The Berlin-based news channel NTV is to launch "n-tv online" on 3rd May. This hybrid Web and TV media offering offers an interesting possibility that others might follow. "The Internet experience will offer everything from world politics to weather, the Dow Jones to German football championships", said Joachim Magin, in charge of New Media/Online at NTV.
RealVideo and RealAudio coverage of politicians and experts will enhance the online programme. Viewers interested in economics and politics will be able to exchange views and opinions,as well as with specialists in chat rooms and forums.
A n-tv-pilot project in conjunction with T-Online will be made available providing the first 24-hour-Live Video Streaming service of a German channel over the Internet. The service will be called up from the T-Online "portal" site www.t-online.de. "Independent TV formats such as Focus TV, Sat 1 ran and Pro Sieben News are already available on T-Online making it the first 24-hour-Streaming of an entire channel, a significant step for us", said T-Online's CEO Wolfgang Keuntje at the CeBIT press-conference in Hannover.
Technically this is how it works: T-Online receives the terrestrial n-tv-signal through a satellite receiver and translates it into a digital signal with the help of a fast PC and Real Systems Version 5 from Real Networks. Two independent streams are generated from this: one of 20 Kb/s bandwidth for modems and another of 45 Kb/s for ISDN. The actual videostream is run from a videoserver, once again using software from Real Networks. And it is through the telecom's Internet service that the streams are made available worldwide.
Thanks to ZDNet Germany for this report. Translated by Sophie Handrick.