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ION Resources - Streaming Media

Activity 1- Designing for the Lowest Common Denominator (within reason!)

You have determined that using audio, video, or both are the BEST technologies to deliver your content and you want to integrate streaming technology into your course Website. First, you must think about your audience:

What kind of Internet connection will your students use to access your course materials?
If they are connecting via MODEM, what is the speed?
28.8 Kbps
33.3 Kbps
56.6 Kbps
150 Kbps (very unlikely!!)
T1 or T3 (Maybe from school, but definitely not from home!)

Go to the Media Streaming Technologies Web page at the University of Wisconsin and evaluate 5 different presentation formats created with RealMedia. Each presentation format can be viewed at different modem speeds. The presentation formats are:

Talking Head
Medium Action
High Action
Slide Show
Audio Only
go.gif (351 bytes)Media Streaming Technologies

As you view each format at different speeds, answer the following questions:

  1. What is the lowest acceptable bandwidth is for each format? For example, consider how a high action video segment plays via a 28.8 Kbps modem.

  2. Do you think it is necessary to use video for all presentations, or would just audio be acceptable in some cases? Explain your rationale.

  3. For which kinds of content would slide show presentations be adequate?

  4. What are the pros and cons of using the Talking Head presentation method?

  5. Bottom Line: what have you understood from this exercise?

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