to 56K users is limited as smaller video sizes, lower frame-rates, and buffering all lead to a low-quality experience. Obviously, audio streaming is one solution that is attractive for lower bandwidths audiences. We are, however, starting to see some organizations (see NFLFilms. com) putting disclaimers on their homepages that say the site is designed for broadband users.
Some developers are starting to segregate their audiences rather than develop to the lowest common denominator. Given the recent telecommunications meltdown, it also appears that the last mile will still be a barrier for the consumer market. Fortunately, most if not all enterprises have broadband connections to the desktop, making streaming even more attractive to the business user. Back to top 8. True Convergence Will Continue to Be a Mystery While people are still smarting from failed efforts in the early 1990s to develop interactive television, many talented teams continue to experiment with television/Internet simulcast events.
No one is sure, however, where these efforts are heading. We recently visited a major ad agency in New York City, which handles the branding for many of the biggest household brands in the US. They had assembled a team to experiment with a wide range of events for “Enhanced TV”-like programming during football games and synchronized Web content during educational shows. They freely admitted, however, that they didn’t really know where convergence was heading. They only knew that they needed to be a part of it.
What does this mean to the enterprise application developer? Expect the marketing team to dream up new ways to use Web content alongside traditional media. Although existing video and audio assets will eventually find their way to the corporate Web site, it remains unclear what business case will drive the mass adoption of “converged” technologies. Nevertheless, the consensus is that Internet and television technologies are on a crash course, and we can expect to see new applications that test the limits of current technology and capture our imagination.
As businesses test these technologies, new business cases are likely to emerge and drive their adoption. Back to top 9. Corporations Will Continue to Improve Network Infrastructure Despite the recent high-technology slowdown, the network has become the circulatory system for corporate information. Dependence on information technology is only increasing, and network infrastructure will grow along with it. The greatest challenge with streaming in the enterprise is bandwidth. New products are emerging to overcome problems associated with running bandwidth-intensive applications such as streaming media.
Low-cost stream caching devices can reduce the network load and move the content to the edge of the network. Advances in switching coupled with smart caching can only help improve bandwidth-intensive applications. Back to top 10. Entertainment Will Be Out, Positive ROI Projects Will Be In While the entertainment industry is still licking its wounds from numerous failed, ad-driven business ventures, business managers have found that streaming media is a cost effective way to train staff and partners, qualify sales leads faster, and enhance existing relationships.
For example, one of our clients estimates that it costs them between three and five thousand dollars to send a single person on one trip to Europe to train sales partners. So as an alternative, they are creating an on-demand streaming presentation that can get the message out for less than the cost of that single trip. Measuring return on investment is simple in a case like this; not only are you reducing travel costs, but you are also capturing an event and archiving it for reuse. With a clearer business case in hand, expect businesses to increase the amount of streaming. Back to top Conclusion
Today, businesses and consumers face a major bottleneck in terms of how to create and integrate content with existing infrastructure, which will inhibit widespread use of streaming media for the immediate future. Java and XML are becoming essential to building streaming media applications; yet most streaming media is developed with desktop tools by skilled artisans and “creative” teams as opposed to software engineers. The next generation of streaming applications will demand better development environments as well as tools that treat rich media content as another business critical data type.
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