CMU 'Competitiveness' broadcasts are Windows-only

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This week Carnegie Mellon University researchers will use a new technology called End System Multicast (ESM) to transmit interactive audio and video to Internet viewers around the world when they conduct a live, Internet broadcast of the Council on Competitiveness National Symposium on Competitiveness and Security being held in Pittsburgh, Oct. 8-9. Unfortunately, only Windows users are welcome, at least for now.

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ESM purportedly enables live streaming over the Internet through a "unique, distributed" coordination mechanism that permits viewers' Internet-connected computers to self-organize into a data distribution tree structure. The tree structure continuously adapts to network dynamics, to ensure the highest bandwidth and lowest latency available for audio and video streams distribution.

Since end systems cooperate and contribute their computation and bandwidth resources, ESM has the potential to scale to any number of users, according to the folks at Carnegie Mellon University. In contrast to IP multicast-based and content delivery service-based solutions, ESM requires no special router support or infrastructure servers. ESM is instantly deployable by end users and it is cost-effective because there is no need for the broadcaster to make provision for powerful streaming servers and high-bandwidth Internet access, they said.

End System Multicast technology has been under development with the support of the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) since 1999. Its creation was pioneered by a Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science research team led by Associate Professor Hui Zhang. They demonstrated the feasibility of ESM by broadcasting this year's Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGCOMM Conference, which was held in Pittsburgh August 21. More than 300 computer users around the country viewed the conference proceedings using this system.

If you go to the link to participate, you'll find that only participants with Windows (98/NT/ME/2000/XP) can join in. (Ironically, you'll need QuickTime Player 5 or 6 for Windows to catch the stream.) However, Linux/Unix support is currently under development, and Mac support "may" be added in the future, Tze Sing Eugene Ng of Carnegie Mellon University told MacCentral.

(Thanks to MacCentral reader Les Posen for the heads-up on this one.)

This story, "CMU 'Competitiveness' broadcasts are Windows-only" was originally published by PCWorld.

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