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Television With No Borders
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Your Computer Monitor --
is your HDTV TV Set of the future!
By Troy Cory
". . . But the flaws in most Internet architecture software -- will allow cyberspace vandals, known as "crackers" (malevolent hackers) -- to alter the parmeters of a domain name server. This could let the intruders change a "kideo" movie into a porno, eavesdrop on conversations, deliver mail to the wrong address or engage in a host of other pranks -- that's now going on."
 • Quote From Article: "Conjectures": -
TVI Magazine - Troy Cory - Vic Caballero

 

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"TheComputer Broadcasting will Turn
Your Computer Monitor into a HDTV Set!

 •By: Troy Cory
Welcome to the world of cyberspace, -
s90tv and hdtv!!

If, like many others in the entertainment field, you're wondering what impact the Internet is going to have on television down the line, you may have thought of putting some of your programs on the Web, just to test the waters… and hedge your bets, just in case the computer monitor happens to triumph over the TV set, becoming the entertainment medium of the future.

What exactly is involved in turning your TV-friendly fare into ones and zeros, and how do you get people on the Web to watch it? One person who is uniquely qualified to address these questions is Tommy Emerik, v-president of lookradio.com, the company at the forefront of computer broadcasting. Lookradio.com won't be alone on that front for long, with companies like CBS, Dream Works, Pop.com, InterVU, Disney, NBC and ABC entering or looking to enter the promising young field of Computer Broadcasting. The lookradio.com web site offers more than 2,000 hours of on-demand, 24 hour video and audio programs. Before the turn of the century, lookradio.com plans to provide more than 20,000 hours of Computer Broadcasting: a necessity to prove-up the reasons as to why the computer broadcasting industry now exists as part of the radio television scheme of things.

Computer Broadcasting
is the next trend in both the Internet and television industries. Since Quick Time 4 was introduced to the consumer in September 1999, (Quick Time is the program that allows video (like LookRadio) to be streamed through copper wires) -- the quality of Computer Broadcasting has improved so much, some Mac lovers considered Quick Time the rebirth of Macintosh. The quality of a low-bandwidth Webcast (transmitted via 28.8 kilobytes per second (kbps) modem) is still poor compared with that of a home that uses a DSL line modem, the experience of seeing a video program on the computer screen is exciting, almost addicting.

At the end of 1994, NBC and TV Finland quietly began to broadcast a live video signal over the Internet, using Xing Technology. The image quality was very poor, but the concept was there: "moving images" delivered to the Internet in real time.

After a few years and numerous efforts by software houses and tech companies, the Computer Broadcasting atmosphere is still cloudy. And it is difficult to compare Computer Broadcasting with television. The viewing distance and the screen size are different in the two mediums. The average Computer Broadcasting window is

10 to 20 times smaller than the average TV set. In addition, even with a large amount of bandwidth, the picture frame rate of a Webcast can't match the standard frame rate of a television broadcast (29 frames per second). Another difference lies in the mediums' ability to handle image effects: tilting, panning and zooming are all no-nos for Internet video production.

Before being Computer Broadcasting,
a video signal must be converted from analog to digital. Then it must be compressed (encoded) sufficiently so that it can be viewed in real time. Modem baud rate and the power of the user's computer also play important roles in terms of the quality of the final product.

It is important that people begin to produce and shoot specifically for the Net. People assume that, since the final outcome is jerky, the video itself doesn't have to be top of the line; but they should remember that the better the input, the better the outcome.

Two years ago, there were several Computer Broadcasting players on the market (Stream Works, VDO, Vextreme, Vivo, RealMedia and Microsoft). Today, it would be fair to say that only two of those players remain in the picture: RealNetworks and Microsoft. Both companies are directing their efforts and energies to improving video and audio compression and the use of encoding tools.

However, Quicktime, Media Cleaner, QDisign, Heuris, Sorenson and ASTARTE's DVDirectors which in July 1999, showcased their software streaming media delivery system through TVI's lookradio.com firewire test site, seems to be winning the battle.

Qdesigns M3 audio technology features better-quality audio and new capabilities that improve video quality through the use of its plug-in partners Quicktime, Media Cleaner, QDisign, Heuris, Sorenson and ASTARTE's DVDirectors. The Terrans Media Cleaner also offers the new kids on the block, an easy way to compress jpeg programming to Quicktime, which also allows one to stream audio and video with synchronized multimedia and animation to be broadcast through the web.

A prediction: In the future, all of today's broadcasters will be streaming video online, over the Internet. This rebroadcasting will ensure that programs are never lost or forgotten.

Another prediction is that -- "the faws in most Internet architecture software -- will allow cyberspace vandals known as "crackers" (malevolent hackers) -- to alter the parmeters of a domain name server. This could let the intruders eavesdrop on conversations, deliver mail to the wrong address or engage in a host of other pranks -- now going on."

. . . Computer Broadcasting

Let's say a TV station wants to simulcast its 6 P.M. news on the Web, or your company wants to Webcast its seminars, or German TV wants to broadcast the U.N. TV Forum "live" on the Internet. Streaming media can make all of that possible, and more. However, right now it is important to take some steps to boost the image quality of the final Computercast. The following guidelines should help get the job done:

1) Camera movement.
Always use a tripod, so that the camera stays steady. Otherwise, the resulting movements will require too many frames (and too much bandwidth) to reproduce. Try to focus the camera manually. Autofocus features sometimes take a few frames to adjust and can significantly affect the look of the final Computercast. In addition, allow some space around the edges of the image, as you will need to crop a few pixels from the frame in order to get the standard 160 pixel by 120 pixel image size.

2. Image layout.
The image should include as little information as possible. A flat background a limited palette of colors would be the best choice. The ideal shot for a quality Webcast is a close-up. If the frame must be changed, a clean cut is the best option.

3. Lights.
Try to minimize shadows. A uniform lighting design, a little brighter than the normal TV standard will produce the best results.

4. Audio.
For the optimal audio outcome, it is a good idea to use an external microphone instead of relying on the microphone incorporated into the camera. During compression, audio and video signals can lose up to 40 percent of their initial quality.

5. Connection.
A professional-quality live Computer broadcast requires a T1 line and a DSL line: one for sending out the stream and a second for monitoring the quality of the Computer Broadcast, making changes to the site and fixing anything that goes wrong. The line used for streaming generally includes content encoded (compressed with a Quicktime Plug-in, RealMedia or Microsoft Windows Media) into a 28.8 kbps audio-only stream, a 28.8 kbps audio and video stream. These standards cover most of the Internet users interested in receiving live content.

6. Encoding.
The new Macintosh G4 Firewire (IEEE 1394, no SCSI slots) computer is recommended for compressing jpeg audio and video for live broadcast. For encoding audio only, a computer of at least 100 megahertz will get the job done.

7. Outcome.
You must have a dedicated server with enough bandwidth to carry the desired number of simultaneous streams. Once the Computer broadcast is over, the content can be posted on a Web site, like TVI's "lookradio" then viewed on demand.

Except for regular ISP fees, computer users don't have to pay anything to watch lookradio.com programming. Once again, quality is the key: to appreciate lookradio in all its glory, viewers need a least a 56 kbps connection.

.

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