Video files are generally large, so downloads can take a long time. One way round this problem is the use of video streaming, which allows you to view video files while the download takes place. The video file is sent to your computer in a continuous stream and is viewed using a streaming video player, which may come bundled with your operating system or be downloaded separately.There are two distinct types of video streaming – real-time and on-demand.
Real-time video streaming is used for viewing live events, such as football matches or concerts. The event is captured using a digital video camera and the output from the camera is transferred directly to a to converter which converts it into a streaming video format that can be broadcast over the Internet.
In on-demand streaming, the video source is an existing video file on DVD or hard disk. Again, this is converted to streaming video format and transmitted over the Internet. On demand streaming is used by companies like Netflix and LOVEFiLM, as well as the Internet TV viewers offered by the major TV channels., such as football matches or concerts.
The quality of streaming video is variable. It depends on:
- the hardware used initially to capture the video
- the degree of compression employed
- the and the speed of the Internet connection
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