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Ulises Izquierdo and Marnie Banger
(Australian Associated Press)
The coronavirus outbreak has cancelled concerts and events, forced venues to close and restricted funerals to only 10 people, but in the age of streaming, it’s still possible to watch some, if not all, of it online.
Animal lovers who despaired at Melbourne Zoo’s closure have been able to take virtual trips to monitor snow leopards, lions, penguins and zebras.
The zoo set up a few livestream cameras that have attracted up to 610,000 people since they started broadcasting last week.
Other institutions such as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra have followed suit.
The Victorian music institution will premiere a weekly series of pre-recorded concerts at 7.30pm on Thursday.
The initiative follows two Youtube livestreams they aired last week, which the MSO claims was seen by more than 100,000 home viewers around the world.
”We have chosen to transform a big challenge into an opportunity,” MSO managing director Sophie Galaise said.
“Music is good for the soul and for mental health and this initiative to Keep the Music Going provides a platform for our audiences to remain musically united.’
The streaming of funeral services has also surged during the past few weeks, Funeralcast claims.
The funeral webcasting service said it had seen a 600 per cent increase in inquiries as health concerns escalated and this is likely to increase following the measure restricting attendance at funerals to just 10 people.
All this streaming activity has presented a challenge to internet providers, as more and more people crowd the broadband.
The European Union asked companies like Netflix to ensure they were using telecommunications networks as efficiently as possible.
This has led the streaming platform to reduce the quality of its video by 25 per cent for 30 days in the EU. Netflix has now extended this to Australia and New Zealand as well.
Implementation commenced on Tuesday and the impact on the network will become clear over the next few days, the company said.
“We believe that this will provide significant relief to congested networks and we’ll be deploying it in Australia for the next 30 days,” Netflix content delivery VP Ken Florance said.