The premiere of the film READY SET ROCK ‘N ROLL took place on November 1 2019 in Simplon, Groningen. The same place where it all began, 25 years ago.
We hope that our film inspires people to pioneer more themselves, to develop themselves and to achieve beautiful things together with other people. Therefore we encourage you to publish it, screen it, and promote it.
Creative Commons license
The film is licensed non-exclusively under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND terms. This basically means that you can publish the film (as it is) in any non-commercial way. You must credit the authors and refer to 25yearsstreaming.com.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Let us know where and when you publish the film
Download link to hi-res version
Please contact us for a link to a hi-res version that you can use for broadcasting or publishing on your own platform. You may also copy the embed code of our player from the homepage. The film is also available on YouTube.
We offer the film ‘Ready Set Rock ‘n Roll‘ for free and only ask for a small favour in return: please donate to the Beatrix Children’s Hospital.
If you’re healthy, you can achieve anything. The Beatrix Children’s Hospital focuses not just on the health of very ill children, they focus on the wellbeing of the child and their family too.
Sometimes we forget that it is not obvious for all children that they are read to in the evenings, or that they can play outside with their friends from school.
To pioneer, to be able to help the world a little further, to be able to inspire people, you want to be free from illness, or at least you want to grow up in an environment in which you experience the least possible inconvenience from your limitations.
The Beatrix Children’s Hospital tries to create such a safe environment for seriously ill children, and also for their parents and their brothers and sisters.
The Foundation ‘Vrienden Beatrixkinderziekenhuis‘ supports the hospital not just with funding for scientific research on children’s illness, it also funds entertainment and family rooms.
One great example is the cinema theatre, where families can watch films together. Another nice example is the application of VR-goggles so children aren’t scared in a MRI scanner. You can find an overview of other events and projects here.
You can donate here. Thank you very much!
Jet-Stream celebrates 25 years streaming
Time for presents!
1) New: Jet-Stream Platform v11
Jet-Stream introduces a major new version of its award winning streaming media management platform for broadcasters, publishers and media professionals. This release introduces media metadata management, new statistics and even easier to use interfaces. Available per November 1st 2019, for free for all existing and new Jet-Stream customers.
Read more about the new platform on this blog post.
Get your free Jet-Stream account here.
2) 100GB Extra Storage For Free
All Jet-Stream Pro accounts get 100GB extra UltraHD performance and 4x redundant storage for free per November 1st 2019. Log in your Jet-Stream account and start your transcoders.
3) New: Privacy Player
Stop tracking people! Jet-Stream helps you to protect the privacy of your audience. The new Jet-Stream Video Player is unlimited, and for free. Expert features, no trackers, no limits and ultra-fast. The Jet-Stream Player is fully integrated with the new Jet-Stream Platform:
4) New: Streaminar.com
Turn your audience into customers with our exciting new social streaming platform. Promote and generate leads. Produce a professional live stream in your browser, and stream simultaneously to multiple social platforms. Become a live celebrity.
Check out Streaminar Beta, it’s totally free!
5) Documentary: Ready Set Rock ‘n Roll
A documentary was made about our first live stream, on November 4 1994. A short film by Alex Pitstra and Koen de Koning about the city of Groningen. With its rock music, creative and digital scenes. And some crazy kids with a wild idea.
Watch the documentary on 25yearsstreaming.com.
- press release
Streaming video is 25 years old today
And it has a Dutch history
Groningen, November 4, 2019 – The very first live video broadcast on the internet in the world, came from the Netherlands, today exactly 25 years ago. This is the subject of a rockumentary by the filmmakers Alex Pitstra and Koen de Koning. The film can be watched today at 25yearsstreaming.com.
Streaming is popular
Netflix, HBO, Youtube, Instagram stories: streaming video is very popular. There are now more subscriptions to video services than to digital television. With your smartphone you can broadcast live with 1 click. But long before companies like YouTube started, the Netherlands was already experimenting with streaming video.
The first live broadcast ever
On November 4, 1994, a rock concert was broadcast live from the Simplon pop stage in Groningen. The image quality was poor and there were only four viewers, but it was the first live video broadcast on the Internet in the world, as far as can be traced.
“Ready Set, Rock” and Roll: 1994
The film “Ready Set Rock” n Roll gives a glimpse into the rock music and creative scene of Groningen in 1994. Nirvana and Pearl Jam were popular. Windows 95 did not exist yet. Internet was really in its infancy. Movies? Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump and Natural Born Killers. It was the time of Kok I Cabinet, Mitterrand, Mandela and, eh Wet Wet Wet.
Kids with a modem
And there was a bunch of guys without a budget but with a wild plan, a computer and a modem. Rudo de Jong, Gerad Harens and Stef van der Ziel did something that was reserved for large satellite companies and broadcasters with large budgets: a worldwide broadcast live broadcast.
Why did this happen in Groningen?
More than a third of the inhabitants of Groningen are students. In the 1990s, many students played in bands, in the many bars and venues without closing times. Music was played until deep in the night.
The Groningen music scene attracted other creative minds. They did photography, video editing and designing. A Do It Yourself mentality emerged, to develop new creative resources as a community. They pioneered with limited resources with computers and the Internet, and that is how the idea came to connect everything: music, video, publicity and the internet.
Digital city in 2019
Nowadays Groningen is still that young city, with many more international students, and a very well-functioning digital industry. From a national and European perspective, Groningen performs much better when it comes to fast-growing internet companies. Think of Voys, Frank, Payt, Appwiki, Parkos, Nova, Belsimpel, Data provider, Simplicate and many others. The pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit is still doing well in Groningen.
It is a bit of a shame that the rock culture in the background has disappeared in a city that once called itself Rock City.
Which band was it that was actually broadcast live on that Friday night of November 4 in 1994? They don’t know anymore, they were too focused on making that broadcast. Will we ever find out?
The film Ready Set, Rock and Roll can be watched today at 25yearsstreaming.com
Note for the press:
Publish the movie
The film is made available under the Creative Commons license. We hope that the film inspires other people to start pioneering themselves. That you can achieve everything, if you want. And sometimes a crazy idea is enough, as long as you are crazy enough to do it. That is why we encourage the media to publish and promote the film. Put the video on your website, broadcast it. It’s allowed.
Contact us for the download link to the hi-res version, and let us know where and when you will publish the film. Contact: email@example.com / +31508003311
— persbericht —
Streaming video is vandaag 25 jaar oud
En het heeft een Nederlandse geschiedenis
Groningen, 4 november 2019 – De allereerste live video uitzending op internet ter wereld, kwam vanuit Nederland, vandaag precies 25 jaar geleden. Daarover gaat een rockumentary van de filmmakers Alex Pitstra en Koen de Koning. De film is vanaf vandaag te bekijken op 25yearsstreaming.com.
Streaming is populair
Netflix, HBO, Youtube, Instagram stories: streaming video is razend populair. Er zijn inmiddels meer abonnementen op videodiensten dan op digitale televisie. Met je smartphone kun je met 1 klik live uitzenden. Maar lang voordat bedrijven als YouTube begonnen, werd er in Nederland al druk geëxperimenteerd met streaming video.
De eerste live uitzending ooit
Op 4 november 1994 werd een rockconcert live uitgezonden vanuit poppodium Simplon in Groningen. De beeldkwaliteit was matig en er waren maar vier kijkers, maar het was wel de eerste live video uitzending op Internet ter wereld, voor zover te achterhalen is.
‘Ready Set, Rock ‘n Roll’: 1994
De film ‘Ready Set Rock ‘n Roll’ geeft een inkijkje in de rockmuziek en creatieve scene van Groningen in 1994. Nirvana en Pearl Jam waren populair. Windows 95 bestond nog niet. Internet stond echt nog in de kinderschoenen. Films? Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump en Natural Born Killers. Het was de tijd van Kabinet Kok I, Mitterrand, Mandela en, eh Wet Wet Wet.
Jochies met een modem
En daar was een stel jochies zonder budget maar met een wild plan, een computer en een modem. Rudo de Jong, Gerad Harens en Stef van der Ziel deden iets wat voorbehouden was aan grote satellietmaatschappijen en omroepen met grote budgetten: een wereldwijd te bekijken live uitzending.
Waarom gebeurde dit in Groningen?
Meer dan een derde van de inwoners van Groningen zijn student. In de jaren ’90 speelden veel studenten in bandjes, in de vele kroegjes en podia zonder sluitingstijden. Tot diep in de nacht werd muziek gespeeld.
De muziekscene van Groningen trok weer andere creatieve geesten aan. Ze deden aan fotografie, videomontage en ontwerpen. Er ontstond een Do It Yourself mentaliteit, om als gemeenschap nieuwe creatieve middelen te ontwikkelen. Ze pionierden met beperkte middelen met computers en Internet en zo ontstond het idee om alles aan elkaar te knopen: muziek, video, publiciteit en internet.
Digitale stad anno 2019
Tegenwoordig is Groningen nog steeds die jonge stad, met nog veel meer internationale studenten, en een ontzettend goed draaiende digitale industrie. Groningen presteert landelijk en Europees gezien veel beter als het gaat om snelgroeiende internetbedrijven. Denk aan Voys, Frank, Payt, Appwiki, Parkos, Nova, Belsimpel, Dataprovider, Simplicate en vele anderen. De pionierende en ondernemende geest zit er nog goed in, in Groningen.
Stiekem is het wel een beetje jammer dat die rockcultuur op de achtergrond is verdwenen in een stad die zich ooit Rock City noemde.
Welke band was het eigenlijk, die live werd uitgezonden, op die vrijdagavond van 4 november in 1994? Men weet het niet meer, ze waren te veel gefocust op het maken van die uitzending.
De film Ready Set, Rock ‘n Roll is vanaf vandaag te bekijken op 25yearsstreaming.com
Noot voor de pers:
Publiceer de film
De film is beschikbaar gesteld onder de Creative Commons licentie. We hopen dat de film andere mensen inspireert om zelf ook te gaan pionieren. Dat je alles kan bereiken, als je maar wil. En soms is een gek idee al genoeg, als je maar gek genoeg bent om het te doen. Daarom stimuleren we de media om de film te publiceren en te promoten. Zet de video op je website, zend hem uit. Het mag. Graag zelfs.
Neem contact met ons op voor de download link naar de hi-res versie, en laat ons weten waar en wanneer je de film publiceert. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0508003311
Producing the first live video stream, as far as we know
Groningen Rock City
Groningen is one of the youngest cities in Europe. Of the 180.000 people back in the nineties, almost 80.000 were students. No closing hours made for a healthy rock scene. Almost every night, students played in bands in many of the hundreds of bars. The audience: other students. Groningen was -and still is- a vibrant city.
There weren’t that many jobs back in the early nineties, so students – and those who dropped out of college like me – found voluntary jobs in one of the rock temples in Groningen. This is where the coolest bands played: grunge, rock, punk, surf, beat, hip hop, dance, ska, funk, metal, you name it: it was there. Vera and Simplon were the places to go, to see cool local and international bands. Some of these international bands became quite famous, like Green Day and Nirvana.
The rock scene in Groningen attracted other young people. Concerts had to be filmed. Posters needed to be designed. A creative scene of designers, photographers, light jockeys, film makers and artists joined in and mixed with the rock culture. People between 17 and 25 were in charge of bookings, stage lights, sound, filming, promotion and designs: everything you need to promote bands, let bands play, and let the audience (themselves) have a great time.
Do it yourself community
The people in the scene were quite poor. Playing with your band could mean free beer. Filming on stage could get you in a concert for free. People were in the scene to be part of something bigger, to learn and to create. And of course to drink beer, flirt with girls or guys, watch cool bands and do cool new stuff yourself. Because there was no budget, you had to be creative. And you had to convince other people to help you. The scene embraced the Do It Yourself mentality of the punks and mixed it with the community idea of the hippies.
In the early nineties the creative scene from Groningen started to work with computers. Computers had been gear for nerds so far, but now they offered tools to do graphic design and music composition. I loved it. Our mission: to create great underground rock and roll designs, but with the automation of the computer. Exactly the opposite of the boring clean DTP design styles of that era.
(story continues below gallery)
With the limited resources available, we managed to buy a Mac computer with a video grabber card in 1993. And that changed a lot. We could now capture and digitise the analog video feed from the video crew who filmed the concerts.
In 1993 we also bought a modem. Because we had heard about this internet thing. We browsed the entire web in The Netherlands. Literally. Web pages were typically text only. But then came Netscape. We built our first – graphically designed – website. We started to upload audio fragments and video clips of concerts. Took us an hour to upload, but who cares. Rock and roll. Okay, the phone bill was a problem.
Gerad and Rudo and me
1994. It must have been one of those many nights where we sat at the bar in Simplon, drinking beer and you know, having fun. Great stories. Cool music. And always full of crazy ideas. Gerad, Rudo and me. And a bunch of other drunk people. Gerad basically lived in Simplon. Gerad was a gifted film maker. A rockabilly. He was so passionate, I learned so much from him. Rudo really knew a lot about computers. Even unix stuff. Wow. And we shared the enthusiasm for the same music.
Let’s broadcast live!
We were talking about all that internet stuff at the bar. About the opportunities. And what our next big plan should be. I don’t recall who shouted it: “WHAT IF WE COULD BROADCAST A CONCERT LIVE ON THE WEB?!”. Everybody started laughing. ‘Come on guys, you’re pushing too far, nobody has internet anyway!’ We laughed too and drank more beer. But it also made us more determined to try it. Who cares if it didn’t work. It will be fun. Rock and roll.
We had prepared some scripts but had tested nothing. This evening was our test. Just do it. It was a Friday night, November 4 1994. We moved our Mac computer to the Upstairs Bar, which has a small stage, typically used for local bands to play for their friends and family and a small audience on a Friday night. We taped a phone line to the ceiling, from the office to the kitchen next to the stage. The band rehearsed. And then the band started to play. Really loud.
First step: grabbing frames
Okay, getting technical here. A video feed went from the video crew’s analog Panasonic video mixer into our Apple Mac Performa 630’s video grabber card. It captured really small JPG files, like 200×150 pixels or so – to the hard drive. A local script repeatedly uploaded the latest JPG as fast as it could through our modem to a web server, using FTP.
The web server was important: it was running the latest Netscape server software, which introduced a new feature called HTTP Keep Alive. Before, each request for a HTML page, or an image, required the browser to open a new connection, request the object, and then close the connection. For the second object, the entire process repeated. Open, request, close. Open, request, close. Terribly slow. But now, a browser could keep the connection open and request all required objects, which was much faster.
Instead of embedding a JPG, we put a CGI script in the <IMG> tag. This server script told the browser to constantly refresh just the image, as fast as it could. Load, reload, load, reload. Without needing to refresh the entire page. It was later called server-push-jpg, the technology became popular with webcams.
The first browser to implement HTTP keep alive technology was Netscape 1.12 beta for Mac. I remember it was just released. Windows 3.1x users still had to refresh the web page manually to see a new image. (Yes, that’s right, Windows 95 was not out yet). But on our Mac, we saw magic: a live stream of images.
We saw live images, auto refreshing inline. Just 200×150 pixels. One or maybe even 2 frames per second if you were lucky. We had no audio. Which is quite important if you want to broadcast a concert. And we had just 4 viewers. These were people we knew, who stayed at home to watch, instead of drinking beer with us at the concert. It was a stream of images. Which is basically what video is. And it was live.
To me this was a breakthrough. Yes, technically it sucked. But! We were one of the first mortal souls to broadcast live video on the World Wide Web.
In the nineties, live broadcasting across the globe was something that was restricted to very rich companies with extremely expensive satellite connections.
And here we were. Three punks sitting in a kitchen, behind a computer with a modem, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, broadcasting live, protecting our ears against the extremely loud noise of the band playing next to us.
I realised how this would change the world. Anyone could broadcast. The technology would improve. This would rock the broadcasting industry. I wanted to be part of that revolution.
25 Years streaming…
All we had seen before was a static live image of a coffee pot in 1993. We made a live stream of images in 1994. It wasn’t until 1995 before RealNetworks introduced RealAudio, and RealVideo was introduced in 1997. I launched Jet-Stream.com in 2002. YouTube launched in 2005: 11 years after our first live stream.
Today, we can’t imagine life without (live) streaming: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, FaceTime and Netflix for instance. Watching video on the web is unavoidable these days. There are now more subscriptions to streaming services than to digital television. And we happened to plant that small seed 25 years ago. Wow.
p.s. all kudos to Gerad and Rudo and the people from Simplon. This was a team effort.