Streaming Video Using Real Media and Flash

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In this article, we will examine two of the most commonly used formats for video streaming, Real media and Flash.

Real Media video streaming

Real Media was one of the first serious video streaming formats. When it was first introduced, it was widely heralded as one of the best platforms for streaming, however, it has been challenged in recent years by rivals from other software companies.

One of the main objections many people have towards Real is that it requires users to download Real Player software. Although this is free, users are strongly encouraged to purchase the full version and this has led to many people shunning it in favour of other, more commonly used platforms. 

From a technical point of view, the video images in Real Player tend to be less sharp than other formats. Moving images are reasonably well represented, however, the finer detail is often lost.

These factors have meant that many users and developers have grown disillusioned with Real and its future as a video streaming platform looks in doubt.

Flash video streaming

Flash is one of the major contenders in the world of video streaming, and is the format most commonly favoured by developers. As it is one of the most common plug-ins, it is one of the most accessible formats, and as such, it is one of the most popular and widely used.

Praised for its wide range of features, flash video streaming allows you to offer the most advanced media streaming available. As the most well-supported, cross-platform player, Flash enables interactive video and animations and advanced integration with web pages.

On the downside, Flash is expensive and can be a complex platform to work with. In order to get the most from it, developers will have to use and get to grips with the Adobe Flash authoring program.

Flash comes in two forms:.swf  is the standard type of file which is used in web pages, and .flv is a special format that can be called from within swf files.

Streaming Video Using Flash

As with most video streaming formats, Flash provides two different ways to deliver video from a web page.

Streaming

In order to stream Flash video, you will need to use a special type of server application called Flash Media Server (FMS). This is the most advanced solution and is suitable for those looking for the most bespoke and impressive video displays.

Progressive Download

Progressive download is the most commonly used and simple method of video streaming, requiring only a standard web hosting service. Despite its limitations, and the fact that it is not ‘true’ streaming, it is a more than adequate substitute for most people.

This article was brought to you by Streaming Tank, who offer a range of web   TV ,  media  streaming and webcasting solutions for organisations across the U.K

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India's Influential News Media

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Indian press has such a deep influence over the lives of people that the Indians trust their media more than their government in terms of news authenticity. A survey shows that the most preferred medium of news in India is television (about 37 per cent), followed closely by newspapers (at 36 per cent). Then comes radio at 7 per cent and news magazines at 4 per cent. Thus, media training is a must to handle the Indian limelight.

Surprisingly, Indians trust local newspapers, television, and radio more than news websites and blogs. So the pressure is on for Indian reporters to produce engaging news stories every hour.

The Most Prominent Newspapers Of India

In most of the Indian households, the day starts with a morning cup of tea, along with a newspaper. They are an integral part of the lives of Indians.

In a survey of Indian newspapers, the Hindustan Times (www.hindustantimes.com), published from Delhi, came up as the largest circulated single edition daily with 1,175,339 copies followed by the Ananda Bazar Patrika, published from Kolkata with 1,130,167 copies. The Times of India, published from New Delhi and printed at New Delhi and Sahibabad came third with 1,102,772 copies. The Times of India, the most read English daily in India (www.timesofindia.com), having eight editions with a combined circulation of 2,771,669 copies, came first among multi-edition dailies.

The Dainik Jagran (www.jagran.com) in Hindi having 15 editions, claiming a combined circulation of 2,483,432 copies stood second. Dainik Bhaskar http://www.bhaskar.com (Hindi) with 16 editions and a combined circulation of 1,901,384 copies, occupied the third position. The Economic Times, Financial Daily (www.economictimes.com) sells 400,000 copies. The Economic Times is the most preferred daily reaches by the business population.

India’s Most Influential Magazines

Business Standard (www.business-standard.com), Business World (www.businessworld.in), and India Today (www.indiatoday.com) have a strong grip over the Indian audience. They touch the lives of the Indian public with their accurate reporting and leave room for the reader’s views on current issues.

The Most Popular TV Shows Of India

Aaj Tak (www.aajtak.com) currently dominates the Indian media. It is the most preferred and trusted news channel among the Indian audience. Then comes DD TV, followed by Sun TV, Star news, NDTV, AIR, Zee news, and BBC.

The Indian media has captured the interest of Indian audiences by its various TV shows featuring famous personalities from diversified fields, shows on lifestyle, and other entertainment topics, including serious shows airing people’s views, problems, and controversies. Shows like the Big Fight, Seedhi Baat, Special Correspondent, National Reporter, and others have rocked the newsrooms of India. The latest rage is crime shows and those discussing the law and order problems of cities.

A majority of the Indian people trusts the media seeing them as credible news providers, believing that the media brings them closer to the freedom of speech and their own culture. They feel that they can voice their opinions through the media. However, many viewers find a substantial amount of western influence in Indian media.

Indian media has reached the pinnacle of performance and will continue to reach new heights. Hence, it becomes all the more important for you to take media training and develop a healthy relation with the Indian media.

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Panasonic Plasma TV – 58 Inch Models

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Panasonic is one of the leading producers of televisions on the market. One type that is only replicated by only one other manufacturer, Samsung, is the Panasonic 58 Inch Plasma TV. Only two manufacturers actually produce the 58 inch models. This article will take a peek at the top of the line newest models of Plasma Televisions, specifically Panasonic Plasma 58 inch models. I will also review an older model as well.

Panasonic VIERA S1 Series TC-P58S1 58-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV

Highlights: Perfect for sports and movies, the Panasonic Viera S1 also comes with a game mode that enhances the picture when connected to a gaming system such as a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Panasonic introduced a new technology called Neo PDP which allows for 1080 lines of resolution even during fast motion sequences. There is an SD Card slot for viewing photos right on the Plasma TV. 1080p Full HD video, 40,000:1 contrast ratio, 16:9 viewing and it weighs 112 pounds. It has a digital audio output, and also comes with Viera Link which allows you to easily connect your devices like video cameras and other peripherals directly to your Panasonic Plasma TV.

Panasonic TC P58V10 – 58″ plasma TV – widescreen – 1080p (FullHD)

Highlights: The Panasonic TC P58V10 is a 58 inch Panasonic model plasma television that comes with full hd 1080p video playback. One of the neatest features is that the plasma TV itself comes internet ready. So you can have access to internet media through a feature called Viera Cast. You can play video from services such as videos, photos, weather and stock information through the internet web interface that is built into the TV. Now enjoy services like YouTube, Amazon Video, and Picasa without having to access or log on to your home computer. 40,000:1 Native contrast ratio, this is a THX certified TV so it will reproduce cinematic images exactly as the film was originally produced. It will also display cinematic images at 24 frames per second, and has a filter to eliminate the flicker effect.

Panasonic Viera TH-58PZ800U 58-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV

The Panasonic TH-58PZ800U Viera is one of the earlier models of Viera and has really become affordable in the last year. This particular model of Panasonic plasma tv has a high rating as it earned a CNET Editor’s Choice Award in October of 2008 for one of the best plasma tvs out on the market. Normally I would just focus on the newer models, but this plasma deserved mention. Great features at a great price. Originally this TV would have cost around $3,800, and only after a year on the market it is available for half that price, sometimes even lower. I found several new in the box on Amazon for around $1500.

Highlights: Native contrast ratio 30,000:1, and a Dynamic contrast ratio up to 1,000,000:1. Anti-reflective filter for greater viewing angle in different lighting. This plasma also has the built in SD card slot for viewing photos and more just like the newer models of Panasonic. HDMI 1.3, and 24p reduction of the flicker effect when playing cinematic features. This TV is also THX certified like the newer high end Panasonic, and also comes with Game Mode. You are really getting a lot for your money at this point, without sacrificing too much.

Accessory – Digital Media Player

As a side note, one of the most exciting groups of accessories to come out this year and a great addition to any home theater or Plasma TV are Digital Media Players. These devices allow you to hard wire, or stream wirelessly from your home computer to your high definition television. This gives you access to your entire media collection right in your living room or media room. As an example, there is a digital media player called the Patriot Media Player, that comes with wireless that lets you install an internal hard drive on it to digitally store your home DVD collection, giving you access anywhere you go. You can also stream services like YouTube and other online content.

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LCD vs. DLP TVs

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Two new technologies in the world of TV, DLP and LCD, are now in a tight competition. Not long ago, everyone was talking about Plasma and LCD – which one would win? It became clear to most that Plasma, with its short lifespan of just 3-4 years, was simply not the best choice. In fact, the LCD screen has several benefits over plasma. For instance, LCD screens run much cooler than the average plasma TV, and thus require less power to operate. Plasma TVs run so hot, in fact, that they require a fan to cool them down – which can be noisy. In addition, plasma screens have a tendency to degrade over time, slowly becoming dimmer. LCD screens, on the other hand, run relatively cool, and do not degrade over time. Some Plasma owners, who have used their TVs for a few years now, have already witnessed the dimming of their screens. Also, LCD screens tend to have overall better picture quality, and are typically 10 to 15 percent lighter than plasma.

Now the choice is mainly between LCD and DLP – two distinct technologies that offer slight differences in display, price, and performance. If you are looking to buy a new flatscreen TV this year, you are probably wondering which one is right for you.

What are DLP, LCD TV Screens?

DLP stands for Digital Light Processing, while LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. DLP technology, developed by Texas Instruments, uses a DMD, or Digital Micromirror Device, contructed of 1.3 million microscopic mirrors. Each of these mirrors is essentially a single pixel. When a digital signal enters the DLP system, each mirror is either activated or not, resulting in tapestry of mirrors tilting either towards the DLP light source or away. This process produces different levels of light and dark reflected by each individual mirror. The colors are produced when the DLP light sources run through a red, green, and blue color filter on a moving wheel. Depending on the lightness/ darkness of each mirror, the colors come in an enormous amount of shades, producing vivid color images.

LCD screens are made of several polarized glass panels, between which are liquid crystal molecules. An electric current is run through the crystal molecules, changing their position in respect to the glass. As light passes through the molecules, these changes in angle result in different lightness/ darkness patterns that produce images on the screen. There are usually three polarized glass panels, one with red pixels, blue, and green. This system also produced very accurate, vivid images, but angle is important. You may notice that the best colors in an LCD display are seen straight-on.

Is DLP, LCD TV Screens better than the other?

Simply put, that is a difficult question to answer. Unlike Plasma TV screens DLP and LCD last much are longer, and are considered to both have superior image quality. LCD screens tend to have slightly better contrast, with a larger range of black and white color shades. DLP, however, still has faster refresh rates than LCD (although LCD has been vastly improved in this area over the last two years). This can have implications if you are really into high-action motion (sports, action movies), because movement may seem a little blurred with LCD at times. Also, you’ll want to remember that in order for you to get the best color out of your LCD, you have to sit right in front of it. LCD TVs also have a slightly shorter lifespan than DLPs, with only 45,000 to 60,000 hours compared to 75,000 hours or more. As far as price goes, LCD and DLP are still more expensive than Plasma, but like all things in time, their price has been coming down. And right now, DLP is slightly more expensive than LCD, but not by much. DLP, in our eyes, is the best investment, at least for the next few years.

Click

here for popular DLP TV units and prices
.

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Western Digital WD Media Center

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The Western Digital WD Media Center can play and store various types of movies, music and other media formats on its 1 terabyte media center. It lets you watch media on your TV or any computer in your home in high definition with the WD TV Live Hub media center in its hard drive.

You can even watch old movies or music in your collection, live streaming music and videos in full HD.

The interface is user friendly and easy to understand, even a child or someone who isn’t tech savvy can use it.

The Western Digital WD Media Center allows you to access various functions and websites online like Blockbuster, Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, and On Demand among others. The unit is very light and only weighs 1.2 pounds and measures 7.8 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches.

Pros

What users love about this unit is that it lets you download or view different media in various formats. The manual is also known to be very helpful. You can read the manual online too if you lose the printed version.

The firmware updates frequently and you get picture perfect movies either from your personal collection or online. It’s the best device to watch Netflix videos online.

Cons

The Western Digital WD Media Center is Wi-Fi ready but doesn’t come with the proper accessories to use it Wi-Fi. You would have to spend more money getting a USB Wi-Fi adapter to make it wireless. In the meantime, you would have to buy cables to connect it to your PC and position it right next to the computer or internet connection along with your TV.

Another common complaint is the unresponsive customer service. If you run into problems it might take days or weeks to get help from customer service. Other users also say that it is easier and faster to copy files on a separate USB than on the Western Digital WD Media Center.

People who have had an Apple TV say that the Apple is easier to set up and comes with a built in Wi-Fi. The remote control is also flimsy and sometimes unresponsive or slow to respond. The weird thing is the remote control doesn’t have a volume control.

Generally, most users like the Western Digital WD Media Center for its versatility and ability to play or store various media formats. It can also play regular DVDs and Blu-rays if you download them in advance. The device also remains silent throughout use unlike some media players that produce annoying sound. You can also connect your iPod to it and listen to music stored in your iPod.

The Western Digital WD Media Center is easy to use. Most people who complain about some quirks simply don’t know how to use it. Advice: read the manual it’s very simple to understand and quite useful.

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