It Ain’t Streaming

It Ain’t Streaming

It’s a distinction without a difference.

Streaming is technically the delivery of content that is delivered using the same rate that was used to create it.  For example, create a video file encoded at 2 Mbps and a true streaming server opens it, discovers it is 2 Mbps, and carefully meters it out to viewers at 2 Mbps.

In the days of low speed dial-up networking, being efficient as possible really mattered.  Delivering data via progressive download meant that viewers would receive parts of the video that they don’t even watch. So true streaming was important.  When browsers learned how to make byte-range requests (HTML 1.1), and with HTML5 and native support for video in browsers, and with true broadband available even on cell phones, things changed and true classic streaming was not longer necessary for video on demand.

YouTube, for example, never did streaming.  They provide a progressive download of the video file or what we used to call “pseudo streaming”.  Do you care?  Did it hold them back?  Of course not.  Like I said, it is a distinction without a difference.

But it is of course true streaming is necessary for the delivery of live video. For live video, it’s still pretty much all HTML5 / HLS / DASH which operates very differently from playing a Video on demand file..  More on that in another article.

Discover Video provides all types of delivery means to get your live and on-demand content to viewers.  True streaming, HLS/DASH, Progressive, multicast/unicast, all part of a comprehensive formula for success.

Rich