STREAMING MEDIA - Leveling the Playing Field for Small Business - Part III

Written by Don Rhodes


Inrepparttar first two articles on streaming media, I discussed audio,repparttar 134636 maturest streaming technology, and streaming pictures, which marries photos and graphics with an audio presentation. (If you missed these two installments, please go to I'd now like to tell you about streaming video,repparttar 134637 hottest and most exciting media development onrepparttar 134638 web today!

Just as television progressed fromrepparttar 134639 black and white, sometimes snowy, broadcasts ofrepparttar 134640 1940's and 50's torepparttar 134641 elaborate home theatre systems of today, streaming video is makingrepparttar 134642 transition from tiny, blurry pictures to 1/4 screen color presentations with near CD quality sound. And with surprisingly good quality overrepparttar 134643 28.8 connections that most web visitors experience today! I credit this breakthrough to RealNetworks,repparttar 134644 creators of RealVideo, which is currentlyrepparttar 134645 most popular streaming video format in use. (Others about which you might have heard or read are Vivo and Microsoft NetShow.) Atrepparttar 134646 end ofrepparttar 134647 first quarter of 1999, RealNetworks reported that over 45 million of their FREE players had been downloaded; this number is growing by 15,000 per day!

An online streaming video presentation is another marketing tool that is now affordable and extremely effective. Streaming video adds far more than just a personal touch to your web site; it actually sets you miles apart from your competition. As with streaming audio or pictures, a video presentation guarantees that at least 86% of your visitors will stay to listen or to watch. Statistics have shown that over 90% of white collar workers have a PC on their desks, but only 9% have access to television inrepparttar 134648 workplace. That means that you can reach more white-collar office workers during normal office hours than all ofrepparttar 134649 network and cable stations combined.

Streaming video enables you to combinerepparttar 134650 best attributes of web-based media withrepparttar 134651 compelling nature of broadcast media. On-line advertisers are realizing significantly higher click-through rates withrepparttar 134652 adoption of streaming media technology. Recent studies have found that streaming media advertising substantially increases brand recall, brand awareness, and positive brand perception. This really gives yourepparttar 134653 opportunity to deliver a powerful message about your products or services - much like having your own, personal "infomercial. " Unlike a television infomercial, however, yours is available for one fixed price and it runs 365/24/7... thanks torepparttar 134654 Internet.

Your streaming video presentation can be submitted on VHS tape, CD, and DVD; most encoding companies will be able to use those formats. (If your presentation is in another format, such as 8mm, check with them before sendingrepparttar 134655 media.) The quality ofrepparttar 134656 finished product will be dependent upon how it's encoded for transmission. Standard practice is to encode video to stream overrepparttar 134657 Internet at 28.8 connections. In order to stream smoothly at this slow speed, an extremely high level of compression is required for bothrepparttar 134658 audio and video tracks. This compression causes small portions ofrepparttar 134659 data to be "eliminated." (That's why some ofrepparttar 134660 video presentations you now see are not as clear as you would like them to be. Withrepparttar 134661 advent of higher bandwidth, however, this situation will vastly improve inrepparttar 134662 future.) When completed, your encoding company will provide you with web ready files to place on your site, or you may choose to have your encoding company host your presentation.

Graphics for the web: The Most Common Formats

Written by Richard Lowe

One ofrepparttar early problems onrepparttar 134635 net was how to display graphics. The first browsers only displayed textual information -repparttar 134636 modern browser with it's images, multimedia and plugin's did not exist. Everything was text based.

Now there are hundreds of image formats, although only a handful are actually appropriate forrepparttar 134637 internet. And to make things even more confusing, there are additional ways to display pictures including Java, ActiveX, Dynamic HTML and so on (although these tend to just display variations onrepparttar 134638 standard web graphics formats).

And if that wasn't bad enough, email and newsgroups never evolved a real, built-in standard for images. These two formats are text based and have remained so in spite ofrepparttar 134639 changes in browsers and technology. Special encoding technology has been created to allow attachments to be sent with messages. Most ofrepparttar 134640 modern email clients detect this and performrepparttar 134641 conversion automatically.

Forrepparttar 134642 web,repparttar 134643 dominant formats are GIF and JPEG. BMP (bit mask images) are occasionally used, andrepparttar 134644 up-and-coming PNG format seems poised to threaten GIF in a few years. The GIF format is perhapsrepparttar 134645 oldest and most powerful ofrepparttar 134646 formats (except forrepparttar 134647 limitation of 256 colors), since it supports animation, interlacing and transparency. The other dominant format, JPG, tends to create smaller, albeit fuzzier images.

The three major web formats for graphics are described briefly below.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) - This is probablyrepparttar 134648 most widely used format onrepparttar 134649 internet. It was created by CompuServe in 1987 to display images on their service. Some ofrepparttar 134650 great features of this graphics format include:

- Excellent compression - images created inrepparttar 134651 GIF format can be optimized to very small sizes.

- Interlacing - Allows images to "fade" in slowly. This is very useful for large images.

- Transparency - The ability to make a color be transparent, allowingrepparttar 134652 background ofrepparttar 134653 web page to show through.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use