What happens once you successfully have encoded your multimedia content? Much like publishing a web page, the file is uploaded to the delivery server. That is where things diverge. A conventional web server simply downloads the media file. A streaming server has to manage the delivery rate of the stream to give real-time playback. In addition, the streaming server supports VCR-like control of the media clip.
When a browser requests a web page, the files are delivered as fast as the network connection allows. TCP manages an error-free transmission by retransmitting lost packets, but the download time depends upon the intervening bandwidth available. TCP starts at a low rate then ramps up to the maximum that can be ...