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Table of Contents

  1. What is Streaming Media?
  2. Why do I need dedicated hosting for my video?
  3. What is involved in the setup process?
  4. Who is ... ?
  5. What is ... ?
  6. What does it cost to host my video on my website?

What is Streaming Media?

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What Is Streaming Media?

The basic idea behind streaming is to make video and audio available without requiring clients to wait for the entire file. It's easy to see how this could be a very useful tool when distributing information over vast networks like the World Wide Web.

Audio/video streaming is playing audio or video immediately as it is downloaded from the Internet, rather than storing it in a file on the receiving computer first. Streaming is accomplished by way of web-browser plug-ins, which decompress and play the file in real time; a fast computer and fast connection are necessary.* See this site for more information.

The trouble with audio and video

Most data networks like the Internet are not designed with audio or video in mind. These media have specific requirements that make them a challenge to distribute. The protocols of the Internet were an intelligent solution to the problem of distributing static files. Unfortunately, audio and video need to be played in a continuous pattern. The data needs to be interpreted in a specific order. Internet traffic is routed through the path of least resistance. Packets often arrive out of order as a result. This presents no problem when and entire file is downloaded. Smart network protocols put the data in the proper order when stored on the client machine. The problems arise when an application like a streaming audio player needs packets in a timely manner. If a file is playing and the necessary packets are not present there will be dropout.

Dropout is the scourge of streaming technologies, those annoying breaks in the presentation of video or audio. This is why companies spend all that time and money trying to come up with the best compression and streaming combination. When the player finds that it is missing a needed packet it will either forget about it and move to the next logical packet in the succession, or it will pause and wait for the packet. It depends on which streaming format you are using.

The considerations page discusses compromises that need to be made to make the media files accessible at limited bandwidth. Video requires a great deal of compromise. Video files require more bandwidth and therefore need greater compression. The most common result is a noticeable loss in the frame rate of the video. Itís been shown that it is more disconcerting for a client when audio breaks up than when the images are slow to change. Smart compression can reduce the clip with this in mind and reduce the required bandwidth to avoid dropout.

Server-based Streaming

Server-based streaming is a more robust method of streaming. This approach uses a separate server specifically designed for efficient streaming of media over data networks. In the most common case, the server receives the request and initiates a stream for the client. The most effective systems can alter the streaming process based on perceived net congestion. It gets this information through client/server interaction to ensure delivery of the packets. If the content is tailored for the conditions, the server-based solution can better serve low bandwidth clients by sending the stream at a constant bit-rate that should match the needs to keep the player satisfied.

There are definite advantages to using the server-based method. The downside is that the server usually needs to be purchased. If you plan to do a lot of streaming media itís absolutely worth it. In addition to the better bandwidth negotiation many allow impressive added features that can be very useful. One simple but often overlooked feature is the ability to move forward or back through a file. It doesnít seem important until you decide you need to fast forward and canít. When you pull your hair out listening to the boring portion of a presentation that has vital information at the end the value of a slider bar will become apparent. In order to allow the client to move forward through a file the client needs to send a new request telling the server what part of the file to begin streaming. A new stream is then initiated by the server starting at the specified point.

The server-based solution has more capabilities in addition to allowing the client to control the playback of a streamed file. These servers can give administrators more control over network usage and allow for separate control of HTTP processes. When utilization gets high this is valuable feature for administrators. The server-based system can offer some interesting opportunities for joining multimedia materials. These linked events, or illustrated audio as NetShow calls them, can link HTML pages in a synchronous presentation to an associated audio file. This can be powerful tool for educational or training situations. Best of all, NetShow makes it relatively painless to build these presentations.

The real beauty of streaming is that it now frees the content designer from time limited files. The server must now bare all the burden of storage. The client machine simply interprets the stream and discards the used data. The days of waiting for tiny sound bites and video clips are gone. The power of streaming is obvious in uncut speeches, tutorials, and in stereo music at high bandwidths. As bandwidth to the end user improves the possibilities continue to grow.


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2 - Why do I need dedicated hosting for my video?

[This is the answer to the question.]Why should I choose Dedicated Hosting Services?
Dedicated Hosting Services offers your business your own complete server with the on-site technical expertise you can't find anywhere else. Our job is to get you setup as quickly as possible and keep you running for years with any issues and we take our job very seriously. We know that in e-business any technical glitches can be disasterous for your business. Our dedicated servers are perfect for hosting your companies database, email, and web site. We also offer your business the capacity to help you grow and expand your e-business. With one of our dedicated servers you can sleep at night knowing that we're there should anything come up.


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3 - What is involved in the setup process?

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Once you submit your order online or call and talk to our highly trained sales associates we will begin by processing your order in the billing department. Once your order has been processed by the billing department your order will then be sent to our provisioning team who will contact you with your login information to your new box and allow you to test your new setup. Should you have any pre-existing domains to transfer they will be transferred at this time. Once your domains have been transferred and all your files have been uploaded. We will update our DNS servers to return the new IP information for your domains. At this time you should modify your nameserver records with your domain registration company (Network Solutions, TuCows, etc.) and from there your site will be live and running off your new Dedicated Server. You will also receive a toll free support number for Dedicated Server customers ONLY. You can use this number anytime you experience any difficulties with your Dedicated Server.

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Who is ... ?

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What is ... ?

[This is the answer to the question.]

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What does it cost to host my video on my website?

[The basic price for a 1 minute video is....]

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