• Independent Video in the Information Age

     

    One of the primary obstacles for video content distribution over the Internet is the cost of specialized software required to encode video. Video encoding consists of converting video content into compressed digital data that can be easily distributed electronically.

    There are several software development companies that sell closed source software for video encoding and content distribution. The cost and available features of the different software packages vary. Some software companies require additional royalty payments for use of their encoding software.

    Thanks to the efforts of several software developers, there is free software that does not require royalty payments. This software can be used for both commercial and non commercial projects.

    NullSoft Video

    Justin Frankel, the creator of the Winamp media software player, also developed NullSoft video. This format was specifically designed for distributing video media through the Internet and is based on the Shoutcast Internet protocol.

    NullSoft video content can be streamed through the Internet with the following free media server software :

    Shoutcast DNAS (http://www. shoutcast. com/download)Icecast (http://www. icecast. org)Steamcast (http://www. steamcast. com)

    (http://www. scvi. net) is the unofficial information resource website for NullSoft video. You can find many tutorials, guides and third party software tools to download here.

    Winamp : (http://www. winamp. com)
    Video Lan Client : (http://www. videolan. org/vlc/)
    Mplayer : (http://www. mplayerhq. hu)
    Xine : (http://xinehq. de)
    X box : (http://www. xboxmediacenter. com)
    NullSoft video can also be deployed with ActiveX components for web site use. This will allow people to watch NullSoft video without the need for installing additional player software.

    Theora Video

    The Theora video project is being developed as a complete open source video solution. The group behind this project is (http://www. xiph. org.) This format uses the Theora video codec (http://www. theora. org) and the Ogg Vorbis audio codec (http://www. vorbis. com).

    The Theora video project uses the Theora video codec which is based upon the VP3 video codec developed by ON2. The Theora video codec offers core architectural improvements to provide better video encoding and playback performance.

    Both live and pre recorded video can be distributed via the Internet using Theora video.

    Theora video content can be streamed through the Internet with the following free media server software :

    Icecast (http://www. icecast. org)
    JRoar (http://www. jcraft. com/jroar)
    Flumotion (http://www. flumotion. com/download)
    Steamcast (http://www. steamcast. com)

    Video Lan Client : (http://www. videolan. org/vlc/)
    Mplayer : (http://www. mplayerhq. hu)
    Xine : (http://www. xinehq. de)
    Xbox Media Center : (http://www. xboxmediacenter. com)
    Real (Player) Alternative : (http://www. free-codecs-com/download/Real_alternative. htm)

    Theora video can also be deployed with Java components for web site use. This will allow people to watch Theora video without the need for installing additional player software.

    Tim Gnatek of the New York Times wrote a article entitled "Internet TV: Don't Touch That Mouse!".
    (http://www. friends. ca/News/Friends_News/archives/articles07010402.asp)

    These barriers on the information superhighway are being removed by Internet video stations using alternative media distribution methods.

    P2P video streaming

    P2P video streaming does not require a centralized server architecture for content distribution. Each client that views the video content automatically relays it to the next person requesting access to the video. This greatly reduces the need for large amounts of bandwidth for content delivery.

    Unlike P2P file trading, P2P video streaming can be used to broadcast live video content using several encoding formats and is supported on various computer operating systems.

    Video podcasting

    Video podcasting allows people to publish video content via a web host with no specialized server software. A specialized data client using Really Simple Syndication provides users access to the most current video content. The video content can be downloaded on a computer or hand held media device for viewing at a later time.

    You can use both NullSoft video and Theora video for video podcasting.

     



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