Original Shows for the Web
In this series we’ll look at specific streaming video shows that were created for the Web. The shows appear only on the web and, in fact, come from many of the Websites that were reviewed in the previous series, "Web Sites for Video."
Step 1: What is Web Video?
Web Video allows you to either download or stream a video clip and watch it on your PC. A video may be a short film, a music video, a news broadcast, etc. Web Video is still in its early developmental stage. Playback is usually somewhat pixelated and jittery, depending on your connection. But you still get a reasonable picture with sound, and the content does get across.
Step 2: Connection Issues
Currently, many viewers are using a dialup modem (28-56Kbps) to view web videos. But web video is really designed for broadband (DSL or Cable Modems), where greater amounts of video info may be pumped into your PC with greater resolutions and improved overall quality. You may still watch videos on dialup connections, but there is a good chance that you will experience net congestion and distorted playback.
Step 3: Streaming Video Players
You can download streaming video players if you don’t already have one installed as either a plug-in for your browser (Netscape or Explorer) or as a stand alone on your PC. The most popular players are RealPlayer and Microsoft Media Player. You can download RealPlayer and Media player for free at www.real.com and www.microsoft.com, respectively.
Step 4: Video Shows
There are many Web sites that offer original content videos made exclusively for the Web. We will review some of the best Web videos out there! But before we do so, we’ll review RealPlayer to get an idea of how to better control the various settings for you to optimize your viewing experience.