Streaming Your Work on the Internet

Streaming your work from a web site means your video plays while it’s loading to your viewer’s computer. Instead of having to wait until the entire file has downloaded, which when you’re working with video files can be quite some time, streaming delivers a continuous feed of information that enables your viewer to play your content without excessive waiting time.

Like mastering tracks for a DVD, streaming requires that you encode your work into a format compatible with the system your viewer will be using to play it back. Depending on the technology you use to stream your work (see the section on codecs below), the particular encoding software you use and the file types you create will vary. Regardless of the specific technology you’re using, however, the basic principles of streaming revolve around bandwidth and processor power.

  • Bandwidth refers to the amount of information a given Internet connection can transmit at any one time. A computer with a high-bandwidth Internet connection (such as a DSL line or cable modem) can receive more information than a computer with a low-bandwidth Internet connection (dial-up). As mentioned in the earlier section on encoding DVDs, video files require considerable amounts of information to play back, and if you remove too much information, the quality suffers. Understanding whether your audience will be using high- or low-bandwidth Internet connections is important to you as a producer, because you can then ...

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