IJ: Do you foresee streaming media becoming de rigeur in the context of corporate operations
JMH: I believe that videoconferencing will soon replace standard telephony in office environments, and in the home shortly after that. Voice or text only communications will still be used in mobile and compromised bandwidth situations.
IJ: If networks and TV stations eventually catch up to Globix, Activate, etc., and do their own streaming delivery themselves, then what does that leave you with in terms of business?
JMH: This doesn't really apply, since Ericsson is one of the largest communications companies in the world and will probably have Globix and/or NBC as a client, if that's the way the market goes.
IJ: What exactly is multicasting and how does it work?
JMH: In standard Webcasting, a new stream is opened for each client, using up a huge amount of bandwidth. In multicasting, a single stream is delivered to a multicasting node, most likely on an ISP - that node than delivers the stream to each client on that ISP, thus reducing the bandwidth consumption between the originating server and the rest of the world.
IJ: What is your position on G2 technology versus Windows MediaPlayer?
JMH: I'm behind G2, since it is standards-based and an open platform.
IJ: Can you give me example of corporations that have experienced substantial ROI by streaming media in the enterprise? Ira Machefsky [an IT analyst at Norwell, Massachusetts-based Giga Information Group] says because of bandwidth, self-paced training and video-conferencing are the best emergent applications of streaming media in the enterprise. Care to comment?
JMH: I don't have an answer for this one, it's not my field of study.
IJ: What excites you about Streaming Media today? Where will it go in the future?
JMH: I like the idea of on-demand delivery. "Streaming media" as a buzzword will disappear as bandwidth becomes abundant - all media is streaming as long as it can be delivered faster than it takes to decode and render it.
Stay tuned next week for the second part of our series on Streaming Media with industry luminaries.
John Maxwell Hobbs is a musician and has been working with computer multimedia for over fifteen years. He is currently in charge of multimedia development at Ericsson CyberLab New York. His interactive composition "Web Phases" was recently one of the winners of ASCI's Digital '98 competition and is currently on exhibit at the New York Hall of Science. John Maxwell Hobbs can be reached at: email@example.com.