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NetShow was Microsoft's original framework for Internet network broadcasting, intended to compete with RealNetworks RealMedia & Vivo (acquired in 1998 by RealNetworks).[1] It is now renamed and marketed under the Windows Media umbrella.

NetShow 1.0 came out in 1996.[2] A newer version, 2.0, was included in Windows NT 4.0 SP3 in 1997.[3] Version 3.0 came out mid-1998.[2] The whole product line was renamed to Windows Media in October, 1999, four months before Windows 2000 appeared.[2]

The NetShow name is still carried on in the user-agent string in current versions of Windows Media Player, which reports as "NSPlayer".


NetShow Player 2.0 running in Windows XP

This was used to play NetShow content, either in its standalone player or embedded in a Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator Web page, or in a custom application created with a program like Microsoft Visual Basic or Microsoft Visual C++. [5]

NetShow server software allowed unicast or multicast live or stored content. It included NetShow server software, and administration tools. [6] It was eventually incorporated into the media server functionality of Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). Netshow server and encoder functionality was also integrated into PowerPoint as part of the Online Broadcast functionality in Microsoft Office 2000.

•NetShow Real-Time Encoder •ASF Editor •NetShow Presenter •VIDTOASF •WAVTOASF •ASFCHOP [7]

Its tool sets were for the most part command line programs. The SDK made the framework available to 3rd party vendors that created series of hardware as well as GUI tools that allowed integration into the Windows OS.[8]

  • NetShow Server (also known as Theater Server)

A high bitrate, full frame, on-demand streaming media solution for closed-circuit networks (such as airplanes or hotels).

Related technologies[edit]


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  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Microsoft Net Show 2.0 FTP Archive
  6. ^ Microsoft Net Show 2.0 FTP Archive
  7. ^ Microsoft Net Show 2.0 FTP Archive
  8. ^ FTP archive Creating NetShow™ Video