Webcast technology refers to the scientific method, material, and equipment that are used for the entire process from the creation of streaming media content upto a user’s view of the webcast content. There are four major roles of webcast technology, which are spread over its entire lifecycle. Webcast technology comes into the picture right from the time of content creation. It is then used to prepare the content for distribution. Webcast technology then aids in the distribution of the content. Finally, webcast technology is used for consumption of the content by the consumer. The above four roles of webcast technology are discussed in detail in the paragraphs that follow.
The role of webcast technology in the creation of content – What has to be webcast is known as content. The content has to be created first so that it can be webcast. For this, webcast technology such as audio and video capturing and editing equipment is used. The webcast technology used at this stage includes cameras, microphones, other recording and editing devices and computer software.
The role of webcast technology in the preparation of content for distribution – This is the stage in whivh webcast technology helps the preparation of content that was created in the earlier stages to make it fit for transmission. The webcast technology used at this stage includes encoders and converters, which compress the content so as to make it suitable for transmission through the distribution system, without choking the bandwidth of the webcast provider or that at the consumers end. Since multimedia files are very large in size, webcast technology reduces their size through the removal of redundant data, as well as to leave out such details as would not significantly affect the quality of the webcast content in a negative manner.
The role of webcast technology for distribution of content: This is the stage at which the webcast streaming media server comes into the picture. Webcast technology here is in the form of a streaming media server, protocols of distribution as well as the technology which makes a connection to the webcast server possible. Thus broadband, dialup, GPRS, EDGE, WiFi, and HSDPA all take up their roles as webcast Internet connection technology and allow the transmission of a webcast to the consumer.
The role of webcast technology for content consumption: Users, who want to consume the content provided through a webcast, can do this through the use of webcast technology in the form of client software, and sound and video processing subsystems. The user will connect to the webcast provider through the use of any of the webcast technologies used for distribution of content such as broadband Internet or GPRS or any other suitable mode. The client will then request to watch content from the webcast server, which will then be downloaded to the user’s device, reprocessed, and presented to the consumer, who will watch it.
Therefore, webcast technology is the be all and end all for a webcast.