One of the big advantages of advancing Internet technology is
the ability to have multi media content delivered right to our
homes. Click a button and you can hear music or watch videos that
start playing almost immediately. The wizardry behind this delivery
system is called streaming and can be applied to both video and
audio media content.
Streaming video is similar in concept to broadcasting. Radio or
TV broadcasts work by sending out an audio or video signal from a
central broadcast tower or cable company and anyone with a TV or
radio receiver can enjoy that broadcast.
Streaming video works in almost the same way. Streaming can be
done in real time just like a broadcast, but it can also be used to
transmit stored material that can be viewed at any time. Just
imagine if you could switch on a TV and watch any programme that
you wanted. With streaming video, that is exactly what you are able
Live video feeds, also called webcasts, are a part of video
streaming, but the biggest application of video streaming
technology is for something called video on demand. The video content is
available for viewing at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a
Download Streaming Video
Any type of file can be downloaded to your personal computer.
The problem is that if that file is a big video file it may take
anywhere from fifteen minutes to several hours for the download to
finish before you can view it.
Video Streaming is different. It allows you to watch the video
as it is downloading. There is usually a short delay between
clicking the 'view' button and seeing the beginning of the video,
but this delay is measured in seconds rather than hours.
The reason for this delay is that the streaming video media
player is creating a buffer for the video. This buffer allows
the video to continue uninterrupted in case there is a disruption
in the download stream. Of course, if the disruption is too long,
the video will start skipping or just stop playing.
Anyone with a web site can place a properly formatted video file
on their server and create a simple hyperlink to allow viewers to
watch the video. This is fine for any website that receives low to
However, web sites that have a significant number of visitors,
may have to use a special streaming server that can keep up with
the demand of many people watching the streaming video
simultaneously. A streaming server is also needed if you want to do
Some Internet Service Providers or ISP's specialize in streaming
servers so anyone serious about offering reliable streaming
video to a large audience should use this type of hosting
The advantages of using a streaming server include detecting the
client's connection speed so that video files of an appropriate bit
rate are delivered. This spares the end user the necessity of
choosing between various formats.