A new era of television was predicted in the mid 90’s. The “500 Channel” universe was hyped with the promise of TV Channels catering to everyone’s tastes. Cable television was able to partially satisfy this desire for diverse content, but was hindered by franchising restrictions and content licensing. Satellite television was able to improve and expand on this concept. Some of the major draw backs with satellite television were the cost of additional equipment, subscription fees, and and signal reception. The introduction of the global internet changed that.
Internet broadcasting provides the ability to distribute multimedia content without geographical limitations or technical licensing requirements. This technology has improved tremendously since it’s inception in the early days of the Internet. Hardware and software development has enabled practically any one to have the ability to broadcast multimedia on the Internet.
The negative side of Internet broadcasting is the need for a dedicated computer server that acts as a broadcast transmitter and the need for large amounts of bandwidth for the distribution of multimedia content. Each person that tunes in or watches the Internet video broadcast uses a portion of the server bandwidth.
IP Multicast, peer to peer, and distributed content networks can be used to alleviate the need for large amounts of bandwidth, however, these methods require the installation of specialized software or hardware. The use of some of these technologies also carries some legal risks, such as peer to peer data transfer.
Various Internet companies ( Such as Google Video, YouTube, and Brightcove ) allow individuals, businesses or other groups to submit public domain, creative common, or licensed multimedia content for global distribution. This multimedia can be viewed without having to download it. These Internet video hosts provide the storage and bandwidth required for hosting the material in return for playing advertising prior to showing the featured multimedia. Many of these video hosts offer users the ability to create individual play lists of selected content. These playlists cannot be randomized or embedded on other web pages.
The typical broadcast schedule for over the air television stations consists of pre-recorded video. Live video is used only for news or sports. This concept of a broadcast video playlist can be duplicated on the Internet as well. Random and continuous playlists can be created by using multimedia content hosted by these free video hosting websites with the use of PHP, Java scripting, or specially designed Adobe Flash multimedia players.
These video playlists could be broad based or narrowly defined. The only cost would be obtaining a web hosting account that is PHP enabled. The use of a PHP enabled web host would replace the need for an expensive dedicated computer server that is required for Internet broadcasting. Combining multimedia content from several free video hosts would allow the creation of a very large playlist of virtually unlimited content that could emulate a continuous television broadcast. Banner or contextual advertising can be used to generate income for the Internet video broadcast station.
Unlike standard television stations, an Internet television station using this method can change video content in its playlist almost immediately. Multiple stations can be established with each one having a different video genre or theme, such as the western channel or comedy channel, etc .
High speed / Broadband Internet access continues to increase on a global scale, enabling the delivery of quality video content. Several studies by media researchers indicate that Internet video demand and consumption will continue to increase.
Aggregating existing multimedia content can greatly reduce the start up and operational costs for an Internet television station. Creating random video playlists that use existing content would eliminate the need for creating new multimedia. The need for a dedicated network multimedia server for content distribution would also be eliminated. Using available content from various free video hosts would allow the Internet television station to provide very diverse multimedia content. These methods remove the need for large financial commitments for the operation of an Internet television broadcast station. youtube favorites