A small audience scattered among a few dozen computer laboratories gathered Saturday evening to watch the first movie to be transmitted on the Internet […] But coming as companies in the cable TV, telephone and computer industries are hot on the trail of 500-channel, all-digital TV, let history record that Saturday night marked the first baby steps in that direction.
What Saturday night is this New York Times journalist referring to? 22nd May 1993. Yep, that is right folks. So u think ur up with it eh? The cult film, Wax: or the Discovery of Television among the Bees by David Blair, was transmitted from a Manhattan film production studio (from a VCR!) and watched by engineers and a banker at Sun Microsystems in California. The image was played at two frames a second, was black and white, blurry and the sountrack dropped out alot. But a Sun software engineer, Tom Kessler, was optimistic: “Come back in six months and this stuff will be working flawlessly.” It took a bit longer than six months, but there is good software and Net speeds to have feature films webcast. Look at the recent webcast of The Secret (that I’ve spoken about before), using Vividas. The technology is not such as problem now (though their is some big money being thrown around to use them), it is the monetisation (I love that industry term, it is so bad!) of them. We’re over the excitement of being able to do it and now want to make money out of it. But of course this can be a problem, the Net is founded on a philosophy of being free. Diversity and complexity, however, allows many philosophies to be honoured in the same ‘space’. There isn’t one system, there are polysystems. 🙂
WaxWeb site: interactive version of the film and access to buy the film on DVD