RealTime IT News

WaveTop Network Adds Streaming Audio And Video

WavePhore Inc. said that it is adding streaming audio and video support to its ad-backed WaveTop broadcast service.

Integration of streaming technology will enable a wide range of multimedia services on WaveTop including live video, audio and other rich media "TV-like" content, the company said. Development tools for qualified streaming application and content developers are now available for WaveTop 1.0 software. WavePhore said it will provide integrated streaming support in WaveTop 2.0, which is scheduled for release later this year.

WaveTop's free, advertising-supported broadcast service already provides a range of multi-media programming, including news, investment advice and information, children's programming, weather, consumer reports and software downloads.

WaveTop is distributed nationally to TV-tuner board-enabled PC's such as the recently announced sub $2,000 PC-TV from Gateway, via the unused portion of television signals from 264 PBS member stations around the country.

WaveTop currently reaches the top 100 U.S. markets, representing over 85 percent of all U.S. households. It will be available to more than 99% of U.S. households by year-end, the company said.

"This is a major step forward for WaveTop", said Patrick Gilbert, chief technology officer at WaveTop. "By adding streaming video and audio to WaveTop, we are giving our viewers and content providers a taste of digital television, using existing infrastructure. It represents a great opportunity for content providers as everything they build now will transition seamlessly to our future DTV network. Effectively, WaveTop is the first nationwide terrestrial digital broadcaster in the country."

Charter advertisers include Atlanta Bank, EMI Records, Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp., Kellogg Co., Lincoln-Mercury Inc., Mobil Corp., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., Salomon Smith Barney Holdings and Spiegel Inc. WaveTop said its ability to deliver high-bandwidth applications to the home without the download delays associated with modems allows advertisers to send more creative multimedia advertisements such as movie and video clips, games, software downloads and micro sites.