At the University of Kentucky (UK), we applied streaming video technology to develop a webcast model that will allow institutions to broadcast live and prerecorded surgeries, conferences, and courses in real time over networks (the Internet or an intranet). We successfully broadcast a prerecorded laparoscopic paraesophageal hernia repair to domestic and international clients by using desktop computers equipped with off-the-shelf, streaming-enabled software and standard hardware and operating systems. A web-based user interface made accessing the educational material as simple as a mouse click and allowed clients to participate in the broadcast event via an embedded e-mail/chat module. Three client computers (two connected to the Internet and a third connected to the UK intranet) requested and displayed the surgical film by means of seven common network connection configurations. Significantly, no difference in image resolution was detected with the use of a connection speed faster than 128 kilobytes per second (kbps). At this connection speed, an average bandwidth of 32.7 kbps was used, and although a 15-second delay was experienced from the time of data request to data display, the surgical film streamed continuously from beginning to end at a mean rate of 14.4 frames per second (fps). The clients easily identified all anatomic structures in full color motion, clearly followed all steps of the surgical procedure, and successfully asked questions and made comments by using the e-mail/chat module while viewing the surgery. With minimal financial investment, we have created an interactive virtual classroom with the potential to attract a global audience. Our webcast model represents a simple and practical method for institutions to supplement undergraduate and graduate surgical education and offer continuing medical education credits in a way that is convenient for clients (surgeons, students, residents, others). In the future, physicians may access streaming webcast material wirelessly with hand-held computers, so that they will be freed from computer stations.