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StarBak Releases Updated Streaming Appliance

StarBak Communications (www.starbak.com) released an updated version of its Torrent 100 streaming media appliance. The Torrent 100, introduced in January 2001, is one of the new breed of servers that can stream many of the popular formats — including Windows Media, RealNetworks and QuickTime, from one appliance. The Torrent, however, does not support RealNetworks.

Among the new features of Torrent 1.1, is an increase in the number of simultaneous QuickTime and MPEG-1 streams that can be output, raising both to a maximum of 500, while maintaining the unit's ability to send 1,300 simultaneous Windows Media Player streams.

"Streaming media is one of those applications everyone wants but very few are really taking advantage of," says Ray Harris, president of StarBak Communications. "Two of the primary reasons are the complexity on the delivery end, and the limits on output. With version 1.1, we've addressed both of those issues to make streaming media more practical for more organizations. We really want to put it within reach of everyone who wants to use it."

"We believe streaming media will become increasingly important for organizations that want to differentiate content online," said Greg Howard, principal analyst at HTRC Group, LLC. "Our projections show the market for performance streaming services will grow to $1.7 billion by 2003. StarBak is positioning the Torrent 100 to help drive that growth, and ride the wave to success."

According to the company, the Torrent is a rack-mounted system that costs under $7,000.

Other companies in the streaming appliance space include Vingage (www.vingage.com) and Midstream (www.midstream.com). The Vingage Video Server, announced in November, is a real-time transcoding server that also handles the three major streaming formats. Midstream's appliance was set to be released in April, but the company reported this week that it was being delayed.

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