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This term has been visible in the technical literature since about 1995, but is only now starting to become known to non-specialists (The New York Times on 2 November had a headline “Silicon Valley says datacasting is hot”) and as yet seems not to have been listed in any general dictionary. It’s an obvious enough blend of data and broadcasting, and it’s a cover-all term for the transmission of various kinds of data as a secondary service on digital broadcasting networks. The networks can be terrestrial, satellite or cable, and the data can be information, interactive multimedia (including video), or Internet downloads. Although European broadcasters have been active in digital television and radio broadcasting for some years, it is doubtful whether the term is any better known in Europe than in the US.

The new venture will expand WorldSpace broadcasts to include datacasting, bringing Internet downloads to millions of people in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

Edupage, Oct. 2000

For other elements, such as movie clips, it might mean getting users’ permission to datacast video automatically into their hard drive caches — a variant on the old PointCast “push” model.

Telephony, Mar. 2000

Page created 18 Nov. 2000

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World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved.
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Last modified: 18 November 2000.