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Live Madonna Webcast

Tuesday, November 28 could be another milestone for introducing the masses to streaming technology. The pop icon, Madonna, will take the stage in Bixton Academy, London for an intimate, live performance which will be webcast for all those not lucky enough to live in London, or to score tickets.

The webcast will appear on the MSN ( www.msn.com) site for free at 8 p.m. GMT / 3 p.m. EST. MSN has been promoting this event heavily with banner ads and television ads on MSNBC and MSN.com, and are expecting this event to bring together one of the largest Internet audiences to date.

NaviSite (www.navisite.com), a managed application hosting provider, has been selected by MSN to manage the delivery of the webcast. NaviSite will collect the stream from the satellite broadcaster in London, and relay it through several satellite and ground points, to four separate encoding locations. The video will then be encoded in Windows Media at 5 bit rates: 700 kbps, 300 kbps, 128 kbps, 80 kbps and 56 kbps. An audio-only 28.8 kbps stream will also be available. NaviSite will employ its streamOS system to manage the concert's distribution over the Internet.

Christopher Levy, chief technology manager of NaviSite, expressed confidence that they will be able to handle the expected high traffic. Levy indicated that they would be making use of a network of content delivery partners enabling effective load balancing. By delivering from several locations, Levy believes they will be able to avoid the fate of previous high profile webcasting congestion.

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