Streaming Video


http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/streaming-video-audio-9.gif
http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/streaming-video-audio-9.gif




Description


Streaming video is a one-way video transmission over a data network. It is widely used on the Web as well as company networks to play video clips and video broadcasts. Computers in home networks stream video to digital media hubs connected to a home theater. Unlike movie files that are played after the entire file has been downloaded and stored, streaming video is played shortly after only a small amount is received. The data are not stored permanently in the destination computer. - PC Mag



Applications


Streaming video has had a tremendous impact on how people spend their time. According to comScore, 7 billion videos were streamed across the Internet in 2007 alone. Streaming video is growing in popularity so quickly that it may soon replace television altogether. Every applicable benefit of the television is now available through the internet. Of its many applications, streaming video is best used for:

  • Education: Streaming video is a popular means of factual information exchange. One can go to YouTube and learn how to play guitar, how to cook a steak, how to raise a puppy, you name it! Credibility is always an issue because these videos are often compiled by amateurs. However, more enriching, high-quality, educational videos are available to those willing to pay a price.
  • Entertainment: Media has also been a popular means of entertainment since the invention of the projector screen. Surfers can now view their favorite TV shows on internet websites like Hulu, Veoh, and YouTube for free and without having to wait for it "come on the air". If a television episode has been released to the public, chances are it can be found for free on these websites. Movies are also widely available, though the poor quality of a streaming movie offsets the fact that it is free to view. Digital films often come in ten minute segments at a time, so users are required to load a new page several times during the movie. This may be inconvenient, but it only applies to free media. There are various websites that charge money, but stream movies and television shows in high definition. Whether or not you want to actually pay money for streaming content, there is no reason to go to a traditional movie rental store anymore; entertainment is a just a click away!
  • Globalization: This is why streaming video is far more important than any traditional form of media. Before the internet, people's awareness of what was going on in the world was solely based on word of mouth and news media developed by other members of their general community. However, with streaming video anybody can watch current events from a new point of view, whether it be through a foreign newscast or a YouTube video of foreign politicians expressing their opinions. This allows people to eliminate biases in their worldview by choosing which source they actually agree with on a particular issue instead of only listening to local sources. This is a major step towards globalization because it allows members of all communities to speak in a single forum and debate freely. This should eventually lead to much more consensus between different regions, hence the term, globalization.



Related Links


Hulu
PC Mag
Veoh
YouTube