Video Streaming

What is the method of Video Streaming?  According to Wikipedia it refers to:

'Multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider.'

How did it come about?

Mainly due to the old dialup Internet connections (remember 56K modems?) simply being too slow to show video.  Several years ago, before broadband access came out, you would need to download the entire video itself before you could even start to watch it - and on an old 56K modem this would take an extremely long time.  So the industry worked diligently to create a better technology for video delivery, i.e., 'streaming'.

So how does Video Streaming work?

Once you click or connect to a Streaming Video URL or link, the process will start to transfer part of the video over to your device.  As you're watching the initial part of the video, the video server continues to transmit the rest of the video file in the background, so there is no waiting for the whole video file to finish transmitting over to you before you can start to watch your content.  Awesome.

Video Streaming TV

When did Video Streaming really become popular?

The technology has been around, but really took off after high-speed Internet access like Broadband and DSL became available to the general consumer.

What are the system requirements and other items needed to Stream?

        Taking the largest provider, Netflix, as an example:

        -  A broadband network connection

        -  Paid streaming membership to the provider (in this example, Netflix)

        -  A streaming device - for computers, you'll need one with Windows XP SP2 or newer, or Mac OS X Operating Systems with OS 10.4.11 or newer.  Other compatible devices include:  Participating Gaming Consoles, Blu-ray players, Smart HDTV's, Streaming Set-top players (example, Roku), smart phones, and tablets which all allow you to download their own appropriate connection software for the participating streaming provider.

        -  Netflix requires Microsoft's Silverlight software to be installed if you're streaming directly on your computer.  1 Ghz processor or faster and a minimal of 512 MB of RAM is also required.

        -  Required download bandwidth, 1.5 Megabits per second for the lowest tier (DVD quality), 3 to 5 Mbit/S for up to 720p HD quality, and 8 Mbit/S for 1080p (for Blu-ray streams) - Netflix has thousands of video titles (that we enjoy) and you can check them out in over 40 countries worldwide.  Visit our streaming movie picks page to get video streaming movie reviews from the Crib.  Already know about streaming and want to do it better?  See our faster streaming page.

Roku Video Streaming Device
        ** Remember - with some of these devices, if you have and use an HDMI cable connection, you will only need 1 cable and it will transfer both the audio and video to your TV or Amp on this same cable.  A Roku box, for example, has such a connection.  We own a few of these Roku boxes, and you can check them out here.  You can also click to get worldwide free shipping and very low prices on lots of accessories and electronics gear.

        ** Also Note - even though we used Netflix as an example of a video streaming provider, there have been several new ones to come along in the past few years.  For example, today's Roku boxes cannot only stream content from Netflix but from other providers such as Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO, Vudu, and many more appear to be on the way.

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