Webcasting since '96
Remote Council meetings
In the early 2000s I helped define how the UK Parliament would run their video service over the internet and their internal network (to >2500 desktops on the parliamentary estate). I also worked with many government departments like Department of Trade and Industry (now Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy), The Prime Minister's Office (Number 10 Downing St), and The Royal Household in webcasting and podcasting.
Around the same time councils in the UK were looking at webcasting their meetings. The company I founded with my father, called Media On Demand, developed a product for local councils. Our first customers were Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Derby City Council. While we continued to offer that service to local councils we worked hard with Parliament and eventually bought the company responsible for webcasting UK Parliament. As Technical Director of the company I inherited a monster project and quickly learned its intricacies. In the years to follow I was technically responsible for hundreds of events that were delivered using that system. During this period the webcasting marketplace started to explode and many companies started to compete some of whom had very deep pockets and teams of people responding to tenders. We bid for European Parliament (and lost) and other large scale Government projects, including the renewal of the UK Parliament (we lost that one too). It became apparent that responding to tenders was taking up far too much time and that we should focus on our core business, which was also the most interesting (to us): Sports webcasting.
I built bespoke webcasting products for egaming for the likes of Ladbrokes, William Hill, SkyBet, BWin, Paddy Power to name but a few. We were involved in delivering live and archived video of Greyhound Racing, Horse Racing, Football (soccer), Rugby, Golf, Tennis, Formula 1 and even Poker. In setting this up for companys whose speciality was bookmaking it was obvious they also needed help with their new media generally. The internet was still relatively new (ISDN @ 128kb/s was considered fast back then). I learned how to develop Flash (sorry world!) and made some products that allowed people to listen to live commentaries, see live scoreboards and place bets on those events. Soon in-play betting became a thing and BWin ruled the roost in this regard. They were awesome to work with and produced some beautiful work integrating our commentaries. We produced hundreds of, mostly football, commentaries ourselves with our commentators sending live feeds to our studios from their homes over ISDN lines we had installed for them. This was some of the earliest truly remote webcasting.
There was a lot of crossover in everything I learned over the first few years. As the webcasting industry expanded so did our client base. We did a lot of work for some large corporates in all sectors. Security was a big deal with many of our clients and as an expert with Windows Media I had early access to Microsoft's DRM (Digital Rights Management) product offering. I built a simple system for Arsenal Football club to protect media files that proved useful to many other clients also. I also built a system around Windows Media Services to simultaneously webcast over a company inranet using mutlicast (bandwidth/network saving technology) whilst also delivering over the internet.
Webcasting a wedding or a funeral is easy with our fixed installation at your venue. It is very easy to operate and cost-effective. Your event is automatically archived and can be annotated with links, video or other digital assets. Custom development allows you to add whatever feature your venue needs so the possibilities are endless.