Video streaming technology has been evolving businesses worldwide at a rapid rate in the past decade. The complete streaming experience has been improved and simplified by the new technology for both the viewers and the broadcasters.
As millions of people have made social media platforms their daily viewing habit, the importance of video streaming has plummeted. Live streaming is a boon to connect with the audience virtually by hosting any virtual event and target viewers from any location to any place.
To understand live streaming in-depth, we shall discuss everything you must know about video streaming technology. The article also covers the working method of video streaming technology, and its different types available in the market.
What Is The Working Process of Video Streaming Technology?
The developers and experts are still optimizing the online video streaming technology. However, the available technology is very powerful and provides high quality video streaming experience.
Without leaving the comfort of home, viewers from around the world can attend any type of event easily. The video streaming technology has completely revolutionized the way of learning and carrying out online business activities, along with the way media consumers engage in leisure activities.
But, there is a huge series of processes and work that goes on behind the screens to produce and broadcast high-quality video content for the viewers in real-time. So, before we get into the tits-and-bits of these technologies, you must understand the step-by-step path a video takes from preparing the recording on the camera till it broadcasts on the viewer’s screens.
The typical video streaming setup looks like this:
- RAW video is captured by the camera
- A capture card is used to send the video to an encoder
- The RAW video file is converted into a digital file through encoder
- The video is ingested into the online video platform
- Then the online video platform distributes the video to the video player via a content delivery network
- The video player displays the video stream on the viewer’s internet-enabled device
Depending upon the business requirements and specific tools you’re using the setup may vary. The above setup process is the basic setup of online video streaming working methodology.
What Are The Different Types of Video Streaming Technology
As it is evident from the video streaming technology setup mentioned above, there is a lot of movement in many parts of the process. A seamless video streaming experience is created when different types of streaming technologies are worked together.
There are four major types of video streaming services available, which work together on the video from the beginning to the end of the video streaming process – Codecs, Streaming Protocols, Video Players and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs).
Let’s understand each of these streaming technologies and their applications in the context of video streaming.
The RAW video, that is recorded on a camera, produces a fluid motion made up of thousands of still frames, which we call a video. But, these files become very bulky to stream on a video platform. In order to make them streamable, you need to convert them into digital files.
For this process, the codecs use encoders as tools to convert videos into the digital format by removing unnecessary or duplicate stills of the video. There are two types of codecs used for their respective compression areas – video codecs and audio codecs.
This way the encoders convert your raw video files into digital files that can be easily transported online.
2. Streaming Protocols
The streaming protocols are responsible for making the small chunks of the video file light enough, and carry them over a variety of internet networks. Basically, they carry the video content from one point to another in the online video streaming process.
Let’s understand some common video streaming protocols used today.
The HTTPS Live Streaming (HLS) protocol, founded by Apple to get along with the HTML5 video player, delivers the media from the content delivery networks to the user’s devices. It is commonly paired with RTMP ingest for ingesting the media file from the encoder to the video streaming platforms.
The Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) protocol was developed to deliver content to Adobe’s flash player, but is used for RTMP ingest for transporting videos from the encoder to the CDNs directly or via an online video platform. It benefits in ultra low latency streaming process and provides reasonable RTMP encoder services.
The Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) is used to carry commands directly from the users to their video players. For example, it informs the video player when the user clicks Play, Fast-Forward, Pause, and other in-player commands. It also provides access to the video content prior to downloading the video, enhancing the viewer experience.
The MPEG-DASH protocol follows adaptive bitrate streaming, which allows viewers to automatically access a stream quality that is best suited for their internet speed. The MPEG-DASH usually operates with the help of Transmission control protocol (TCP), which removes the excessive buffering and lagging viewer experience.
3. Video Players
The video player acts as a user-facing technology, which allows viewers to access video content easily from the video platform. The HTML5 video player supports the video playing on any internet-enable device including tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, smart TVs. In addition to its ultra-compatibility, the HTML5 video players are secure and easily customizable.
4. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
A content delivery network that allows the delivery of video streams is known as a video CDN. The content delivery network acts as a series of servers which are strategically located over geographical regions to deliver the high-quality content to far-off locations from the source of streaming.
Once the viewer selects its desired content via the video player, the CDN redirects the request from the originating site server to the closest server available to the user and delivers the cached content.
Businesses have adopted online video streaming as a smart strategy to engage with their audiences and also to extend the content to new viewers.
This definitive guide provides the details of the steps of working of the video streaming technology, along with the different technologies used in the process. The codecs are used for conversion into digital files, streaming protocols are used for transmuting the files through the networks, CDNs are used to provide the requested content to the viewers, and video players access the content online through the online video platforms.