Web-Channel Surfing

The producers at TechTV had a problem. The San Francisco- based cable network is one of dozens of companies that provide online streaming-media content for Apple's QuickTime Player. But TechTV's QuickTime channel was somewhat static. Whenever TechTV producers wanted to update content, they had to do so manually.

So TechTV put Ryan Francesconi on the case. Francesconi is an in-house developer for the network's Vignette StoryServer, a popular content-management database. StoryServer is where all the graphics and stories on TechTV's Web site are stored.

Francesconi wanted TechTV's QuickTime channel to query StoryServer, grabbing the latest headlines from the database and displaying them for QuickTime-equipped viewers. So he wrote a template that served text from the database in a QuickTime-friendly format. Using TotallyHip's LiveStage Pro authoring tool, he reprogrammed TechTV's QuickTime channel. Now, whenever a user clicks on the TechTV QuickTime-channel button, data from a TechTV URL loads into the QuickTime text track.

TechTV could have chosen an alternative such as Macromedia's Flash Generator, but Francesconi found nothing as inexpensive and easy to implement as QuickTime. "The QuickTime platform is now open enough to allow dynamic updating of content," he says.

And because of Francesconi's efforts, TechTV's QuickTime presence is more dynamic, too.

techtv: Ryan Francesconi enhanced TechTV's QuickTime channel
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