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             09 July, 2020

Category:  Articles » Internet » Video Streaming


Online Videos - The History

         Views: 1504
2007-12-02 22:55:23     
Article by Guy Katir

Attempts to display media on computers date back to the earliest days of computing, in the mid-20th century. However, little progress was made for several decades, due primarily to the high cost and limited capabilities of computer hardware. Academic experiments in the 1970s proved out the basic concepts and feasibility of streaming media on computers. During the late 1980s, consumer-grade computers became powerful enough to display various media. The primary technical issues with streaming were:

• having enough CPU power and bus bandwidth to support the required data rate

• creating low-latency interrupt paths in the OS to prevent buffer underrun

However, computer networks were still limited, and media was usually delivered over non-streaming channels, such as CD-ROMs. In the late 1990s:

• greater network bandwidth, especially in the last mile

• increased access to networks, especially the Internet

• use of standard protocols and formats, such as TCP/IP, HTTP, and HTML

• commercialization of the Internet

These advances in computer networking combined with powerful home computers and modern operating systems made streaming media practical and affordable for ordinary consumers. Stand-alone Internet radio devices are offering listeners a "no-computer" option for listening to audio streams.

In general, multimedia content is large, so media storage and transmission costs are still significant; to offset this somewhat, media are generally compressed for both storage and streaming.

A media stream can be on demand or live. On demand streams are stored on a server for a long period of time, and are available to be transmitted at a user's request. Live streams are only available at one particular time, as in a video stream of a live sporting event. Research in streaming media is ongoing and representative research can be found at the Journal of Multimedia.

Guy Katir


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