Mon, 11 Jan 99 13:26:00 +1000
For interest -- you won't find a more concentrated collection of meaningless
hype than this in a long time. Having tried and discarded RealAudio and
RealVideo after wondering how anybody knew that the guy in the DoJ video was
Bill Gates, I just love the notion of using them to replace TV and radio.
Subject: Telstra Webcast
Author: <email@example.com (Michael Meanwell)>
Date: 11/01/99 12:51
Please find following a soft copy of a news release issued regarding
Telstra's Webcast service which is revolutionising the entertainment
If you would like any further information, please contact Michael Meanwell
on (03) 9877 9303 or Julie Bigg, Telstra Retail Products & Marketing on
(03) 9634 2035.
The future of entertainment is just a mouse click away
Imagine experiencing a live broadcast with TV-quality video and FM-quality
stereo sound - accessible on the Internet from the convenience of your home
- wherever and whenever you wish.
This is the future of home entertainment and, according to Telstra, it is
already here and just a mouse click away.
The recent Telstra Concert of the Century, celebrating 25 years of Mushroom
Records at Melbourne's MCG, was the biggest music event to be web broadcast
in the Southern Hemisphere.
The webcast enabled music fans all over the world to view and listen to the
entire nine-hour event using Real Audio and Video technology. Performances
from some of Australia's best known artists were interspersed with live
interviews hosted by Andy Grace and Jenifer Bert from Austereo's 'Net at
Nite' radio program. Fans could also participate in online discussions
with celebrities via Internet Relay Chat.
The event attracted tens of thousands of Internet users worldwide and more
than 15,000 audio-video streams were requested from Telstra's rock music
website, Addicted to Noise (www.addicted.com.au). The webcast was also
mirrored in the US by Sonicnet and Liveconcerts.com.
Producer of the webcast, Telstra's Manager of Music Services, Craig
Reardon, said the event not only extended the boundaries of virtual
entertainment, it also showed the way of the future for both home and
"On the Internet there is no such thing as time or space. Everything is as
close as a mouse click away.
"Now Telstra has extended that concept, allowing Internet users to access
live webcasts with all the benefits of being there. The home PC, modem and
TV are rapidly converging into a video-on-demand system which will give
users the convenience to access live webcasts as well as rare performances
that can be experienced in real time or saved for posterity," he explained.
Mr Reardon said that since Telstra began developing webcasting technology
in 1997, it has attracted a considerable amount of interest from various
organisations, including record companies, radio stations and film
producers as well as software producers and other businesses.
"Webcasting is ideal for a range of entertainment purposes, including
variety shows, sport and stand-up comedy. Companies can also use the
technology for real-time videoconferencing, collaborative working and
multimedia training as well as live presentations and product
demonstrations - all without any concern for distance or time," he added.
Mr Reardon said the webcast set a number of precedents in the region and a
new benchmark for live events on the Internet.
"The webcast was the longest playing event of its kind (nine hours) and it
featured the largest ensemble of bands . It was also available in high
quality video and stereo sound, both in narrowband and, for the first time,
broadband formats (250 kbit streams - 10 times the bit-rate of standard
Internet connections - over Telstra's Big Pond? Cable network)," he said.
"The broadband webcast was arranged by Telstra Research Laboratories as a
trial of broadband capabilities. The trial really opened up the
possibilities for this medium by providing a live broadcast experience
approaching that of television, without the cost and potentially without
international boundaries. The trial demonstrated that soon the customer
will have more choice in viewing the content of their choice at the time of
their choice," Mr Reardon observed.
Austereo's Andy Grace says there has been an enormous public feedback
praising the event.
"We have had positive comments from all over the world. One Big Pond? Cable
user in Melbourne told us he watched the entire webcast online for nine
hours straight. He connected his PC monitor to a set of hi-fi speakers and
amplifiers, and enjoyed the show live in full-screen video and stereo sound
- and half an hour ahead of his family who watched it on TV," he said.
Mr Reardon said the webcast was a triumph for the burgeoning industry, but
it was not without its challenges.
"Our production also added a new dimension to revenue by programming
television commercials during the webcast. This greatly improved revenue
which, until now, was based solely on the standard Internet banner
Telstra's 'Addicted to Noise' website gained a tremendous boost in
popularity as a result of the webcast. According to industry commentator
Peter Lake, prior to the event, the site was ranked at around number 300.
One week before, it jumped to 168 and during the week of the event it
peaked at 42. Since then, the site remains a popular venue for Internet
users, ranking around number 100 each week.
Mr Reardon said that Telstra was working on a number of events, including
webcasting existing events during the first few months of 1999 as well as
purpose-produced webcasts designed specifically for airing over the
Telstra has just announced a commitment to webcast the Big Day Out in mid
January and, judging by its recent success, it will be another major
entertainment for Internet users.
"Webcasting is an exciting new industry with almost limitless potential.
Telstra is at the forefront of this technology and we're offering people a
peek into the future of entertainment and communication," Mr Reardon
Telstra's Concert of the Century broadband webcast used Microsoft's NetShow
for encoding the audio and video bit-streams. NetShow media servers based
at the MCG and Big Pond? Cable ends were linked using Cisco routers and two
parallel ISDN OnRamp2? links to provide the required bandwidth. The
narrowband webcast was encoded using Real Networks server technology.
Products & Marketing
Tel: (03) 9634 2035 Fax: (03) 9662 9445
Telstra's media releases are regularly lodged on the Telstra Home Page. The
address is http://www.telstra.com.au
Marketzing Pty Ltd
P.O. Box 21, Forest Hill, Vic 3131 Australia
Tel: (61+3) 9877 9303
Fax: (61+3) 9877 9727