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Broadcast-quality science videos now on Web

Media Release
8 May 2006


Hotscience.co.nz is launched today, providing popular science programming online

Broadcast quality science videos available for free viewing and download

The Hot Science video-website (www.hotscience.co.nz) was launched today, providing New Zealanders with access to high-quality popular science television programming from all over the world at no cost and on a delivery schedule that suits them.

Kiwis can use the site to find out about science, to meet New Zealand scientists and discover what they do. Videos about leading edge science in New Zealand Universities and Research Institutes are in production and will be updated regularly. In addition to these peer-generated videos and featured local projects undertaken by students in communities and schools around the country, the site also hosts videos from NASA and other internationally respected scientific agencies. The site is an enabling Internet gateway for New Zealanders to interact with science.

“This is about exposing really interesting science to an audience that hasn’t previously had access to this kind of television content,” said Gresham Bradley, Hot Science Director of Programming. Delivering information about science that New Zealand audiences are interested in has been extremely difficult. It’s one of the areas where there is the least content available. With Hot Science we aim to change that and make science accessible to everyone.”

Hot Science is the website that showcases student videos made by the entrants to the Royal Society of New Zealand’s BIG Science Adventures competition open to all New Zealand secondary schools. The competition is supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand and sponsored by Freemasons New Zealand. It encouraged teams of three students aged between 15 and 18 to make a five minute ‘short’ videos about science in their community.

Hot Science visitors can now watch and download the six winning videos, with six Highly Commended and eight Commended videos to be released on-line in following weeks. The winners of the BIG Science Adventures will be visiting volcanoes, fiords and islands in June with some of New Zealand’s top scientists, again video-recording those trips. The team that creates the best video from these expeditions will win a once in a lifetime trip to Scott Base in Antarctica.

Powered by e-cast Limited state-of-the-art streaming video servers, Hot Science builds on the experience of e-net Limited in developing previous subject-focused science awareness video-streaming web projects – www.transitofvenus.co.nz and www.e-equals-mc2.com. The videos from these two projects will also be freely available on the Hot Science website.

In addition all the Hot Science content will be encoded so that it can be referenced on the National Library (Schools Division) ‘Discover’ website. This website allows teachers and students to find resources for specific curriculum topics and ensures that the Hot Science content will enrich the science information readily available to schools. The website’s development is supported by a grant from the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology through the Science and Technology Promotions Fund.

ENDS


Editor’s Note:

The Video Format:

Hot Science videos are delivered from e-net’s new “e-cast” Internet Premium Quality Video service using Apple's QuickTime 7 "H.264" codec. This revolution in video distribution over the internet provides smaller files of astonishing quality - crisp, clear and brilliantly saturated.
Video in H.264 are able to be viewed on both Windows-based and Macintosh computers.

The videos are available for streaming in dial-up and ADSL speeds and also for downloading free to viewers.

Downloaded files will store on computer hard drives and may be transferred to DVD’s, personal storage drives and MPEG 4 devices such as the new ‘iPod Video’ for direct viewing on standard TV screens.

H.264 represents the next generation of video for everything from mobile multimedia through broadcast and the Internet through to high-definition (HD) video. It has been chosen as the industry-standard codec for 3GPP (mobile multimedia), MPEG-4 HD-DVD and Blu-ray applications.

About e-net and e-cast

e-cast Limited is a parallel company to e-net Limited , specifically established up to provide Premium Quality Internet Protocol television and video hosting and streaming services.
Hot Science is produced and managed by e-net Ltd.

Both companies are based in ICONZ House in Auckland’s CBD and are owned by experienced broadcasters and producers Robert Boyd-Bell, Gresham Bradley and Brian Oliver.

e-net was set up in 1999 to provide specialist education, training and professional development services in broadcast television production, website development and management, streaming video, CD-Rom and DVD production.

“e-cast’s specific focus is the development of neutral digital distribution services using a mixture of technologies including Internet, broadband, and satellite,” says co-owner and director Robert Boyd-Bell.

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