million of people watching live internet channels - lets have real.neo coop watched live 24 hours - justin tv and others

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Fri, 12/18/2009 - 23:16.


Justin Kan speaking at Gnomedex in 2007

Millions of People Watching 1765 Live Channels

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Home page of
"Live Streaming Video"
Live video broadcasting, Video hosting
Various, Inc
Justin Kan, et al.
March 19, 2007
Active is a website that allows users to produce and watch live streaming video. Like YouTube, user accounts are called "channels", and users are encouraged to broadcast a wide variety of user-generated live video content, called "broadcasts".

The company is an Internet startup based in San Francisco, California, with seed funding from Paul Graham of seed capital firm Y Combinator[1] and Series A funding with Alsop Louie Partners and Draper Associates[2] is notable for its origin: The original was a single channel featuring founder Justin Kan, who broadcast his life 24/7 and popularized the term lifecasting. In 2007, Justin Kan stopped broadcasting and relaunched into its current form as a network of thousands of various channels.[3]

Users are permitted to broadcast to an unlimited number of people for free, and watching broadcasts do not require user registration. Broadcasts that are considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users over the age of 18. Broadcasts containing defamation, pornography, copyright violations, and material encouraging criminal conduct is prohibited by's terms of service.[4]




[edit] Company history

[edit] Lifecasting origins

Justin Kan speaking at Gnomedex in 2007

The original was a single channel featuring Justin Kan. Wearing a webcam attached to a baseball cap and streamed online via a laptop-backpack system designed by co-founder Kyle Vogt,[5] Kan decided he would wear the camera 24/7, and he began streaming continuous live video and audio at midnight March 19, 2007.[6]

The novelty of the concept attracted media attention, and Kan interviewed with Ann Curry on the Today Show (April 2, 2007), Tom Merritt on the first episode of CNET Live, Nightline (April 6, 2007) and World News Tonight (April 8, 2007). His lifecasting project has been compared to EDtv, Being John Malkovich, and The Truman Show.[7]

[edit] Expansion into platform

In the summer of 2007, became a platform for more than 60 different channels.[8] Beginning July 21, 2007, channels were listed by popularity, starting with the most popular on the left. The Directory at the top of each channel showed which channels were live and which were not broadcasting. Depending on the entry time, a visitor might have seen only a small selection of the available channels.

By August 2007, channels were being added at an average rate of two a day, with content covering both lifecasters and event streaming. The international locations range from Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and France to the Netherlands and Sweden. In some cases, a lifecaster might travel from one country to another, as was the case when Lisa Batey traveled from Brooklyn to Tokyo and Kyoto in 2007 and 2008. Not all the participants have mobile equipment, however, and most simply transmit an image of themselves sitting at their computer. During this same time frame, singer-songwriter Jody Marie Gnant and others began lifecasting independent of Justin tv on Ustream and elsewhere.

On October 2, 2007, became an open network, allowing members of the public to register and broadcast.[9] By April 10, 2008, Kan stated in an Interview with Tom Merritt that had signed 30,000 broadcasting accounts.[10]

On March 14, 2008, added selectable Categories for broadcasters including: Featured, People & Lifecasting, Sports, Music & Radio, Gaming, News & Tech, Animals, Entertainment, Divas & Dudes.[11]

On Friday, June 27, 2008, added networks to the site, in which the user can make their own network with a forum, and officers that act as moderators for the network.[12]

On Monday, October 27, 2008, added Headlines which allows users to make reports on other broadcasters doing interesting things on the site, which then becomes edited and published for all users on the website to read and comment.[13]

For ease of use, a simplified redesign was introduced July 14, 2009.[14]

[edit] Technology's broadcasting and viewing technology is based on Adobe Flash, a browser plug-in found in 95% of all personal computers,[15] and available for all of today's widely-used operating systems.

Users can broadcast directly from the site, with using Flash to auto-detect and stream from an attached webcam. also supports broadcasting using other third party software, most notably QuickTime Broadcaster, Camtwist, Flash Media Encoder, Wirecast, and VLC, to allow broadcasters to add effects or stream higher quality video.[16][17] has no default video quality setting; instead, it sets bitrate on a case-by-case basis by testing the broadcaster's available bandwidth. The broadcaster can also manually adjust the bitrate before going live. While broadcasting from the browser, the maximum quality settings are 1000 kbps for video and 44 kHz for audio. As a comparison, YouTube High Quality video are 400-500 kbps, and 720p high definition video is approximately 2000 kbps.[18][19] The 1000 kbps limit can be exceeded by using alternate broadcasting methods, such as Flash Media Encoder and Quicktime Broadcaster, and 720p video in H.264 has been broadcast by some users.[20]

Following the re-design in July 2009, the default channel video size changed from a standard aspect ratio of 468 x 353 pixels to a widescreen 630 x 353 pixels.

[edit] Content accessibility

Like YouTube and other static video sites, allows each channel to be accompanied with an HTML snippet, which allows users to embed video onto pages outside the site.[21] Another snippet is given to embed the associated chatbox as well, thus allowing users to recreate the basic functionality on another page. Broadcasters have the option of disabling embedding for their specific channel.

Following the release of the API in August 2009, released Flash SWF files that allows developers to include video in Flash projects.[22]

[edit] Localization

While the primary site is in English, there is support for users to translate the site into other languages. 4 languages (Chinese, French, Latvian, and Spanish) have been translated completely, and an additional 14 are over 50% translated.[23]

[edit] Criticisms

[edit] Copyright has been criticized for failing to ensure that its videos respect the law of copyright.[citation needed] Although complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, [24] the nature of live broadcasting makes it difficult to take down streams in a timely manner.

In August 2009, announced a deal with Fox to actively filter streams in real-time.[25]

[edit] Lifecasting pranks

During the period when consisted solely of Justin Kan lifecasting, Justin became the target of several pranks. A viewer spoofed Justin's caller ID (publicly available on the site) using an IP Relay service. On March 21, 2007, the spoofer called the San Francisco Police Department and filed a false report about a stabbing in the apartment. The following day, someone reported a fire at the apartment. The San Francisco emergency services then put's number on a list which requires a confirmation call before responding to any emergencies.[26] Kan changed his number and kept the new one private.

[edit] Security

In July 2008,, a computer security group, released a non-malicious cross-site scripting (XSS) worm onto the site. After successfully propagating the virus, contacted programmers and worked with them to fix the vulnerability.[27]

[edit] Abusive users

On November 19, 2008, 19-year-old Abraham K. Biggs committed suicide while broadcasting to a room full of viewers on his channel by ingesting an overdose of benzodiazepine and opiates. He was also struggling with bipolar disorder[28][29] Biggs posted his suicide note online, as noted in The New York Times:

Much of the evidence of Mr. Biggs’s suicide and the reactions of users was removed from and after his death was confirmed. But according to a chronology posted by a fellow user, Mr. Biggs listed the pills he had obtained and posted a suicide note that he had copied from another Web site. He directed people to his page on, where anyone can plug in a webcam and stream live video onto the Internet. In a chat room adjacent to the live video, the “joking and trash talking” continued after Mr. Biggs consumed the pills and lay on his bed, according to the user, who said he tried to reach the local police from his home in India.[30]

The man's father, Abraham Biggs, Sr., says those who watched share some blame in his son’s death.[31] CEO Michael Seibel stated, "We regret that this has occurred and respect the privacy of the broadcaster and his family during this time. We have policies in place to discourage the distribution of distressing content and our community monitors the site accordingly. This content was flagged by our community, reviewed and removed according to our terms of service.”[32]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Live From San Francisco, It's Justin Kan's Life". 2007-04-11. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  2. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  3. ^ Gonzalez, Nick (2007-10-02). "Justin.TV Teams Up With On2 And Opens Network" (in English). TechCrunch. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  4. ^ " Terms of Service". Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  5. ^ "Kyle Vogt". 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  6. ^ "A Conversation with Justin Kan of". 2007-06-06. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  7. ^ Yang, Jeff. "Asian Pop: Man with a Cam" San Francisco Chronicle, March 27, 2007.
  8. ^ Guynn, Jessica (2007-05-29). "Can't get enough Justin? You can watch Justine: 'Natural star' ready to take on leading role in the latest around-the-clock Web show". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  9. ^ Gonzalez, Nick (2007-10-02). "Justin.TV Teams Up With On2 And Opens Network" (in English). TechCrunch. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  10. ^ Merritt, Tom. CNet Live. [1], April 10, 2008.
  11. ^ Kan, Justin. Blog. [2], March 14, 2008.
  12. ^ " Blog: Biggest Release Ever!". 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  13. ^ " Blog: New Feature — Headlines". 2008-10-27. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  14. ^ Siegler, MG. " Redesigns To Make Broadcasting Easier And Chat More Obvious," TechCrunch. July 14, 2009.
  15. ^ "Adobe Flash Player Version Penetration". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  16. ^ "H.264". Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  17. ^ "VLC Broadcasting API". Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  18. ^ "How to encode your videos for YouTube's new High Quality Option". Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  19. ^ "Encoding for YouTube 720p HD". Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  20. ^ "Voluminoso Gaming". Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  21. ^ " FAQ". Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  22. ^ " API Wiki". Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  23. ^ " translate". Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  24. ^ " DMCA policy". Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  25. ^ " signs deal with Fox, gets serious about copyright problems". Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  26. ^ Arrington, Michael (2007-03-23). "Viewer Prank: Police Raid". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  27. ^ Danchev, Dancho (2008-07-14). "XSS worm at infects 2,525 profiles". ZDNet. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  28. ^ Tribune wire reports 2:45 PM CST, November 21, 2008 (2008-11-21). "ABRAHAM BIGGS: Abraham Biggs overdoses in front of webcam, dies".,0,3798921.story. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  29. ^  . "Gannes, LIz. "19-year-old Commits Suicide on," NewTeeVee, November 20, 2008". Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  30. ^ Stelter, Brian. "Web Suicide Viewed Live and Reaction Spur a Debate," The New York Times, November 24, 2008.
  31. ^ 11:34 p.m. ET (2008-11-22). "MSNBC". MSNBC. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  32. ^ "Horror as teenager commits suicide live online," Times Online, November 22, 2008.[dead link]

[edit] External links

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