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Net broadcasting to feature stars

Interop IBM, Microsoft, and others will demonstrate Internet-based video broadcast technologies at Networld+Interop next week.

Interop IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), and others will demonstrate Internet-based video broadcast technologies at Networld+Interop next week.

IP multicasting technology may be a factor in turning the Internet into a broadcasting medium complete with programming and hasten the convergence of PCs and televisions.

"'Digital broadcasters,' including companies, educators, and marketers, as well as traditional media broadcast companies, will be able to deliver multimedia programming with the technology," according to Karen Milne, a cochair of the IP Multicast Initiative which is overseeing the development of the technology.

The companies will demonstrate the multicasting of "high-quality" audio and video over the trade show's floor's network using eight servers, with each server using software from different companies.

IP multicasting distributes information more efficiently than traditional "Webcasting" methods. With Webcasting, separate data streams consisting of video, audio, and other information are transmitted to individual users. Multicasting transmits a single stream to multiple users in order to conserve bandwidth and reduce the stress on network servers.

Other companies joining the demonstration include Precept Software, Progressive Networks, Starlight Networks, VDOnet, Vivo Software, and White Pine Software.

In related news, Hughes Network Systems will become a member of the IP Multicast Initiative. Hughes will also demonstrate its DirecPC Enterprise service for transmitting video, audio, and data to over corporate intranets.

The service will deliver content using Internet protocols for communication to all remote locations of an intranet. The high-bandwidth service links remote offices together using DirecPC technology and satellite networks.