Until relatively recently two main issues held back the widescale delivery of video on the Internet:
This position has changed in recent years with the increasing availability and affordability of broadband and the development by Macromedia (now Adobe) of the Flash video format (FLV). Through the utilisation of the ubiquitous and cross platform Flash plug-in this video format has now become by far the most common video format available on the web utilised by all YouTube type systems (e.g. YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, GoogleVideo, Yahoo etc).
Building on this technology and the availability of cheap easy to use digital video recording (now available in most mobile phones and digital cameras), the Web2.0 phenomenon has extended into on-line video. This is typified by the highly popular video publishing and sharing websites such as YouTube, Facebook and MySpace.
Through providing a news feed to notify potential viewers to new videos as they are published (a practice sometimes referred to as Vodcasting ), regular video producers are now able to publish on-line video channels. The PC based media players (e.g. Windows Media Player, iTunes, Democracy Player) all provide functionality to subscribe to these channels and automatically download new video episodes as they become available. These can then be watched at a PC or even transferred to a mobile device such as a video iPod or mobile phone. This ability allows a more commercial approach to be taken to video publishing more akin to traditional media. In general such on-line video shows are freely available, have high productions values and use advertising to generate an income. To provide a platform for such channels, sites such as blip.tv provide video hosting, bandwidth and advertising in return for a percentage of the revenue.
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