ICTN plays video on local cable and is available in most homes in Irving. Webcasts are available only to users with Internet connections, but are available regardless of location.
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Streaming is a way to break up sound files into small pieces. This allows the player to begin playing the sounds before downloading an entire file. If streaming is not used, the meeting would have to be saved to a large file during the event, and then users would have to download the entire file without losing their connection to play it. Streaming means that pieces of the file can be sent while the file is still being created, and that users do not need to download the entire file to begin playing. Streaming also means that home users on modems who get disconnected do not have to start their downloads over from the beginning.
Bandwidth, for our purposes, refers to the amount of download needed to open a file. A computer with a 14.4 modem has less bandwidth than a user on a corporate T1 line. This means users on low bandwidth connections receive grainier images and choppier sound than users on high bandwidth, but can still receive live, detailed information.
Webcasting is just a technical / trendy way of saying that something is video or audio that is broadcast on the web.
The Information Technology department exists not only to support city employees in their day to day tasks, but also to provide citizens with information about city functions with the web. These webcasts will hopefully increase the audience of those listening to and thus participating in various city activities. The more people the city is serving, the better job we are doing!