RealTime IT News

Net Firms Gear Up for Clinton Testimony

Leading Internet companies responded quickly to the controversial decision today by the House Judiciary Committee to release President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony by gearing up for their own Web-based broadcasts.

The release of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's report online last week had a huge impact on the Internet, not only as a test of its ability to withstand a heavy traffic load, but in terms of exposure for the medium as a means for delivering breaking news and information.

Internet media firms will be hoping that President Clinton's four-hour videotaped testimony before a grand jury in the Starr investigation will give the streaming video medium a similar boost on the Web next week.

Industry leader RealNetworks, Inc., in conjunction with ABCNEWS.com, CNN, FoxNews, and NPR, announced today it will broadcast Clinton's testimony via its Real Broadcast Network (RBN).

The Seattle-based company said it also plans to complement the videotaped testimony with RealAudio and RealVideo reports from major news sources.

Broadcast.com said today it too will make the testimony available via its streaming media network as soon as the tapes are released.

The company has added additional capacity to its distribution network and server farms in anticipation of what it said could be the largest day for streaming video on the Internet.

InterVU, a leading developer of turnkey video and multimedia services, will distribute Clinton's video testimony via CNN's Web site on Monday at 9 a.m EDT.

The Seattle-based company said users can view the video on the news site using either Microsoft's Windows Media Player or RealNetworks' RealPlayer.

"Given the popularity of Ken Starr's report on the Internet, we anticipate that this will be one of the largest Internet video events to date," said Ed Huguez, COO InterVU, in a statement.

Another company looking to capitalize on the broadcast of Clinton's testimony is encoding.com, a firm that converts audio and video for delivery via the Internet.

Today encoding.com said it will offer news organizations the opportunity to encode the Clinton video for use on the Net for free. Normally the company said it would charge more than $1,000 to provide such services.

"What this event shows is that encoding is a critical part of the process of converting traditional media to Internet media," said Martin Tobias, CEO and Founder of encoding.com. "Bandwidth and technology are only part of the solution. Without encoding, no one would be able to offer this news tape or any other on the Internet."