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Streaming Video: Home

Provides descriptions and links to licensed, internet, and pay-per-view streaming video resources

Authenticated Access

Please note: All streaming videos in ASU Library's media collection are purchased or licensed content, limited to current authorized ASU students, faculty, and staff. (see the Accessing Licensed Electronic Resources page).   And while film distributors use a variety of hosting systems and platforms, please realize that some distributors do not provide any hosting options.  For some such titles the ASU Library internally hosts using MediaAmp.

ASU faculty interested in using our Course Reserve system to provide their students with access to streaming video should consult our Streaming Video Reserve Guidelines page.

IF you are unable to access a video submit a HelpStar ticket.  Please indicate the specific video you are unable to access, and include information on your operating platform/device (Mac, PC, tablet, etc.) and browser.

About this Guide

This Library Guide provides basic information on streaming video resources available at Arizona State University through the ASU Library.

We provide access to thousands of streaming videos through three major providers:

Many additional streaming videos are available in other licensed collections, open access sites, and alternative access points.

This guide organizes these additional resources into the following broad categories:

What is Streaming Video?

Streaming video is a means of delivering video content to computer desktops via an Internet connection. A host (server) delivers the file to the receiving computer (client).   Settings at the host’s end determine whether access is available to multiple simultaneous users or limited to a single user.  Unlike video downloads which must transfer to the viewer’s desktop, streamed video plays almost immediately after the viewer hits the “play” button; some content must buffer before streaming begins.  Streaming video also differs from video downloads in that no copy of the file is stored on the end-user’s computer, so files remain relatively secure.

 Playback of streamed video requires that the client’s computer has appropriate player software installed.  Commonly used streaming frameworks include Windows Media, RealPlayer, QuickTime, and Flash.  Some streaming services provide files in the end-user’s choice of formats.

 Because of the generally large size of moving image data files, streaming videos usually employ file compression, a programming strategy that greatly reduces the size of the file through frame sampling and other complex means of reducing image redundancy.  This compression can negatively affect image quality when compressed videos are played full-screen or projected. Even with compression, effective use of streaming video requires a robust, high-speed internet connection.  Dial-up connections generally are too slow to adequately deliver streaming videos. 


Dan Stanton
My Academic Units: School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Herberger Institute School of Film, Dance and Theatre
Hugh Downs School of Human Communication
CLAS Film and Media Studies
Hayden Library
Room C1V

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