About this Guide
This LibGuide provides basic information on streaming video resources available at Arizona State University. The guide organizes these 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.