Video Technology Magazine January 2005               

Google Moves Into Video
Google will start indexing previously aired content from ABC, PBS, Fox News and C-SPAN and offer it as part of its Web search. No fancy speech-to-text recognition, just the closed captioning provided by the television networks, and no direct links to videocontent either." Right now, most of the channels are SF Bay area stations, but obviously more will be coming along. I saw a demo of this about six months or so ago - it's pretty cool, and interesting to see how far it has come.

SBC dials video
Cliped from Red Herring Jan 4:
More momentum for the convergence of telephone and video communications: SBC Communications subscribers can soon move video from computer to TV and back again. SBC executives said the high-speed data service will be offered in markets now served with regular local phone service. It is the first step by SBC's chief executive, Edward Whitacre Jr., to convert his firm from a traditional phone company to a TV-oriented communications competitor. The telecommunications company plans to spend about $5 billion over the next three years to build and connect customers. SBC and other large telephone companies have committed billions of dollars toward launching video services to offset growing competition in telephone services from cable companies such as Comcast. SBC's service will tie together satellite video with its Yahoo DSL Internet, running them through a single box that connects a customer's television, computer, and stereo. While prices have not been set, Mr. Whitacre has said he would like to offer a package of video, Internet, voice, and wireless for about $100 a month. SBC will unveil the service in Las Vegas this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. It will include video on demand and Internet radio as well as satellite TV. Eventually, the system will enable customers to get Caller ID and other phone information displayed on their TV screens. This story ran today in most of the major dailies, including the Chicago Tribune and the Houston Chronicle.

Spanish police nab suspected creator of webcam Trojan
Spanish police have arrested a man suspected of creating a Trojan horse software program capable of making secret recordings of Internet users through their webcams. The 37-year-old suspect, a computer programmer from Madrid, is alleged to have created a Trojan horse program distributed through peer-to-peer file sharing networks, like Kazaa. The Trojan horse can be hidden in a file for a picture or song, and once downloaded gives the hacker remote access to the victim's computer. The hacker can install a keystroke logger that records confidential information such as banking passwords and other sensitive information. It also gives the hacker the ability to operate a webcam connected to the computer, and to view and record anything in the camera's field of vision. Police characterized the Trojan horse as "highly sophisticated" and said they believe it has already infected thousands of computers in several countries. As far as they know, no commercial antivirus products are able to detect it, they said.

Exposed Web Surveillance Cams
Blogs and message forums buzzed this week with the discovery that a pair of simple Google searches permits access to well over 1,000 unprotected surveillance cameras around the world - apparently without their owners' knowledge." Apparently many of the camsare even aimable.

Here is a search that finds Axis webcams:

Google exposes web surveillance cams @ the Register

There is a whole web site deticated to hacking into stuff using google searches.

Monitors - LCD vs. CRT
Article discusses the differences between LCD and CRT. Briefly summarizes all the major issues (Price, Refresh Rate etc). More of a beginner level piece, but as LCD prices are dropping like rocks, it's good to be aware.

An Analysis of the Skype Protocol
PDF Paper here

Bollywood New Releases Available via Video-On-Demand, has just announced a secure, DivX video-on-demand service for first-run movies, but only for Bollywood movies. 'Each new Bollywood film is released on the public Internet a day before or on the same day of its theatrical release, through piracy on multiple illegal movie download web sites,' said Al Mason, CEO of Cinema on Web. 'Our partnership with DivXNetworks represents the future of entertainment on the Internet. Soon virtually all new major Bollywood and Hollywood movies, including entertainment will be distributed digitally with secure VOD solutions like the one created by DivXNetworks, simultaneously defeating piracy and generating additional revenue for film studios and producers.

Plasma's out, Hello SED
SED or "Surface conduction Electron emitter Display"
Canon - SED Technology

SED technology offers much better contrast, faster reaction time then LCD or Plasma display in a similar flat panel. Power consumption is also lower and should run cooler, using only 30% of Plasma TV and 66% of an LCD.

Toshiba will begin full-scale production of SED television sets next summer, which it jointly developed with Canon. The new TV is expected to be available in Japan in 2005.

VCD and SVCD formats
Someone called on a mistake I made reciently, where I said in passing VCD was MPEG2, it's MPEG1. SVCD is MPEG1 or 2.

The GNU Video CD Image Maker Has excelling technical info

What is VCD and XVCD?


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P2P Video Streaming

From my paper "Economics of Video and the Internet" 4/2003

The cost saving in P2P is immediately obvious. The reason for this is not as obvious. With a normal client server relationship, clients are paying for flat rate broadband Internet (cable/DSL) while servers are paying per bit at webhosting facilities. So clients are only covering the cost. With P2P clients pay for 100% of the distribution costs.

In order to have this happen, a client must on average, send as much as it receives. With file sharing this doesn't need to happen at the same time, but with live media, the send and receive must be the same at all times. In practice a client needs to send more then it receives so the distribution tree can fan out.
What this means is that since uploads speeds are caped at 128K for many DSL/Cable subsribers, Live P2P is also caped at 1/2 that

Commercial software for P2P multimedia streaming:
Chaincast, Allcast, SyncCast, AbaCast, RawFlow, Atmark-Techno, Network Foundation Technologies, End System Multicast, StreamerP2P, FlatCast.

Commercial software for P2P streaming, that are now dead:
VTrails and Blue Falcon Networks.

I had tried to get a P2P Streaming Audio company rolling a few years back based on my ECIP Procolcol, called Meshcast

Abacast Distributed Streaming Network technology

StreamGuys Peer to Peer Streaming, based on abacast

Wired - I Want My Internet TV

Site mentioned in Wired Article: AdultInternet.TV I don't recomend following this link. It's your typical adult site.

Some people considered IP Multicast and the MBONE as P2P streaming but this is not the case. Multicast happens at the network hardware layer and at the Routers. IGMP protocols, and Multicast groups. Not at the Peers.

What Is P2P... And What It Isnt O`Reilly

IPTV snip from CES

From Red Herring:
The stage was also set for Internet protocol television (IPTV). Mr. Gates discussed continued work with SBC and announced a new partnership with BellSouth. Lee Anne Champion, vice president of IP Services at SBC, took the stage to highlight IPTV.s new way to watch television, touting images of Major League Baseball with a variety of movable camera angles combined with streaming data.

Report on VideoNow Color
roborob2 :: Im looking for info on the VIdeoNow Color format, any info?
roborob2 :: Also, I can confirm that the Videonow Color disks are 4.25 inches, Its so the the cd's can stor 50 minutes of audia/video tracks
roborob2 :: The Tracks are played at 2X
roborob2 :: Also, it seems that the Video and Audio exist in both channels
roborob2 :: Email me at Roborob2 at if anyone has any information:)
roborob2 :: Thanks for hosting this chat John
roborob2 :: LINK This is were Videothen was born, it Converts 80*80 grayscale movies to Videonow, and sadly they discontinued coding for the videonow.

Cisco and Sun Tuning Into Video?
Is Cisco Tuning Into Video?

Andy Bechtolsheim of Sun fame and now at Cisco, filed trademark applications seeking to protect the following words: "Streamhub," "Streamswitch," "Streamstar," "Streamstor," "Streamcast,"

terjeoseberg: Apparently Sun purchased the company that makes StreamStar, and now has a video server team.
terjeoseberg: "Network Systems Group" or NSG is the group under which they operate.
Job listing at Sun list Network Server SW Development software engineer for the StreamStar scalable video server group

Apple looking for Video People

From: Kevin Lane
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2005 16:57:29 -0800
Subject: Job at Apple Computer

Apple's Video Codec Team is looking for talented and innovative engineers.
I have attached a brief job description for your review.

If any of your friends or colleges are looking please forward my contact
information to them.

Thank you for your help and time.

Kevin Lane
Staffing Specialist
Apple Computer, Inc.
klane at

Copyright © 2004, John L. Sokol
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