The streaming media is hot now as broadband speed increases and more people are watching video’s and programs over internet. The media, television in particular moving out of prime time concept. The traditional prime time concept is like the publisher chooses the time and broadcast their prime content like news or drama. Now the industry moving towards like instead of publishers picks what to see when, the end users or the viewers can choose what to see and when.
The technology improvement on streaming technology over internet to deliver digital content leads this shift. Already Hulu and Netflix well on their way to utilize this.
What is Streaming?
Media streaming is a process to deliver continuous media such as video or audio to a receiver as a continuous stream of packets. Due to this stream of packets, the receiver does not need to download the entire file before starting to play (or render) the media
Types of Streaming:
There are three types of streaming available now,
1. Traditional Streaming
2. Progressive Download
3. HTTP adaptive Streaming.
1. Traditional Streaming:
Using a traditional streaming protocol media is delivered to the client as a series of packets. Clients can issue commands to the media server to play (i.e., to send a media stream, to temporarily suspend this stream (i.e., to pause the media), or to terminate the media stream (i.e., to teardown the media stream). One of the standard protocols for issuing these commands is the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)
2. Progressive Download:
One of the most widely used methods of media delivery on the web today is progressive download. This is basically a download of a file from the web server, but with the client starting to play the media contents of this file before the file is completely downloaded. Unless the media stream is terminated, eventually the
entire file will be downloaded. In progressive download, downloading continues even if the user pauses the player.
The Internet’s most popular video sharing website – YouTube – uses progressive download
3. HTTP Adaptive Streaming
Adaptive streaming is based upon progressive download of small fragments of the media, but the particular fragments that are downloaded are chosen based upon an estimate of the current network conditions. Each of these fragments is called a chunk. Thus “adaptive streaming” is not actually streaming the media content, but instead it is an adaptive version of HTTP progressive download!
Advantages of HTTP Adaptive Streaming over other approaches:
- It provides fast start-up and seek times with in a given item of content by initiating the video at the lowest video rate and later switching to a higher bit rate.
- There is no disconnection, buffering, or playback stutter problem.
- It provides seamless bit rate switching based on network conditions.
- It also provides the user with seamless video playback.