The Internet has opened up all sorts of possibilities for bringing content to its intended target. This is done without the limitations of time and geography. For instance, a television news broadcast can only reach a certain audience-one that is within range of a broadcast station. It is also constrained by time. A viewer would have to tune in to a certain channel at a certain time of the day to watch a show.
With video streaming applications on the Internet, though, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You can stream news events online as they happen. You can also save these video streams for later viewing, so that anyone can still watch the programs even hours, days or weeks after it has been shown.
There are various online services that let you upload or stream videos, including an online news broadcast. Notable among these are YouTube, Ustream and QIK.
This service is the biggest source of online videos. Owned by Google, YouTube has millions of users, and there are hundreds of daily video uploads. These include user-created content, such as video blogs, music videos, and photo slideshows. There are also videos uploaded by movie and television studios, which include movie previews and even show episodes. Some TV series episodes are also uploaded in full by users, whether official or pirated (which is a big issue to some studios, but some let these be, if only for the promotional value).
YouTube is a video streaming service, to some extent. Viewers can watch videos in streaming format-they don’t have to wait for an entire video to finish downloading. The site lets you watch a video as soon as your browser downloads enough in its buffer for you to watch smoothly without interruptions. If you want to broadcast a video live or near-live, you should user Ustream or QIK.
Ustream lets users broadcast videos straight from a computer’s webcam or an attached video camera. The site uses a Flash interface, which negates the need for you to download any specialized software. Simply sign up for an account at ustream.tv, then click the “Your Shows” link. Then give your show a title, and click the “Broadcast Now” button. You will be asked to allow the service to get images from your camera or webcam. Once you have allowed Ustream to access your camera, click “Start Broadcast.” The video feed from your webcam will then be streamed live through your Ustream account.
Much like Ustream, QIK is a service that lets users stream videos as they happen. The advantage of QIK is that it’s used mainly on mobile phones. Supported Smartphones include the iPhone, and mobile phones that run Symbian Series 60 and Series 90, and Windows Mobile. You can sign up at qik.com/sign up. Once you have an account, you can download QIK software on your mobile phone by browsing to d.qik.com. After installing the mobile software, you can then key in your QIK username and password, and you can broadcast videos straight from your mobile phone’s camera.
You can share broadcasts with friends through your own QIK profile, at qik.com/your-username. Whenever you’re broadcasting videos, users can see these live (or actually with a few seconds’ delay, as your mobile phone uploads videos). Users can also view an archive of your past videos, which can be shared privately or publicly. QIK is especially useful for sharing events with your friends around the world as they happen, or sharing videos of important news to the rest of the world right when they happen.
Online streaming lets users present video online in a very flexible manner. Users can watch your online streams as they occur, and they can also watch these on their own time as archived video.