Saturday, June 23, 2012


From my Public Company in 1999.    Digital Video Broadcast Systems.  (DVBS)

This is describing my 1992 design for an Internet Video Distribution System after having had worked on a large Internet video broadcast on Sun Microsystems Internet network.  We had 13,000 viewers watching 500Kbps video off of 384 servers in 1991. 

I left feeling inspired that this was the future of Television. It was the first time I had thought about sending video to more then one stream much like video conferencing.  Using the Network as a broadcast medium was an exciting idea with hard practical limitations that doomed some technologies like M-Bone that had an almost fanatical fan base has now fallen to obscurity. 

In 1993 after the release of the first Mosaic browser I contacted then and requested a feature be added to allow push content.  x-mixed-multipart mime type came from this request.  This allowed things like server push JPEG streaming and later server push javascript (an alternative to AJAX that's worked since 1996).

Using this I was able to make JPEG Push streaming system, that were basically silent movies.  This worked great for surveillance and later that year connected a Dycam model 1 connected via Serial Port to a 486 and was streaming video at 1 Frame Per Minute to a web server. If you left your browser open the image would always be current. 

 These were place in Venice Beach and in Tahiti and Yosemite National Park that would later capture images of the Glacer peak collapse.   

In 1994 I raise $100,000 to deploy the first CDN, the company was called NetSys located in Venice Beach California.  The Product was called SDSN.  Symmetrically Distributed Server Network.  Or basically place lots of copies of the content / servers out on the periphery of the network. 

This combined with an MPEG2 streaming system and my back end servers could a global video streaming network.   We launched with the Xing Streamworks acting as the Player and immediately everyone went to Xing who couldn't deliver a scalable product.  In the end we had our version of the server and CDN and they only had a limited server they had tried to build on their own. 

What happened though is most customers that bought from them ended up failing and dismissing internet video as not viable rather then admit to a mistake. 

By the time 1996 came around we were supporting almost 1 Million viewers of live JPEG video and yet non of the professional content companies would have anything to do with it.  We had almost 30 GigaBits per second of bandwidth available to us in 1996 and we managed to negotiate it for a few hundred thousand per month! We could well have been the single larges consumer of bandwidth on the internet except that no body knew us out side the adult industry . 

We eventually added GSM audio streaming to the JPEG and later that year we got a streaming H.263 with MP3 Audio solution running.

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