Live broadcasts

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

You can distribute live broadcasts, or webcasts as they are often called, by using Windows Media Services. You can either produce new content for a live broadcast or simultaneously broadcast content that is also being broadcast on the television or radio. You can archive the live broadcast and make it available to users on demand at a later time. Examples of live broadcasts include news conferences, sporting events, and music concerts.

When implementing this scenario, consider the following:

  • Use an encoding computer to encode content into Windows Media Format and create an encoded stream. You can then broadcast the stream from a Windows Media server.

  • On a Windows Media server, create a broadcast publishing point that uses the encoded stream as the data source. If you want to switch from the live stream to a file, such as a file containing advertising or prerecorded content, and then back to the live content, create an exclusive playlist that uses script commands from the encoder to initiate the stream switch. Consider using a wrapper playlist to play some content before and after your live broadcast. Wrapper playlists are commonly used for site branding, welcome messages, and sponsor identification.

  • A webcast has a scheduled start time, which means that most users will try to connect to it in a short period of time. By creating a group in Windows Media Services, you can use several Windows Media servers to distribute the load of connection requests.

  • Let your users know that content is available. You can create a link on your existing Web site that users can use to connect to your publishing point and access your content. You can also create a default Web page with a link to your content and then customize the page to meet your needs.