Apple tackles Net TV
July 22, 1999
By Robin Lloyd
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Apple this week premiered the QuickTime TV network, a 24-hour Internet medium that provides live and recorded sports, sitcoms, news, music, movies, dramas and children's shows and possibly even live performances of your garage band.
At the semi-annual MacWorld convention in New York City, Apple interim Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said ABC News, RollingStone.com, Bloomberg, Fox, Disney and HBO and others signed on to deliver content on the QuickTime TV Web site which launched Wednesday.
Providers will offer live and rebroadcasted content, some made specifically for QuickTime TV and often with interactive elements that would allow for sub-titles, 3-D graphics, e-commerce and other user choices.
QuickTime TV has a home video angle too.
"It doesn't just have to be Disney and Bloomberg and BBC World News that are providers," said Frank Casanova, director of QuickTime TV marketing.
"QuickTime will reach the masses. Somebody in a loft in New York City with a band can send out a message to their friends and family: 'click on QuickTime at such and such a time and you can watch our band live,'" Casanova said.
However, that operation would require some computer savvy and a lay person provider fee that has yet to be worked out.
First, a home "broadcaster" would have to get the QuickTime content provider software, available for the Mac and PC. Ten million copies of that have been downloaded off the Internet in the past 90 days, Casanova says.
Next, the broadcaster would have to either pay $500 for QuickTime's Streaming Server software or be able to understand and use the source code.
In April, Apple made the QuickTime Streaming Server available as a free download as part of its Darwin open-source initiative.
A total of 25,000 people have done so in the past 3 months, Casanova says.
1,000 servers to facilitate content delivery
Jobs said 1,000 streaming servers have been strategically placed around the world to bring QuickTime content to viewers.
Net service provider Akamai Technologies hosts the QuickTime servers on its network to accelerate the delivery of digital video.
Jobs said the Phantom Menace trailer, which was produced in QuickTime, had been downloaded more than 23 million times, a total of more than 400 terabytes of data.
QuickTime's competitors include Net video providers RealNetworks and Microsoft.
Casanova says QuickTime could change our concept of television. "It's not just in the purview of big media organization," he said. "It's now brought to the masses, as happened with desk top publishing. It changes in ways we'll never be able to forecast."
Coming to a local Government site near you: Live video
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