What exactly is Video Streaming?

What exactly is progressive download? How is video live-streaming live over the internet? All these questions and much more are answered in this article.

Corporate web sites are now embedding helpful ‘how to’ and ‘introductory’ video files in their websites, and are becoming increasingly aware that their visitors are far more likely to watch the 3 minute video than to examine pages of text.

With video clip streaming over the internet now being overlooked, we have to ask; How does it function?

Firstly, we have to break video loading down into its 3 most commonly utilized forms.

1) On demand video clip streaming
2) Progressive download
3) Live video streaming

On requirement video streaming This is where a video content is streamed over the internet when a site visitor demands it. An example of this is how you click a play key for a video you want to watch and the video plays. This is very similar to the ‘Progressive download’ that we have mentioned except for 1 main difference. When a video is usually streamed it is using streaming machine technology. Steaming servers are a great way to make sure the video is delivered as it should be. Streaming video with the various loading server technologies also allows us to get around rather than just stream our video. We can actually have ‘user interaction’ with our loading server allowing us to take a video watcher to a shop to buy something they have seen and ‘clicked on’ in the video they are watching by way of example.

Progressive download: This is where your movie player downloads the whole video into the computers memory while the video can be playing.

Live video streaming: Live life video streaming requires a capture gadget, like a video camera, encoding software that transcodes or converts the video transmission from the camera into a web compliant video format and a streaming server.

It camera will pass on the video info to the encoder, which will send the particular transcoded video up to the streaming server (usually over the internet) using One of the various streaming protocols. The loading server will then broadcast the encoded video over the internet to your viewers who will see your video live, generally using a short delay, commonly about 7 to 20 seconds of what is going on in real time.

What is MPEG4? MPEG4 continues to be designed to allow video playpack on a wide variety of platforms. It can be used on computers, HD TV, PDA’s and mobile phones.

Although there are many different video platforms on the internet, the basis for all streaming, whether live, on demand or intensifying download, all work using comparable coding schemes derived from work done for MPEG2, the prior format to MPEG4.

MPEG4 is made up of ‘data channels’ used to send the video stream and the sound stream. The number of data channels is not really explicit. Generally we have a video transport channel that is used to stream it data, we have up to 8 channels for audio, usually MP3 or AAC (Advance Audio Codec), we have a channel for subtitles and we have a data channel that allows details to be passed to and from the loading server.

The reason video can be streamed successfully over the web is the delivery method. Video, especially in films, can be delivered frame by frame. This is carried over from traditional recording methods where each frame contains the full picture presented to the audience. These frames are played back again one after the other so quickly that, to the human eye, creates the result of continuous movement.

Compressed MPEG4 video is made up of ‘I-Frames’ and ‘P-Frames. I-Frames are effectively frames which contain all the information needed to display a framework, where a P-Frame is an update of the I-Frame. So what the decoder will is show an I-frame and after that show a series of P-Frames that revise changes in movement etc . For this reason, the video size is massively reduced. This explains why, when watching a video over the internet you sometimes see empty squares in the picture. This is because the particular P-Frames were not received in time and the decoder cannot update those places in the video.

What is a Codec The Codec is a way of coding and decoding information.
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So all the various video formats on the internet work in a similar way, using an encoder to reduce video and audio data whilst conserving as much quality as possible. This movie is then transmitted over the internet and when it reaches the clients player it gets decoded into, or even as near to, its original format.