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Three Thousand Years of Longing 2022


What is video streaming?


Video streaming is a continuous transmission of video files from a server to a client. Video streaming enables users to view videos online without having to download them.


Streamed video content can include movies, TV shows, YouTube videos and livestreamed content. Services such as ShowSpen and HDS have had great success in streaming videos to subscribers.


The term streaming refers to the continual transmission of audio and video files from a server to a client. In video streams, content is sent in a compressed form over the internet and is displayed by the viewer in real time. The media is sent in a continuous stream of data and is played as it arrives. The user needs a player, which is a special program that uncompresses and sends video data to the display and audio data to speakers. Examples of media players include Windows Media Player 12 for Windows 10 or QuickTime Player for MacOS.


Video streams normally begin with a prerecorded media file hosted on a remote server. Once the server receives a client request, the data in the video file is compressed and sent to the requesting device in pieces. Audio and video files are broken into data packets, where each packet contains a small piece of data. A transmission protocol, much of the time either Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP), is used to exchange data over a network. Once the requesting client receives the data packets, a video player on the user end will decompress the data and interpret video and audio. The video files are automatically deleted once played.


TCP is typically the more reliable protocol; however, UDP has a faster transmission time. UDP is used when speed takes precedence over reliability, while TCP is used when reliability takes precedence. Many consumer streaming services use TCP, for example, while UDP is well suited for video conferencing.
Video streams are usually sent from a prerecorded video file, but they can also be distributed as part of a live broadcast feed. In a live broadcast, the video signal is converted into a compressed digital signal and transmitted from a special web server that multicasts, or sends the same file to multiple users at the same time.
Users can stream from their desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, or through other devices such as Chromecast or Apple TV. Different applications can be used to stream video such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ or Twitch. Services such as YouTube stream videos for free and are ad supported, while services such as Netflix are supported by a user subscription model.
Video streaming also requires a high enough speed for the best performance. Less data is needed to stream lower video quality, but higher video quality, such as 1080p – which features a progressive scan display -- or 4K needs faster data speeds to play smoothly.
Although a small portion of TV shows broadcast up to 1080i -- which uses an interlaced display -- most programs are broadcast over the air with the primary definition set at a standard of 720p, a resolution that YouTube no longer considers high definition. By comparison, streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube offer video resolutions of up to 2160p, which is 4K.


Reasons for buffering


Another challenge for video streaming involves buffering. Buffering is the process a media player uses to load a video stream a few seconds ahead of time. This helps to ensure there is no lag in the stream and the video can keep playing if service is briefly interrupted. If a network connection is slow enough, or if service is interrupted long enough, the video will stop playing while buffering continues to occur.

In addition, if a router is too slow to send video data to a device, then the video will buffer. Upgrading the router and internet speeds can help prevent this and improve a user's streaming experience


Difference between downloading and streaming


The main difference between downloading and streaming video is that streaming is a continuous transmission of video files in real time. Video streaming can also include livestreamed content, which is content that is currently being produced. The video is not copied and saved; instead, once streamed, the data is deleted.

Downloaded content cannot be played while it is being downloaded. Instead of loading and buffering small amounts of the video at one time, downloaded video files are loaded all at once.