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What you should know about streaming digital video

Streaming digital video is when a digital video is being continuously transmitted, displayed and received by a receiver.The word "streaming" refers to the method that the media sender is using to continuously make the digital video medium available.A good example of media streaming comes from delivery systems such as radio and television.This method of delivering media means that the digital video is always available, no matter the time of the day.People are excited about streaming video because through the use of streaming digital video almost anything can be viewed in real time.Media lovers can see their favorite bands perform live and important news coverage can be brought to an international online audience in a matter of seconds.Streaming digital video provides us with a way to be at any location where streaming video is set up and see an event unfolding at any time of the day with only a few seconds of delay.

There are two main methods of streaming video: Streaming servers (also called true streaming) and HTTP streaming.When creating a personal streaming video, you need to understand the video file format that you are using and the streaming method.

File format

File formats are ultimately decided based on personal preference as they are all relatively similar in nature.You will need to keep in mind that if your intended viewers do not choose to use the specific format that you have chosen, they will not be able to view your streaming digital video.Those looking to reach a wide audience will create separate video streaming files in each of the most popular formats.The most common formats are Windows Media, RealMedia, Quicktime, MPEG (in particular MPEG-4), and Macromedia Flash.

Alternative ways to stream

There are typically two ways to view digital video online.One is by downloading and the other is by streaming.When you download a file you can both download the entire file and save it to the computer before viewing it or you can follow a hyperlink that will give you a faster and more advanced way of viewing digital files.Delivering media via hyperlinks is called HTTP streaming or HTTP delivery (HTTP means Hyper Text Transfer Protocol).HTTP streaming is easy to set up and requires very little if any additional software to support, but it is not "true" video streaming, just the nest best thing.

Progressive downloading

As another form of HTTP streaming, progressive downloading simple begins playing after small sections of the video clip are downloaded.It is similar to true streaming because there is the possibility for a constant stream of digital video except for the fact that when the file cannot download quickly enough there are pauses in the stream of video.

True streaming

In true streaming the viewer is able to watch a digital video in almost as much time as it takes the video to finish downloading.True streaming is only available through a specialized streaming server.The user is able to send a relatively constant stream of video to the viewer.The biggest difference between true streaming and its imitators is that with streaming there is no waiting involved.Even live events can be viewed online (sometimes these types of streaming events are called webcasts or netcasts).

True streaming can be expensive because of the need to have an exclusive streaming server so most people use HTTP streaming instead.In many ways both methods are so similar that few people are willing to spend the additional time and money to get true streaming digital video, but there is no doubt that true streaming video is fun to have, especially if you are a media junkie.

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