Streaming Video and Audio In the Internet

By: Lester John M. Policarpio

Entertainment is a necessity! And thank god we belong to the
digitalage when almost all our needs are readily available right in
the comforts of our own home.

And now that the Internet is here, the focus is not merely on the
issue of merely supplying information to the users but giving them
the choice to pick only the kind of information they are most
interested in, when to obtain these information, where to extract
these information from and of how these preferred information
should take form.

Imagine using your computer in watching your favorite NBA match,
your watch your favorite television show or the evening newscast and
listen to the live concerts and Webcasts through Castdial. Imagine
just sitting in front of your computer screen while searching for
articles on the hottest political issues rather than going through
those pile of newspapers or magazine archives in your local
library.

Streaming media is a technique that allows users to view audio and
video contents while they are still receiving it. Or as others
perceive it, an audio and video file that plays as instantly on a
text based content as when a Web page downloads on your browser.
And unlike downloading a video or audio file to be played later, it
flows to your computer screen enabling you to view its contents
simultaneous to the process of downloading.

So, how do you stream something into the Internet? Especially video?

Here are the basic steps:

First, in order to stream a data in video form, a person must use a
30-frames-per-second analog video that is fed by a VCH or video
camera to a video board within the computer.

This must then be
converted from an analog wave form into binary data. This
representation is stored in the computer hard disk and further
reduced in size by video compression software. The video
compression software then scans each of the frames of the video file
and distinguishes which are redundant. The redundant ones are erased.
Only needed data are retained.

A user can then watch a file by clicking on an HTML tag embedded in
a website. When he does this the video streaming software on the
remote server is released and a steady stream of data begins to
flow. But before he gets to watch this, he must have an interface or
a "player" installed in his computer. If he has this, he can then
watch the file he requested through the website's remote server.

Then comes the issue of speed of data retrievals in connection to
bandwidth.

The snail's pace of the 28.8, 33.6 and 56 kbps modems simply cannot
deliver the amount of kilobytes that streaming media demands. This
situation provided the Vendors who are well aware of the problems
to intelligently devise ways to manage network resources for users
faced with streaming media flood. From the snail- blazing 28.8 dial-up
connections, there came much advancement. The 33.6 and 56K variants
came out as minor upgrades to their 28.8 sibling. This development
could be hardly felt by the users so they had to come out of that
medium of connection—the analog modem. Then came what they would
call the second generation of connection devices designed to give
the subscribers a leap from 28.8 kbps to a stunning speed of up to 1.5
mbps. What could these technical numbers signify then? Well, it
means that the new connection speeds that subscribers could now enjoy
could reach up to 20 or even 50 times faster than when they were using
the 56K connection speed.

The efforts to battle bandwidth problems have produced good results
especially in subduing qualms about supporting streaming media
applications. By this, followed the advent of streaming
technologies to deliver audio, video and animation into websites,
which is considered an appropriate response to this TV generation's
insatiable demands.

Now that streaming media is gaining much recognition in the
Internet, websites are now transforming plain information exchange in
the Internet to the ultimate sensory experience. And it is the
consumers benefiting from these technologies. Entertainment companies
have extended their broadcasts to the net thus expanding the markets
across the barriers of the traditional transmitters to the global
community in the Internet. Through innovations that supported
streaming media, thousands of audio and video information are now
available on the Internet. Only the users' individual preferences
are considered their limit. Thanks to the many innovations and new
gizmos that pop out every minute that ticks. Five to seven years
ago, streaming media was just a young idea being cooked up on the
Internet and nowArticle Submission, the attention and respect for it is increasing.
People find more reasons on why these streaming media will slowly
shape and influence the way they see and access information.

Computers and The Internet
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