Think of a webcast as a one-way broadcast from one location to many locations, like television. Video and audio are “streamed” to each user’s computer individually, either live or on-demand, from a dedicated streaming server or group of servers, such as a global Content Delivery Network (CDN). Streaming means that content does not have to be pre-downloaded before the user is able to view it.
Like TV, webcasting technology is usually of a high quality, utilizing dedicated encoding equipment, professional cameras, stage lighting and audio production. Webcasts are produced by a team of professionals which may include producers, sound, video and lighting technicians, and are distributed worldwide through dedicated CDNs.
Webcasting is the most effective choice to disseminate important information to a large group of people. The emphasis is on all the data (video, slides) to be transmitted and received without loss, so there is often a slight delay between the original source (the encoded stream upload) and the receiving clients (download stream). Factors such as internet routing, network bandwidth limitations, as well as the actual webcast transmission protocol (the methods by which the technology encodes, transmits, receives, and decodes) can all contribute to the delay. Webcasts are encoded in such a way that if there is any data delay, the entire stream will wait for the data to catch up (buffering). For this reason, large scale webcasting is not seen as a collaborative tool, but more of a means of distributing vital information to a vast audience.
A web conference is a PC-based collaborative tool whereby a small number of participants (5-20) can interact by voice or webcam, remotely share desktops and documents, and speak in real time to one another. Picture a group sitting in a small meeting room or around a boardroom table collaborating on a document. Web conferencing is a hybrid mix between a telephone conference call technology (either through a telephone bridge service or a VOIP bridge service) and a client-server application running on the user’s computer. Web conferencing, partly due to its low bandwidth utilization, is real-time. The emphasis is on the collaboration and so much on the audio and video quality.
Think of a video conference (VC) as a telephone call with video. One VC system will “call” another VC system directly, either using ISDN - Integrated Systems Digital Network (essentially digital phone lines) or IP - Internet Protocol: the internet. Each have their distinct advantages and disadvantages, but suffice it to say that a video conference is a real-time tool, usually limited to two participants or endpoints (sometimes more if a bridge or gatekeeper is employed) with little or no delay between transmitting and receiving. Imaging trying to have phone conversation and having to wait several seconds before hearing a response! Video Conference protocols are designed to keep things in real time, somewhat easier to accomplish when there are only to points connecting directly to each other (as in the case of an ISDN call).
No. Our webcasting tools encode and upload the Powerpoint slides on the
fly, so we can handle any last-minute changes to a presentation.
We can work with Powerpoint, Keynote or really any other graphics you may have. In fact, our webcasting tool enables us to capture the computer display (i.e. whatever output goes to the in-room projector) and convert it to slides in real time.
branches. Will this affect the webcast?
Whereas Audio webcasts generally do not take up a lot of bandwidth, Video, on the other hand, can eat up a lot of bandwidth. For example, if a typical live video webcast is encoded at 250kbps, and you have 100 people watching the same stream from the same office tower, it could present a challenge to the network, especially if everyone is on the same network. That’s about 25Mbps of bandwidth required just for those viewers. One way to mitigate this is to arrange for groups of people to gather in one location, say a conference room, where one person can connect their laptop to the in-room projector or monitor.
For more information, try using our Bandwidth Calculator tool.
Our webcasting software does not allow for downloading/recording a live webcast in order to protect the rights of the content owners.
We can set up your webcast to require user authentication. Each participant would have to submit some credentials (User Name/Password, or a Meeting ID number) in order to access the webcast. We can pre-arrange a common User Name/Password for everybody and distribute this by email, or we can have each person pre-register and then receive their own unique User Name/Password.
hotel. One of the presenters is unable to attend. Can he still participate and
give his presentation remotely?
No problem. As a solution provider, we often pull from many available technologies to get things done. In this case, we suggest using a combination of webcasting and web conferencing technologies. The end result is seamless, since we manage and coordinate all bits and pieces involved behind the scenes.
We encode in several different formats, depending on which suits the application the best: Flash, Windows Media, and Silverlight are the usual formats. With the growing use of Smartphones, we plan to include HTML5 as a format option for some of our webcasting products and services.
We can include a Question Submission box or email link right on the Player Page so that webcast viewers can submit questions. These questions are received and read by someone at the meeting site, and can be relayed directly to the moderator or presenter.