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eCompany launches streaming services

eCompany, Etisalat’s e-business unit, has launched a new streaming service as a part of its hosting services. Customers will now be able to stream pre-recorded video and audio files over the internet from their web sites.

eCompany, Etisalat’s e-business unit, has launched the new EIM Streaming Service. Customers will now be able to stream pre-recorded video and audio files over the internet from their web sites for viewing by their audiences.

Streaming is a broadcast technology, which was popularised by Real Networks in the late 90s. It is a low-bit-rate encoding format intended for use over networks and the internet. The streaming server matches the encoded bit rate to the connection speed of the user, so the remote viewer can play multimedia files with minimal stoppage without first downloading the entire video file.

Audio, and especially video, files tend to be large running into several megabytes, which makes downloading and accessing them as a complete package a time-consuming operation. With streaming technology, however, the files can be downloaded and accessed at the same time, which makes using them much faster and easier.

eCompany will provide the mechanism to stream video and audio files as an internet service provider (ISP) without being involved in the production or encoding of the media material.

“Customers can view the eCompany Streaming Service as ‘anytime broadcasting’ to focused target audiences that is ideal for any marketing campaign or public messaging exercise. The world over, customers have been extending their peak broadcast day by 4 - 6 hours with streaming. Financially, it makes more sense than mass campaigns,” says Abdulla Hashim, senior manager, eCompany.

Streaming media files consume much more disk space and bandwidth than standard HTML web pages, requiring a robust server platform, with plenty of disk space and a fast speed connection to the internet.

eCompany’s web hosting customers applying for the streaming add-on will be able to utilise the storage space and data traffic allowance that were bundled with the original packages. Non-customers applying for the streaming service will have to acquire storage space from the eCompany packages.

EIM’s streaming service supports standard formats such as Apple’s QuickTime (QT), RealMedia (RM) and Windows Media (WM). The service will also support additional formats such as MPEG-4 and MP3.

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