Washington DC CBS affiliate W*USA used Digital Rapids’ StreamZHD media encoding and streaming system to deliver President Bush’s January 23 State of the Union Address live on the web in high definition. The web simulcast of the HD pool feed marks the first time a television station has streamed a live event publicly over the internet in HD.
StreamZHD was used to encode the high definition pool feed of the event into Windows Media Video format (Microsoft’s implementation of SMPTE VC-1) in realtime at 1280×720 frame size and stream it for distribution. Two DRC-Stream encoding boards with Digital Rapids Stream software were also used to provide standard definition and smaller streams for users with lower-bandwidth connections.
W*USA was also the first television station in Washington DC and sixth overall in the United States (first in a top-ten market) to present its local live newscasts in HD. W*USA’s web site, WUSA9.com, was also the first local broadcast station website to offer streaming video for local news.
“Having proven ourselves as a leader in both HD television news and leveraging streaming video for local news on the web, bringing the two technologies together is a logical step in delivering the best possible viewing experience to our audience,” said Brian Franco of WUSA-TV. “Digital Rapids StreamZHD was well-suited to high definition streaming, and the encoders performed flawlessly. We intend to make as much HD content as possible available through our web site, and StreamZHD provides us with the technical capabilities to efficiently achieve this goal.”