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What is it and how does it work?



  Smart TV showing streaming service program
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We have long retrieved content from the internet and it has become so important that the internet is synonymous with services like Netflix and Youtube. But what exactly streams and how does it work?

Streaming hands bit by bit

When you want to watch a video or play a song on your computer, you must download it first. There is no way there. Knowing this you can look at Netflix or Spotify and ask "how did we find out how to make videos and music downloads right away?" Well, that's just the thing. When you stream media, it does not load directly to your computer. it gets bit by bit in real time.

The word "streaming" is self-descriptive. Information comes to your computer in a continuous, steady stream of information. If movie downloads are equivalent to buying bottled water, streaming movies are like using a tap to fill an empty bottle.

You can compare to playing a movie to watch a VHS band. When playing a VHS tape, every second of video and audio is scanned bit by bit. This happens when you look in real time, which means that any interruptions will suddenly pause or end your movie experience.

When you stream a movie or song, your computer downloads and decodes isty-bitty bits of a real-time media file. If you have an unusually fast internet connection, the file can be downloaded completely before you finish watching or listening to it. That's why a stream will sometimes go for a while even if the internet is cut out. That said, everything that you run will not be on your computer's permanent storage (although some services, such as Spotify, will put some small cache files on your device to make future playback faster).

Businesses work hard to make Streaming Fast

Streaming video and audio from the internet is not new. it just feels new because it is finally comfortable. Watching a video or playing a song from a site happened a bit for a bit to be an annoying and time consuming affair. The power would constantly stop and start, and you could spend minutes just waiting for the media to be buffered (and sometimes it wouldn't be buffered at all).

But how the flow works has mostly been the same. Files are downloaded bit by bit when you watch or listen to them. It is the infrastructure that has changed, and companies like Youtube and Netflix have worked hard (and spent a lot of money) built up that infrastructure.

 Abstract filing cabinet as Bulgarian with files
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Youtube and Netflix used to use only one or two servers to host the content, and it did not work. Users who were far from the servers experienced a lot of storage, and high-traffic days (for example, Saturday night) would slow down streaming servers to a crawl. Companies have solved this problem by building Content Delivery Networks (CDN), for storing and sending content. A CDN is a tight, global network of servers that all contain the same content. This reduces inventory, which means that servers in densely populated areas become overloaded.

Of course, a powerful CDN is useless if all your users have sharp internet connections. In some ways, this question resolves over time. Internet service providers always compete for faster and more powerful internet connections, and advances like global Google Fiber and 5G internet connectivity are just over the horizon.

However, some streaming services and ISPs have realized that despite fixed internet connections and frequent CDNs, high global internet traffic can cause streaming storage. Not to mention, services like Netflix use more than 15% of the world's global internet bandwidth. When many people are streaming in the latest season of Stranger Things, the entire internet can slow down.

As a result, streaming services tend to provide Open Connect Appliances (OCAs) to ISPs. These OCAs are basically hard drives that are full of popular movies, songs and other streamable content, and they reduce the need for your ISP to redirect your internet traffic to a Netflix or Hulu server. This not only makes streaming faster, but it also prevents the entire internet from slowing down to Netflix's grace.

Live Streaming Introduces New Problems

With live video streaming on platforms like Facebook Live or Twitch, the information you Receive on your computer takes place in real time (or as close as possible). So, as you can imagine, a live streamer must be able to upload content as soon as you can download content.

 Evening sun on a small white home
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As a live reader records his video, every millisecond of that video (and its accompanying sound) is divided into small little files . These small files are compressed and organized by an encoder, they fly over the internet, and the computer downloads them bit by bit. Because the files are coded, the computer can put them together in an understandable video, and there should not be much delay between you and the streaming source.

Popular live streaming services like Twitch and Youtube use a global network of servers to reduce the delay and improve the quality of video streaming. But all live streaming videos are for the mercy of a live streaming internet connection. As you can imagine, live streamers cannot use OCAs. Fortunately, the development of fixed internet connections, such as Google Fiber, has enabled streaming, and the implementation of 5G home internet connectivity will take the quality of live streaming a little further.

The future of Streaming is video games [19659006] The idea of ​​playing video games in your browser is not entirely new. A good part of the internet is dedicated to small games, and there are plenty of people who go on Facebook specifically for Farmville and Candy Crush. But some companies are trying to take browser games one step further by creating streaming services for resource-heavy console games.

Just to be clear, we are not talking about life-streaming Farm Simulator on Twitch, we are talking about playing remote game video games, without a dedicated console or a $ 1000 computer. With game streams, a server far away from your home handles all the number of knocks needed to drive resource-hungry games. Services like Google's Project Stream and Nvidia's GEFORCE NOW promise that your scraper $ 100 laptop will be able to play even the biggest, most beautiful games. This can save people a lot of money, and it will eliminate the obstacle that hardware limitations have set for video games.

Of course, playing a video game on someone's computer is much more difficult than playing a movie. You do not progressively download a static file; You manipulate and interact with a real-time file. If there is a delay between controller inputs and screen activity, the game is unplayable. You can watch services like Skype and Facetime as a pre-cursor for game streams, as they require fast two-way connections. But the game streams must be much more seamless.

Resource-heavy gaming services are not common or super-secure yet, so businesses have been relieved of their business secrets. But we know that they mainly follow in Netflix's footsteps. Companies like Nvidia are building CDNs full of super-powerful graphics cards, and Google is trying to figure out how to connect Open Connect Appliances that are full of high-speed Internet games for Google Fiber home services. Anyway, gaming streams are the next step in the history of streaming media.

RELATED: Game streaming services will face the same problems as Streaming TV


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