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Some doubts regarding online streaming videos

vamsi naki
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 18, 2011
Posts: 46
Hello,
i have some doubts regarding online streaming videos and i was wondering if someone could clear them .
1) If i am say have a buffered an online video completely on my browser ,then even when i dont have internet i can still view it .Does that mean the video's data is stored on my system ,if so could you please tell where it is stored .
2) how is online streaming different from downloading a video ? I mean in each case we are trying to get data from some server that has these files.So why cant streaming video be a downloaded video.

3)Say i am watching an online streaming video of size say 150 mb and duration 30 mins ,does that mean i have used up 150 mb from my internet service provider and if i started the video from say the middle like 15 min i would have used up 75 mb.Does things like sound and picture quality inside a streaming video at different instances also an important factor to decide how many bytes are used up.

Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

(1) "Buffering" means storing in a buffer, which is normally a fancy way to say storing in RAM. The data is being downloaded as fast as possible, faster than needed to play the video, and the extra data is stored in memory.

(2) A streaming video feed normally contains some extra data to help the player monitor the data transmission rate and keep playback smooth. Also, a downloaded video file would include a container -- i.e., the file would contain the picture and sound data as well as descriptions of how the data are stored. For streaming video, a lot of that metadata is handled separately. But really, the main difference between a streamed video and a downloaded one is the software that transmits and receives the data, and what they do with it; the data itself is mostly the same.

(3) The data rate within a video stream will be more or less constant from end to end. Watching half of a 150MB movie will involve transmitting about 75MB of data.


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vamsi naki
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 18, 2011
Posts: 46
Thanks a lot for clearing my doubts Ernest Friedman-Hill.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

vamsi naki wrote: how is online streaming different from downloading a video ? I mean in each case we are trying to get data from some server that has these files. So why cant streaming video be a downloaded video.


As technical people, we know that when you stream a video, you are downloading it. The "difference" is terminology because of politics.

When you stream a video, you transfer it from the server to your computer.
When you download a video, you transfer it from the server to your computer.

See, the difference is obvious, right? Nope, its not a difference. But politically, streaming is good and downloading is bad. This has to do with the fact that most of the discussions are arguing about "copyright" so the discussion focuses on "copying" the material.

Do not try to understand this using normal common sense, its all about the law, and the law is written by politicians.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40

Pat Farrell wrote:
vamsi naki wrote: how is online streaming different from downloading a video ? I mean in each case we are trying to get data from some server that has these files. So why cant streaming video be a downloaded video.


As technical people, we know that when you stream a video, you are downloading it. The "difference" is terminology because of politics.

When you stream a video, you transfer it from the server to your computer.
When you download a video, you transfer it from the server to your computer.

See, the difference is obvious, right? Nope, its not a difference. But politically, streaming is good and downloading is bad. This has to do with the fact that most of the discussions are arguing about "copyright" so the discussion focuses on "copying" the material.

Do not try to understand this using normal common sense, its all about the law, and the law is written by politicians.


To be fair, streaming is a bit different from downloading. Since streaming must keep up with the play of the video and audio, most streaming software has techniques to downgrade the video framerate, or the video resolution, or the even parts of the audio in order to keep up. This means that the bits being transferred isn't really the original data, but some modified data needed by the player, for that exact configuration, at that moment. Also, the player may toss buffered data once it has been played, or even stop downloading streaming if the player is paused. And can jump around as the player is being rewinded, fast forwarded, chapter skipped, etc.

But yes, there is a legal part to it, where the player won't actually save the data, in a useable format for other players -- which solves the political issues of downloading copyrighted files.

Henry


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Henry Wong wrote:streaming is a bit different from downloading. Since streaming must keep up with the play of the video and audio, most streaming software has techniques to downgrade the video framerate, or the video resolution, or the even parts of the audio in order to keep up.

Henry, where is this different software? If its on the server, and down grades due to end-to-end throughput, then I'll agree that its different.

But if its only different on the client side, then the for the transport's view, its identical. That the client decides to throw away some of the data its seen doesn't impact the data received.

I often see server-side slowdowns, I have a fairly fast connection from my router to the ISP. Lots of times video can't be watched at high rez because the server can't deliver fast enough end-to-end. Some of this could probably be fixed by ending buffer bloat, but that deserves its own thread.
 
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