General Considerations

The tested products belong to two categories: programs limited to the player and exclusive server-reproducing systems. Both approaches have points of strength and glaring disadvantages, but none has come out as the all round best. Seeing as they are all available free on line, it is possible to download them and choose the best for ones personal needs.

In the server-reproducer category, VDOLive of VDOnet scored highest for the consumer. Webmasters will like it because it is based on the famous AVI format, for which there is already a wide selection of files and capture cards. Though there were delays before VDOLive played the files (ranging from a few seconds on fast connections to 15/20 seconds on 28.8 modem hook-ups), it was the only streaming system that offered an acceptable standard of video quality over a modem's bandwidth.

From a Webmaster's point of view the VDOLive Server comes with an acceptable price tag: ($120 per flow) and the associated conversion tools are easy to use and manage. StreamWorks by Xing started video reproduction before VDOLive, but was unable to guarantee acceptable results over a telephone connection.

The Vivo Active Vivo system doesn't have any servers to configure or maintain and creates files with a good level of streaming (for certain types of films), but the compression causes an inevitable deterioration in overall image quality. Vosaic's server-reproducing system is quite promising. Though in many ways it produced the best results in our tests, it is still a beta version and is based on a cumbersome and complex multifile system for which the proper tools are still unavailable.

Pull from the Magazine:
"INTERNET News"n.1 January 1997
Author: Gus Venditto
Technical new editions - Milan

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Last updated 7-Jan-97
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