How Internet Video Streaming Works

How Internet Video Streaming Works

Today Digital streaming of videos have picked up the momentum, and people across the globe are sharing a bond through internet watching videos, movies and even live shows with almost no interruption. But for those who feel curious to know what runs behind the screen that is able to show you things this way, here is a brief explanation on how Internet Video Streaming actually works.

The Apparent Scenario

When we subscribe to an internet connection through our local internet provider, we never forget to ask, if the connection is fast enough for streaming videos. On the other hand the internet service providers all across the geographical boundaries advertise their service by showing up their capability of streaming videos without a hitch. And here’s how they make sure of things.

Reality at the Background

Since the decade of 1990, we knew that the computers were made up with the combination of hardware and software that can play audio as well as display video.

All it needed was a CPU that should be powerful enough to render the streaming of videos, while a data bus was made wide enough to be capable of transmitting video data directly to the video adaptor and then to the monitor. The entire show was conducted through the widest possible network bandwidth that could work with a modem that had the speed of 28.8Kb.

Unicast Technology

The technology thatcorresponded with this entire process of video streaming was named as unicast, that works behind the system when we watch a videoor a movie online through platforms like YouTube or Netflix. The unicast technology involves the functioning of one server that sends data stream through the internet to a single point of receptor, that is our device, i.e., a PC, tablet, smartphone etc.

The Process of Tunneling

The process through which the unicast and multicast work is known as tunneling that needs some special routers that tunnel the multicast data to stream between the server and the receptor over the normal internet. From there each receiver starts with identifying the nearest multicast router to receive a unicast data stream from the said router.

To carry out this process, it is required to compress a video format to play a video while it is still in the process of downloading. For this the viewer needs to buffer enough of data that can play even if there is any network contention for a few seconds. This protocol followed between the viewer and remote media server needs to re-negotiate about the final resolution in which the media will be displayed to deal with the latency or the bandwidth of the changed network. If the network latency is seen to be increasing and proportionately the bandwidth is decreasing, that will indicate the simple fact that a lower resolution which will make the playback experience better.

Winding Up

To sum up, streaming of videos already has a long history, an interesting present and an even more exciting future to come and flood the modern online society,  that will no doubt add much more to the current activities like streaming live HD broadcasts of the Olympics and HD movies.

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