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Monday, January 22, 2001
Lead Article

Baraat on the Web
By Vipul Verma

ILLUSTRATION BY SANDEEP JOSHITHE Net has come a long way in the past few years. Over the years, the Internet usage has grown from merely sending e-mails and surfing the Net to a perfect medium for live broadcast (Or more precisely, "Netcast") Earlier, broadcast used to be a domain of large media companies, who used do it through the satellite. However now, "Netcast" is a household affair.

It is very much possible to "Netcast" the marriage of your son or daughter on the Internet live, so that those relatives who could not be a part of the marriage party can join through the Net. Marriage photographs and videos will soon become a part of history. "Netcast" is certainly good news for all elderly persons who avoid travelling to distant places but still want to be everywhere.

For live transmission all that is needed is Real Producer Plus, one of the software from Real Networks. This software is one of the best streaming media-creation tools available on the Net and offers features like CD-quality audio and true sure stream video for the Net. Once you download this software from the Internet and install it on your computer, you are all set to go. However, you would also require a Camcorder connected to the video card installed on the system. Normally, video cards are not pre-installed on the computers. The user can add on this card in the PCI slots available. This is the only additional hardware requirement for the computer; otherwise any modern computer can do this job efficiently. In order to have better performance computer should at least be Pentium II – 400 MHz with 64 MB RAM.


Once these entire hardware requirements of the computer are over, you are all set for the "Netcast". This is a perfect solution for the broadcast over the Net as it takes into consideration various bandwidth matters. It is possible that some persons watching the coverage on the Web might be having the ISDN or DSL connectivity, whereas other might still be using 28.8 kbps dial-up connectivity to the Internet. To cater to all kinds of bandwidth, you can customise this software for all kinds of connections.
This enables persons with varying bandwidth to see the broadcast as per their connectivity. Therefore from the same feed one can see jerk-free video on 256 kbps DSL connections and also relatively poor video on the 28.8 kbps dial-up Net connection. Another interesting thing here is that though it is better if you have a good Internet connection at your end from where the "Netcast" is to be done, yet you can still customise the video settings for higher bandwidth than what you are using for the broadcast. Moreover, using this software you can also simulate the bandwidth, by using the feature bandwidth simulator and can adjust the video settings accordingly by actually viewing the video at the simulated speed.

Not only does this software cover the live "Netcast", you can also use it for delayed broadcast over the Internet. This means that you can transmit any video, which could be available on the computer in the form of .avi files or .mpeg file (common video file format) just like live broadcasting. The only difference would be that you would not require a camcorder attached to a computer and would access the feed from the computer instead.
The features and capabilities of this software are not just limited to the family get-together the Cyberway. The user can exploit the immense potential of this software in business also.

Since this software is pretty different from video conferencing, thus you can conduct conference on the Net. Normally, under video-conferencing two persons situated at different places can have live conversation on the Internet. In a majority of cases, it lacks the capability of connecting a number of persons situated at various places. With this software it is possible to reach a number of persons situated at various places without losing the bandwidth available. This could prove to be a boon for those companies, who would normally like to be in touch with their branch offices.

Similarly, exporters and importers can also exploit its potential as they can conduct a live show or exhibition of their goods on the Net. An interactive live presentation on the Net can make all the difference for them. Moreover, they can build up the customers’ confidence in them as normally audio-visual publicity has a much wider impact than the textual one.

Even the students and jobseekers can benefit a lot from "Netcasting". Students can take part in seminars and discussions over the Net and get to know the views of others. Thus, it offers tremendous opportunities to broaden their viewpoints and also the area of their operation. The day is not far when students sitting in India would be able to attend lectures in the USA.
This software can be used for the purpose of starting own educational circle of students and can also broaden the scope of studies. Moreover, one can use it as a business tool in the area of education and deliver the study material in the most interactive way by "Netcast"

Normally all distant interviews are conducted on the telephone. The hiring company can use this software for the purpose of interviews, thereby helping the placement agencies as well. They can conduct live interviews and can also hold preliminary interviews for the domestic employers, who wish to recruit persons from a large geographical area. The uses and potential of "Netcast" is endless and you can also enhance the value of the Web site by the features of live broadcasting. Like live chat, which has become a craze in India "Netcast" is going to the next step. Moreover, you can also use the delayed broadcasting to evoke the surfer’s interests.

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