A live webcast means taking the media and broadcasting it in real time over the Internet. Live media streams are generally provided by a means called true streaming. Live streaming sends the information straight to the computer or device without saving the file to a hard disk. A media stream can also be broadcasted on demand. On demand webcasting is provided by a means called progressive streaming or progressive download. On Demand streams are often saved to hard disks and servers for extended amounts of time; while in live webcasts, the streams are only available at one time only (e.g. during the Football game).

Streaming technologies like Adobe Flash, Apple QuickTime, and Microsoft Windows Media and Silverlight all include certain common components in their solutions. These include a player to play the media on the viewer's computer or mobile device, a defined file format or formats that the player will play, and often a server component that offers features like digital rights management and streaming.

How to stream live webcasts?

Below are technical steps of streaming webcasts in real time:

The audio stream is compressed using an audio codec such as MP3, Vorbis or AAC.
The video stream is compressed using a video codec such as H.264 or V8.
Encoded audio and video streams are assembled in a container bitstream such as FLV, WebM, ASF or ISMA.
The bitstream is delivered from a streaming server to a streaming client using a transport protocol.
The streaming client may interact with the server using a control protocol, such as MMS or RTSP.