Press Release

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October 16, 2000


Sony to Launch "PercasTV" Personal Casting Service,
Providing Live Personal Video Distribution Service on the Internet

The Internet has brought a wide variety of new services to people's life including e-mail and Web browsing, and it has a significant potential for the further growth.
Tapping into this potential, Sony Corporation announced today that it will launch "PercasTV," ( a "personal casting service" in Japan, which paves the way for the distribution of live video materials by individuals over the Internet, using Sony's new Notebook PC with a built-in video camera "VAIO GT" [PCG-GT1].

Personal Casting Service "PercasTV"

In addition, Sony will start licensing "CastaDrive"-a streaming platform with time slot allocation that ensures seamless operation between hardware, software, and servers involved in live video distribution to outside parties in order to encourage the wide adoption of "CastaDrive," and the development of the "personal casting."

To launch this service Sony has gained support from Japan Telecom Co.,Ltd. in terms of preparation, operation, monitoring of user access ports and access lines, as well as network-related expertise and infrastructure. Sony's contribution includes:

  • Development of the "CastaDrive" personal casting platform
  • Development of the "CastaDrive" compliant hardware "VAIO GT" and the "CastaDrive" compliant software "UrecSight[ju:reksait]"
  • Preparation and operation of "PercasTV" (Sony's personal casting service)

"Sony continues to strive for the realization of the new genre of entertainment over the Internet by offering attractive network services, coupled with its state-of-the-art hardware expertise," said Keiji Kimura, President, Information Technology Company within Sony's Personal IT Network Company.

"As a leading telecommunications operator in Japan, Japan Telecom has been moving positively to develop the broadband Internet through ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) and its next-generation mobile phone business,"said Tsuneo Kitaura Senior Managing Director, Data Communications Business Headquarters, Japan Telecom Co., Ltd. "As the number of Internet users increases in Japan, new ways of enjoying the Internet are being sought. Sony's personal casting service offers a new type of Internet entertainment to people including the 1 million plus members of ODN (Japan Telecom's Internet service). We are delighted to contribute to this initiative through our large-capacity, high-quality Internet infrastructure and streaming expertise," he added.

Flow of the "PercasTV"service:
"PercasTV" is a pay network service that lets individuals distribute live video materials over the Internet. First, a user accesses the "PercasTV" Web site with a PC and registers on "PercasTV." Then they are required to input information such as time & date of distribution, title & a summary of the content, and decide a password for viewing the program as well as the audience that can view it.

To send live video materials, connect the "VAIO GT" with a PHS (Personal Handy Phone system) handset, and click the "start button" in "UrecSight," Sony's newly developed software to manage live video distribution on "VAIO GT." The video images captured with the "VAIO GT" camera are automatically converted into the streaming format, and sent to the server for "PercasTV". Viewers just have to access the "PercasTV" Web site and input the appropriate password. By selecting the assigned channel, viewers are able to enjoy live video images with a streaming player for playback.

Examples of how to utilize this service include: Relaying scenes of a wedding party from the actual reception location to friends who could not attend. Watching club events you missed. "PercasTV" can also be utilized as a new means of communications between families, schools and clubs, giving people a new avenue for personal entertainment.

As the broadband network evolves, content with larger file sizes can be transmitted more easily and people will be able to enjoy "PercasTV" with higher picture/sound quality.

1) Private channels (15 channels)
Password-protected channels for individual user's live video distribution. Up to 15 channels can be simultaneously serviced and users will be billed according to the amount of time spent on the program. Service fees vary depending on the length of the program and the number of audience that can access the video at the same time. For instance, it will cost approximately 5,000 yen for a 30-minute program with 10 accessible viewers. Further details are available on the following URL:

2) Public channels (5 channels)
Channels for content provided by "PercasTV" such as promotional events (both live and pre-recorded video materials). Third parties who want to distribute their commercial content for promotional activities can also use these channels. Anyone can access these channels without a password.

PercasTV web page image