There are several modes of content delivery over the internet: progressive download, pseudo streaming, chunked streaming, and adaptive streaming. Each mode has different requirements for content production.
Progressive download uses a traditional HTTP web server to deliver the video. A video file is transmitted in its entirety from the server to the requesting client device as fast as possible. The player requests the video once and after buffering enough data, starts displaying the video while continuing to receive and store the rest of the video packets on a hard disk. Progressive downloading technologies, e.g., Apple’s QuickTime, have specific requirements for content production to satisfy the player specifications.
Streaming technologies provide continuous video content from a streaming server to a client for simultaneous consumption by the client. The server transmission rate closely matches the client consumption rate which may be limited by real-time constraints in addition to bandwidth availability.
Pseudo streaming is characterized by the server transmitting according to the encoding rate and enabling seeking via media indexing.
In chunked streaming, as the name implies, content is divided into chunks of short duration, and is suitable for live streaming and ad insertion.
Adaptive streaming allows delivery content based on such factors as network conditions, and device capabilities and states (e.g., display resolution, available memory and hardware resources). Adaptive streaming technologies leverage well understood HTTP and IP transport protocols. In addition, adaptive streaming facilitates the paradigm of video on any device, anywhere and anytime and enables the monitoring and tracking of streaming clients. Streaming clients direct the adaptation processes.
Among the prevalent proprietary streaming technologies are Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Adobe HDS and Apple HLS, but the industry momentum is now shifting towards standards based streaming, namely MPEG Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG DASH) and MPEG Common Media Application Format (MPEG CMAF).
MPEG-DASH works by breaking the content into a sequence of small HTTP-based file segments, each segment containing a short interval of playback time of content such as a movie or the live broadcast of a sports event. Segments may be encoded at different rates. The content is played back by an MPEG-DASH client that automatically selects alternatives segments to download and play based on current network conditions.
TechPats has extensive experience in the analysis of video stream technologies. Our analysts have investigated a number of different streaming applications and features, and performed functional testing of live video streams.