Sorenson Media, a specialist in video compression Web streaming services and tools, is previewing Vcast, a new service that will allow users to register online and send video (live or on-demand) to anyone in the world, at this week’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show in Las Vegas.
April 5 preview
of Vcast Matt Cupal, Sorenson vice president of business development, told MacCentral that the service fits in perfectly with Apple’s “digital lifestyles” focus.
“We’ve taken our expertise in the areas of tools, video compression, and streaming and used them to fashion a service we think that the market needs badly,” Cupal said. “The barriers to mass market adoption of steaming on the Internet have been that it’s too hard and too expensive. Vcast will offer a personal broadcasting service that enables people to affordably stream video on the Web.”
After downloading the Vcast client and filling out an online registration form, a Vcast user can stream live video from a camera connected to their computer, or compress existing video content with Vcast. The content is then posted to the Internet for Vcast to stream.
“Until now, streaming over the Web has only been viable for a small number of people because of bandwidth limitations and cost issues, not to mention the complexity of streaming technology,” said Jim Sorenson, CEO of Sorenson Media. “Vcast changes all that. Now anyone with video content and an Internet connection will be able to utilize the Web to educate, communicate, and entertain through streaming media.”
He said that Vcast users will be able to see real-time stream statistics, a geographical representation of viewers, average view time, and a breakdown of streamed bandwidths viewed. Pricing will be based on the length of the stream and the number of viewers anticipated to watch. Although the final fee schedule hasn’t been established, you can expect to broadcast a 10-15 video stream to approximately 25 people for around US$25.
A public preview of the service is slated for release the first week of May (pushed back from a planned April 23 date) with a full release due this summer. The Vcast client is basically a simplified version of Sorenson Broadcaster, which enables users to stream video and audio using QuickTime. But unlike Broadcaster, the Vcast client has lots of presets to make it easy to use even by those who know little or nothing about video production and streaming.