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More on video (fwd)

Imminent death of the net predicted.


----- Forwarded message from Sandra Gittlen -----

>From [email protected] Fri Sep 18 17:56:11 1998
Delivered-To: [email protected]
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Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 13:10:47 -0400
From: Sandra Gittlen <[email protected]>
Organization: Network World
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To: [email protected]
Subject: More on video
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Just did a story on this yesterday...


'Net braces for Clinton testimony

By Sandra Gittlen
Network World Fusion, 9/17/98

Forget the Starr report. The real challenge for the Internet could
                   today with the release of streaming video of
President Clinton's grand jury

                   The House of Representatives could vote today to make
public four hours of
                   his testimony. House staffers are meeting with media
executives to determine
                   how to disseminate the tape and its accompanying
documents on the
                   Internet, according to Sharon Hammersla, computer
systems coordinator for
                   the U.S. House of Representatives.

                   Online news organizations are rushing to figure out
their plans for serving up
                   the videostream. The 'Net has not yet seen this kind
of anticipated demand
                   for an audio and videostream, according to Katherine
Dillon, vice president
                   of ABCNews.com in New York. In contrast to last
week's report, which
                   consisted of roughly 450K bytes of text, the
videotape could translate into
                   many megabytes of data.

                   In addition to the sheer size of the file, one issue
is how to maintain a user's
                   link for up to four hours. The Internet was not
designed for such stateful

                   Dillon said ABCnews.com is in talks with video player
                   RealNetworks to increase the companies' current
hosting agreement. "We
                   plan to broadcast the tape live as soon as it is made
available," she said.
                   However, she said that editing will have to be done
to bleep out
                   inappropriate language.

                   She said she is also trying to increase her server
capacity. "We have a T-3,
                   but now we have to figure out how to load-balance the
expected traffic," she
                   said. "We're working out a plan with RealNetworks
right now."

                   In London, the BBC's online venture is also gearing
up. BBC Online has
                   capacity for 20,000 concurrent videostreams, said
marketing editor Keith
                   Roberts. The BBC has some experience with this sort
of massive demand.
                   Last August, the still nascent BBC Web effort was
hard hit by mourners
                   seeking footage of Princess Diana. Although the site
did not crash, it did
                   slow down, Roberts said.

                   The BBC hosts its own RealPlayer video and audio
servers separate from
                   the main site's Web servers. "That way, if there is
enormous pressure for
                   video and audio, the Web servers for the site will
not be affected," he said.

                   Mindy McAdams, a Web strategist for the American
Press Institute in
                   Reston, Va., said media outlets should do more than
simply serve up the
                   feed. They should break the videotape into segments
and label them clearly
                   so users can go directly to the parts they are
interested in.

                   McAdams said one saving grace for media outlets is
that not all of the
                   estimated 20 million 'Net users that clamored for the
Starr report have the
                   video and audio gear installed on their computers to
access the report.

Sandra Gittlen
Online Reporter
Network World Fusion
161 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01701
508-820-7431 (phone)
508-820-3467 (fax)

----- End of forwarded message from Sandra Gittlen -----