The Internet has enabled the delivery of multimedia content for immediate consumption. This ability started with low quality audio and low frame rate video. The quality of both audio and video content has improved with the increased access of broadband Internet available to the general public and the development of better methods of multimedia data compression.
Distribution of live content is preferable for broadcasting immediate activities, such as news or sports events. Live continuous internet broadcasting requires specialized software for content distribution, which includes a dedicated network server and encoding computer.
On demand video distribution can be used for content that does not require immediate delivery. This method of content delivery does not require the use of specialized server software. On demand video delivery requires only the use of a standard web hosting account. Previously recorded video content is used for on demand video distribution. This allows a greater variety in video production methods and for post video production editing.
Individual video files can be linked together to form a continuous chain of multimedia, similar to creating a playlist of audio files. This chain of linked multimedia files can be used to emulate the continuous distribution of video content. The multimedia playlist can be formatted using the simplified XML data file format versus the more complicated RSS data file format. The XML file format can easily accommodate random video playback. Multimedia files from various hosting locations can also be inserted into the same XML data file for content distribution. Using content from multiple sources will provide a greater variety of available content.
Adobe Flash is ideal for on demand content delivery as it is rapidly becoming the De Facto industry standard. The Adobe Flash multimedia player can be installed on most computer operating systems, including Windows, Linux, BSD and Solaris. The Adobe Flash multimedia player has recently been updated with the latest generation of audio and video multimedia compression codecs to allow high quality multimedia content delivery. Specialized PHP / Java scripting or specially configured Adobe Flash players can be used to randomly play the video multimedia contained in the XML multimedia playlist continuously.
On demand video content can be hosted for free using social video hosting sites. Advertising displayed prior to the presentation of the main video “sponsors” or pays for the video hosting and distribution costs.
On demand video program content can be rapidly modified by inserting or deleting multimedia content from the XML playlist. Immediate changes cannot be implemented with live video content distribution, without advanced preparation.
The use of on demand content delivery, with randomized video content generated from a XML playlist presented with the Adobe Flash Player offers a complete ” out of the box ” solution for providing a continuous broadcast of video content. The use of these methods provide results that are comparable with conventional over the air or internet television broadcasting, at a fraction of the price, that is capable of reaching a global viewing audience.