How streaming media works: Page 2

Posted February 22, 1999

Adnan Ashraf

(Page 2 of 2)

IJ: What sorts of content are you streaming?

DR: Everything from music to medical to corporate events, really anything.

CK: A CEO addressing his affiliate offices in other countries, usually a lot of the times it’s live or archived so that the timezone difference is eliminated. The workers can tune in when they get to work.

IJ: I’d heard about a link that allowed a London-based surgeon to demonstrate a highly specialized procedure to a team watching in New York. Do you know anything about that?

DR: No. It’s possible. They do some of that now. It’s kind of like distance learning. From most of that stuff, where it’s that high quality, it’s usally like an ATM frame-relay.

CK: It’s usually a high end videoconferencing system. It’s not traditional streaming media.

DR: It’s not usually done through the Internet. It’s more very specialized. It goes just to that user. They are doing that out there. That’ll come about more as the bandwidth gets better.

IJ: Is the Web the ideal context for streaming media?

CK: I think it’s the other way around. I think streaming media is the ideal content for the Web. The Web is just very static without streaming media, whether it’s music or audio or jazz, whatever it may be. It’s not much different than going and looking in a book. So adding all the interaction, making it interactive is ideal.

DR: I think as the interactive portion of television starts going more toward the Web, it will be ideal for users at home pointing to streaming content from the Web, but I think it will be the main way that it’s delivered.

IJ: Do you agree with RealNetworks, Inc.'s CEO Rob Glaser when he suggests that television is going to migrate to the Web?

DR: Yes. Eventually. It’s further off though than people think. [It will be] two to three years before we really start to see something good, but even then, who knows if the technology will be adapted? Mini CD's aren't, neither is laser disc ... My point is that just because something is cool or better doesn’t mean it will catch on right away. It will, but we'll see how long from now. It WILL be interesting and open up a whole new business well as confuse a lot of traditional broadcast companies.

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