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Written by Richard Belcher

Richard Belcher, Technical Director, First Sight Media

Richard is Technical Director at First Sight Media and is particularly interested in the development of interactivity and web based video. His expertise in webcasting, video production and interactive media along with his interpersonal skills make him ideal for this position; working closely with clients looking to produce their first webcasts or directing large events and conferences for live broadcast via the web.

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What is Webcasting?

Webcasting derived from broadcasting and is defined as the “transmission of audio and or video across the web”. Essentially, it is a way of delivering audio and video across the internet. The BBC’s ‘i-player’, Channel 4 and Sky have helped deliver webcasting to mainstream audiences and more and more businesses are joining the ‘webcasting revolution’ to broadcast or archive key events,  deliver messages to clients (and potential clients), describe products and services or simply to generate interest in their company. As anyone connected to the internet can view a webcast, webcasting allows businesses to reach a GLOBAL audience in real-time without expensive travel costs, accommodation bills and time out of the office.

Webcasting is any type of broadcasting (audio or video) that uses internet technology to reach the end user.

How does it work?

Webcasts are video, audio or both streamed across the internet so that viewers can connect to the stream through their internet connection. The footage is captured to a computer and then encoded to a suitable web format (this is typically Windows Media, Flash Video or QuickTime). Once converted it is sent out via a stream (or uploaded to a server for on-demand viewing) which users retrieve as they connect- either via a link or a player embedded in a webpage.

What do I need to watch a webcast?

This depends on how the webcast has been set-up but essentially you will need-

  • A computer that is connected to the internet (ideally via broadband)
  • A web browser with the chosen media player installed
  • Speakers or headphones
  • A link to the webcast or page hosting the webcast.

How can I produce a webcast?

Whilst a quick Google search will bring up a number of guides to webcasting, it is still a specialist technology, particularly if you are looking to webcast a live session or event. It is therefore recommended that you seek professional advice.

We hope you have found this article useful! For more information or a quotation, please call 0800 072 8753 and speak to Paul or Rich

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