If you’re at one of those parties where you find yourself discussing H.264, then you’re probably going to be hard-pressed attracting the attention of that hot-looking person of your opposite sex standing just by the window looking wistful while downing the Rioja. So, just how do you make H.264 /HTML 5.0 sound sexy while still seeming smart and not too dorky?
BELOW: At the Streaming Media East conference in New York City, video expert Jan Ozer led a how-to presentation on encoding for Apple iOS devices. It’s in Flash…
Sure, you could try talking about how previous online video codecs didn’t have the support of two big industry standard bodies (ISO and ITU) which mean the electronic components to support other codecs ended up becoming more expensive. Read More…
Video-conferencing’s such a great idea, but if you have a face like mine you’d probably benefit from make-up and good lighting before you get too involved in in-depth chat.
The other limitation is that these sessions tend to become fixed, a row of little static heads on screen all chattering earnestly away. In order to show people things you need to move them into the front of your camera. How can you put a little more life into these sessions?
That’s why we’re interested in the possibilities of new start-up firm, Double Robotics, which has an idea that could make video conferencing just a little more personal — an iPad mounted on a Segway-style roller. Read More…
[Remember when those little Apple web transmissions kept the tech world interested? Here’s a little clip showing the introduction of the iPod.]
It wasn’t so long ago when an Apple live (or more recently ‘post-live’) event stream was a bit of a rarity. It seemed fans of that company almost lived for the chance to stare at a mini-Steve Jobs dancing in that little QuickTime window. It was the thin end of the wedge, even then hardworking elfin engineers were working hard to deliver video codecs that combined the twin pearls of lossless compression and low bandwidth.
That future is now, with an array of video and audio conferencing tools out there for almost any use, from consumer arrays such as FaceTime to Skype video sessions (soon to be included in the box with Microsoft Office 13) and Adobe Connect.
There’s many, many more — particularly in the enterprise space the big names (Oracle, et al) offer up packages designed for everything from face-to-face conferencing with document collaboration to full-scale, full-site video asset and conferencing deployments.
[Adobe explains the advantages of Adobe Connect 9 for business, government and end users.]
Virtually being there
At the high-end of the market you’re talking about deeply secure transmissions, hosted on the company’s own servers for exchange of perhaps the most confidential information and hush-hush discussion between the leading lights within the firm.
Enterprise users in particular are jumping excitedly upon the Unified Communications bandwagon, seeking out its promised enhancements in productivity. That’s why 95 percent of CIOs think presence and availability solutions are so important. In other words, the value of video webcasting isn’t just about B2C communications, but also in B2B and internal business transactions.
Adobe in June introduced Adobe Connect 9, which offers up all manner of ways to create company-controlled and branded web conferencing tools, including analytics, engagement tools, document sharing, collaboration and more.
These solutions aren’t just for enterprise users and corporate meetings; nor are they for consumers wanting to spend a little quality time staring at the video representations of people they happen to be speaking to in chat rooms and the like. There’s lots of uses, take:
- TED talks
- Online education sessions
- Viral advertising and marketing
- Medicine — your virtual doctor
- Conventional broadcasting online
- And so many more
A greener way to save money and time
Why do companies like it? Webcasting is relatively cheap. It enables firms to deliver their message to their target group at relatively low cost while still retaining control of what’s being revealed.
You can host a global summit of key players within your company/industry without requiring that anyone catch a train, plane or automobile. The US Travel Association reported that 31 percent of business travelers used videoconferencing in 2008 to replace at least one business trip (Bell, 2011).
That’s a cost saving in the short term and also goes a little way toward reducing a company’s environmental shadow by cutting fuel usage. On average, firms switching to unified communications solutions (which usually includes videoconferencing) see their travel costs dip by 20 percent.
“The need for companies to reduce their travel costs while maintaining communication with their workers and clients will drive the European video conferencing endpoints market,” notes Frost & Sullivan analyst Iwona Petruczynik. “Increasingly stringent environmental policies imposed by the European Parliament will also promote market development.”
All about contact
Webcasting opens opportunities for fully productive remote working; it can even transform business efficiency by making key personnel available at the times you need them.
Just to grab a recent example from within the education industry, the University of Auckland is now able to directly connect with over 250 schools in New Zealand using Sonic Foundry’s MediaSite webcasting suite, with the institution admitting itself to be saving “thousands” of dollars on travel. Not to mention the time it takes to get around, which can then be used more productively in other ways.
“The webcasting market is anticipated to grow by an annual average rate exceeding 20 percent during the next five years,” says Steve Vonder Haar, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Webcasting & Streaming, Wainhouse Research.
This probably helps Cisco’s assessment that by 2013, video will account for an astonishing 90 percent of all Internet traffic.
Web-conferencing is here to stay. Are you and your company making good use of it? Let us know in comments below.
YouTube Creator Space
YouTube’s official announcement video for Creator Space.
We’ve been working with YouTube to put this cutting-edge Creator Space together, and we’re incredibly excited at how the best-in-the-industry equipment we’ve been able to make available there will be used by many YouTube partners across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
We helped with the design, build and installation of the space. We aimed to make an extremely flexible video creation suite. The idea is that creators can walk into a studio, choose what equipment they want to use and set the place up for their specific project.
This means that we’ve made the space configurable: Cameras are on movable tripods; Lighting desks are on trolleys. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved.
Dreamtek Director, Victoria Neeson ran the Creator Space project: “I feel incredibly privileged and proud that Dreamtek were given the opportunity to work with Google and YouTube at their new London Creator Space,” she says.
“Our team of project managers and engineers worked tirelessly to deliver this fantastic facility on time and on budget, supporting our client’s construction and internal management team every step of the way. Dreamtek has proved that we have the expertise, commitment and strength to deliver a project of this profile and scale, resulting in a first class, innovative space for YouTube’s partners to create exceptional content.”
“It is amazing to think that some of the most successful creators on the platform, with millions of views, use little more than their bedrooms, a webcam and any props they can lay their hands on to produce compelling videos and build a global fanbase,” wrote Sara Mormino, Director of YouTube Content Operations and Next Lab, EMEA in the YouTube Creator blog, announcing the Space.
One of YouTube’s many helpful videos for film creators.
We know that millions of clips are being uploaded to YouTube every day — 72 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
We know that among those there are some real gems, fantastic videos made on a shoestring budget in people’s homes.
YouTube Partner ‘TomSka’ is making an impression with his original clips — this one’s achieved over half a million views.
The idea for the Creator Space is simple: “What if we gave free access to cutting-edge film creation technology to YouTube partners who’ve already shown us what they can do with the basic tools they have available at home?”
For more information on the space, see YouTube’s blog announcement here or the Creator Hub
The future of online broadcasting isn’t going to be solely defined by what’s coming out of exiting major broadcasters, but also by the independent cinematographers who are producing great content today.
What makes your content stand out from the crowd? Originality, passion, and uniqueness seem to matter more than ever in the online age, and that’s what we think the Creator Space is all about: putting great tools into the hands of great people.
We’re very excited to see what comes out.