streaming video

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streaming video

A one-way video transmission over a data network. It is widely used to watch video clips and movies from the Internet on computers, tablets, smartphones and TVs. In addition, computers at home may be set up to stream a user's movie collection to a media hub connected to a home theater (see digital media hub).

Unlike movies that are downloaded and played at any time in the future, a streamed movie is played immediately after a small amount of video data is received, and the movie file is not stored permanently in the destination device.

It's Already in the Buffer
Watching momentary blips in video is annoying, and the only way to compensate for that over an erratic network such as the Internet is to get some of the video data into the receiving device before you start watching it. In streaming video, both the client and server cooperate for uninterrupted motion. The client side stores a few seconds of video in a buffer before it starts sending it to the screen and speakers. Throughout the session, it continues to receive video data ahead of time.

Video Calling/Conferencing Is More Demanding
Video calling and conferencing is much more taxing on the network and computers than streaming video. It requires sufficient bandwidth and processing power to handle the video coming in and going out in real time without the benefit of buffering (see real-time video). Very noticeable with services such as Skype and FaceTime, there are days when the connection is flawless and other times when the interruptions are numerous. See progressive download, home theater streaming, videoconferencing, smart TV, streaming audio and streaming video games.


The Streaming Concept
Extra packets are buffered in memory in order to compensate for the unpredictable delivery over the Internet.
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