Computerized Investing > September/October 2004

On the Internet: Webcasting

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The Internet has firmly entrenched itself as an invaluable source of financial data, company reports, real-time quotes, and breaking news. The corporate scandals of the past couple of years have pushed issues of full disclosure to centerstage. As companies strive to make as much information available as possible to investors, many are looking to the Web for a new avenue of information dissemination—on-line company conference calls and webcasts.

This article spotlights five Web sites that offer individual investors access to conference call schedules and the actual conference calls, as well as other important on-line company events—either via a telephone link or by using a media player installed on your computer.

The broadcasters serve as producers—they aid companies in putting the conference calls on the Internet and provide a portal for individual investors with the necessary audio capabilities to listen in. This is called webcasting or netcasting—the transmission of live or prerecorded audio or video to PCs connected to the Internet. The software that enables webcasting is referred to as a streaming media player. A certain level of technology is required to achieve streaming media and receive webcasting through your PC. Most PCs purchased within the last few years should have the necessary hardware and software, which include:

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