Streaming Video Media Player
After the video has been encoded and saved in an appropriate video streaming format it can be uploaded to a
server where it will be accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
There are two choices of server -
- Regular HTTP servers that are normally used to host web pages
- Dedicated Video Streaming Servers that offer more features for video streaming
The cost of dedicated video streaming web hosting can be prohibitive for most people, so HTTP servers are most
commonly used for video streaming which have a relatively low viewership. However, streaming video web hosting
offers a few advantages and should always be used for a high traffic web site that gets many simultaneous requests
for the video.
As an alternative to hosting the video on your own HTTP server, services like Google Video allow you to upload a
video file to a third party server. Simply add the link to the remote server in your web pages and the video
content will play locally without leaving the web site.
Streaming Video Media Players
When the video was encoded it was most likely saved in a format designed for a specific media player. For
example, Windows video files have a WMV extension and require the Windows Media Player to view the video.
Similarly, Apple QuickTime videos usually have a MOV extension and need the QuickTime player.
These media players must be installed on the end user's computer or the videos cannot be viewed. If the
appropriate media player is not already installed, the user will usually see a message with a link leading to the
The installation can be relatively simple and quick (like with the Flash player) or quite complicated (like the
RealMedia player). The ease of installing the Flash player is one of the reasons for its popularity with
approximately 85% of existing computers already have this media player installed.
Some streaming video formats such as MPEG-4, can be played by a variety of media players. Choosing a format like
this can increase your audience coverage, as MPEG-4 can be played using Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player and
several other third-party media players.
There are two options for viewing streaming video. The file may call the stand-alone media player which will pop
up above the browser window, or the video content can be embedded within the browser window itself. Flash video
does the last natively, but other formats such as Windows Media and QuickTime require you to choose this option at
the time of encoding.
Another option for streaming video is the use of a JAVA streaming video playback system. This is the least
intrusive method of delivering video to the end user because of the almost universal saturation of JAVA enabled web
The video is embedded in the web page and there is no media player to install. JAVA video streaming can be used
for web pages or email and does not require the use of a streaming server.
JAVA video systems require the purchase of a license, but some companies offer a free trial period. Clipstream
Video can be used at no charge on the proviso that a flashing logo is present in the video image.