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A webcast is a media presentation distributed over the Internet using
streaming media Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end user while being delivered by a provider over the Internet. The verb ''to stream'' refers to the process of delivering or obtaining media in a continuous mann ...
technology to distribute a single content source to many simultaneous listeners/viewers. A webcast may either be distributed live or on demand. Essentially, webcasting is "
broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum (radio waves), in a one-to-many model. Broadcasting began with ...
" over the Internet. The largest "webcasters" include existing radio and TV stations, who "
simulcast Simulcast (a portmanteau of simultaneous broadcast) is the broadcasting of programs or events across more than one medium, or more than one service on the same medium, at exactly the same time (that is, simultaneously). For example, Absolute Radio ...
" their output through online TV or online radio streaming, as well as a multitude of Internet only "stations". Webcasting usually consists of providing non-interactive linear streams or events. Rights and licensing bodies offer specific "webcasting licenses" to those wishing to carry out Internet broadcasting using copyrighted material.


Overview

Webcasting is used extensively in the commercial sector for investor relations
presentation Introduction A presentation conveys information from a speaker to an audience. Presentations are typically demonstrations, introduction, lecture, or speech meant to inform, persuade,inspire, motivate, build goodwill, or present a new idea/produc ...
s (such as annual general meetings), in
e-learning Educational technology (commonly abbreviated as EduTech, or EdTech) is the combined use of computer hardware, software, and educational theory and practice to facilitate learning. When referred to with its abbreviation, EdTech, it is often referr ...

e-learning
(to transmit
seminar A seminar is a form of academic instruction, either at an academic institution or offered by a commercial or professional organization. It has the function of bringing together small groups for recurring meetings, focusing each time on some partic ...
s), and for related communications activities. However, webcasting does not bear much, if any, relationship to
web conferencing Web conferencing is used as an umbrella term for various types of online conferencing and collaborative services including webinars (web seminars), webcasts, and web meetings. Sometimes it may be used also in the more narrow sense of the peer-leve ...
, which is designed for many-to-many interaction. The ability to webcast using cheap/accessible technology has allowed
independent media Independent media refers to any media, such as television, newspapers or Internet-based publications, that is free of influence by government or corporate interests. The term has varied applications. Within the United States and other developed co ...
to flourish. There are many notable independent shows that
broadcast Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum (radio waves), in a one-to-many model. Broadcasting began with ...
regularly online. Often produced by average citizens in their homes they cover many interests and topics. Webcasts relating to computers,
technology Technology ("science of craft", from Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''-logia'') is the sum of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectiv ...
, and news are particularly popular and many new shows are added regularly. Webcasting differs from
podcast A podcast is an episodic series of spoken word digital audio files that a user can download to a personal device for easy listening. Streaming applications and podcasting services provide a convenient and integrated way to manage a personal consu ...
ing in that webcasting refers to live streaming while podcasting simply refers to media files placed on the Internet.


History

The earliest graphically-oriented web broadcasts were not streaming video, but were in fact still frames which were photographed with a web camera every few minutes while they were being broadcast live over the Internet. One of the earliest instances of sequential live image broadcasting was in 1991 when a camera was set up next to the Trojan Room in the computer laboratory of the
University of Cambridge#REDIRECT University of Cambridge#REDIRECT University of Cambridge {{R from other capitalization ...
{{R from other capitalization ...
. It provided a live picture every few minutes of the office coffee pot to all desktop computers on that office's network. A couple of years later its broadcasts went to the Internet, became known as the Trojan Room Coffee Pot webcam, and gained international notoriety as a feature of the fledgling
World Wide Web upright=1.35, A global map of the web index for countries in 2014 The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs, such as ...
. Later in 1996 an American college student and
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{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
ist,
Jenny Ringley Jennifer Kaye Ringley (born August 10, 1976) is an Internet personality and former lifecaster. She is known for creating the popular website JenniCam. Previously, live webcams transmitted static shots from cameras aimed through windows or at coffee ...
, set up a web camera similar to the Trojan Room Coffee Pot's
webcam A webcam is a video camera that feeds or streams an image or video in real time to or through a computer to a computer network, such as the Internet. Webcams are typically small cameras that sit on a desk, attach to a user's monitor, or are built ...
in her dorm room. That webcam photographed her every few minutes while it broadcast those images live over the Internet upon a site called ''JenniCam''. Ringley wanted to portray all aspects of her lifestyle and the camera captured her doing almost everything – brushing her teeth, doing her laundry, and even having sex with her boyfriend. Her website generated millions of hits upon the Internet, became a pay site in 1998, and spawned hundreds of female imitators who would then use streaming video to create a new billion dollar industry called ''camming'', and brand themselves as camgirls or
webcam model A webcam model (colloquial gender-neutral: cammodel; female: camgirl; male: camboy) is a video performer who is streamed on the Internet with a live webcam broadcast. A webcam model often performs erotic acts online, such as stripping, masturbati ...
s. One of the earliest webcast equivalent of an online
concert A concert is a live music performance in front of an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, choir, or band. Concerts are held in a wide variety ...
and one of the earliest examples of webcasting itself was by
Apple Computer Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is considered one of the Big Five companies ...
's Webcasting Group in partnership with the entrepreneurs Michael Dorf and
Andrew Rasiej Andrew is the English form of a given name common in many countries. In the 1990s, it was among the top ten most popular names given to boys in English-speaking countries. "Andrew" is frequently shortened to "Andy" or "Drew". The word is derived ...
. Together with David B. Pakman from Apple Inc., Apple, they launched the Macintosh New York Music Festival from July 17–22, 1995. This event audio webcast concerts from more than 15 clubs in New York City. Apple later webcast a concert by Metallica on June 10, 1996 live from Slim's in San Francisco. In 1995, Benford E. Standley produced one of the first audio/video webcasts in history. On October 31, 1996, UK rock band Caduseus broadcast their one-hour concert from 11pm to 12midnight (UT) at Celtica in Machynlleth, Wales, UK – the first live streamed audio and simultaneous live streamed video multicast – around the globe to more than twenty direct "mirrors" in more than twenty countries. In September 1997, Nebraska Public Television started webcasting Big Red Wrap Up from Lincoln, Nebraska which combined highlights from every Cornhusker football game, coverage of the coaches' weekly press conferences, analysis with Nebraska sportswriters, appearances by special guests and questions and answers with viewers. On August 13, 1998, it is generally believed the first webcast wedding took place, between Alan K'necht and Carrie Silverman in Toronto Canada. On October 22, 1998, the first Billy Graham Crusade was broadcast live to a worldwide audience from the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida courtesy of Dale Ficken and the WebcastCenter in Pennsylvania. The live signal was broadcast via satellite to PA, then encoded and streamed via the BGEA website. The first teleconferenced/webcast wedding to date is believed to have occurred on December 31, 1998. Dale Ficken and Lorrie Scarangella wed on this date as they stood in a church in Pennsylvania, and were married by Jerry Falwell while he sat in his office in Lynchburg, Virginia. Virtually all major broadcasters now have a webcast of their output, from the BBC to CNN to Al Jazeera to DWAO-TV, UNTV in television to Radio China, Vatican Radio, United Nations Radio and the World Service in radio. On November 4, 1994, Stef van der Ziel distributed the first live video images over the web from the Simplon venue in Groningen. On November 7, 1994, WXYC, the college radio station of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill became the first radio station in the world to broadcast its signal over the internet. Translated versions including Subtitling are now possible using SMIL Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language.


Wedcast

A webcast of a wedding may be called a wedcast; it allows family and friends of the couple to watch the wedding in real time on the Internet. It is sometimes used for weddings in exotic locations, where it would be expensive or difficult for people to travel to see the wedding in person. Webcasting a funeral is also a service provided by some funeral homes. Although it has been around since at least 2005, cheaper broadband access, the financial strain of travel, and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have all led to increased use of the technology..


See also

* Internet radio * Live streaming * Media clip * Podcast * Streaming media * Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language * Video blog * Webisode * Webinar


References

{{Authority control Internet television Internet radio Streaming Broadcasting Online services