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Multimedia: Video and Audio Support?

Early 70s and 80s experiments in voice across the Internet never came to full fruition simply due to lack of bandwidth. Multimedia file and mail transfer did come about, however, and the MIME content types permit easy use in WWW. Recently, however, researchers have been running audio and video interactively across the world much more successfully due to increases in bandwidth. This has led to the development of interesting tools for Computer Supported Collaborative Work (and play!). There have been some early attempts to integrate these in WWW, albeit only with partial success. There are three main areas one can look at:

  1. Using WWW Clients to browse indices of existing multimedia databases and transmissions (e.g. TV/Radio/Video on Demand).
  2. Sharing views on the Web by linking up and synchronising distributed WWW Clients (Shared Mosaic).
  3. Using WWW as a way to rendezvous, coordinate and launch conferencing and other applications (Mbone).

Figure 10.1: Video Conferencing on the Internet

Jon Crowcroft
Wed May 10 11:46:29 BST 1995