If you want to watch a video presentation, chances are you’ll be directed to a webcast link. A webcast is an online broadcast of multimedia files viewed through the internet. Sometimes called “web seminars”, webcasts will play on your computer, and this means that you don’t need any special hardware or software – just use your preferred browser.
Webcasts can also be downloaded on your computer, which means that the webcast presentation will be saved in a file and you can play it at any time as often as you like.
Webcasts can be stored in a number of formats, such as Flash video (FLV), Windows Media Video (WMV) and MP3. The advantage of downloading the presentation is that you don’t need an internet connection and this means your webcast will play anywhere – on your laptop or desktop for example.
Webcast producers will make a recording of their presentation and place it on a website. This webcast can be embedded in the presenter’s own site, or it could be made available for free from another website – perhaps from an internet marketing company that wants to promote its business.
A web conference is a web-based presentation that allows multiple users to interact with the host and other participants. Users join a virtual meeting room where they can exchange messages, share their desktop screens or even see each other as webcam images.
Webcasts are often used as promotional tools by businesses that want to convey information about products and services. For example, you might find presentations from internet marketing companies telling you how to achieve success online, and you might find webcasts from internet service providers (ISPs) who want to sell you a broadband package.
The best place to go for information about upcoming webcasts is the website of the individual or company that’s producing the webcast. They’ll tell you what to expect, how long it will last and whether there are any follow-on reports, tools or other resources you can download.
When you click on a webcast link, it will usually play within your browser window and the presenter’s presentation should start automatically. If not, look for a button that says “play” or something similar and click on it to get the presentation started. Sometimes there is a “download” or “take this survey” button that will appear instead.
Click on the closing cross in your browser window to stop watching the webcast. If you want to save it, look for an option called “save” – this may be under a menu item called “file”, so look for something similar to “save as”.
Webcast files can be large and it’s best not to watch them on a dial-up internet connection because this will take too long. A broadband connection is recommended, although you’ll find that if the webcast is being broadcast live then it may be choppy because of network traffic during the live show.
The video quality of a webcast can be quite low, especially if it’s an older presentation. Webcasts are often recordings of presentations, so the presenter might not have taken time to make sure all their images and video clips look good or move smoothly. On the plus side, you’ll probably be able to use a lower quality version if you decide you want to download a webcast to your computer.
We hope this article has been helpful. Thanks for reading!