Before a decade in the early days of streaming media, to view the video and listen to online music was not always fun. If you have a low configuration computer or a dial-up Internet connection, you can spend more time at the “buffering” for watching videos or listening to songs. Millions of people listen to Internet radio every week and from last few years thousands of people watched more than a million streaming videos on the Internet. In streaming video and audio, the information travels in a form of stream of data from a server. The decoder is a stand-alone player or a plug which works as a web browser.

If you work in an environment that shares files and folders over a computer network, you might think of a server as a computer that holds lots of data and resources. But when it comes to streaming video and audio, a server is more than just a physical hard drive. It’s also the software that delivers data to your computer. Some streaming servers can handle multiple file types and formats, but others work only with specific formats.
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Streaming servers typically deliver files to you with help of web server. First, you go to a Web page, which is stored on the Web server. When you click the file you want to use, the Web server sends a handshaking message to the streaming server, telling it which file is required. The streaming server sends the file directly to you via the Web server.

There are a number of protocols like TCP and FTP which normally break data into small packets whereas  Streaming video and audio protocols allow the transfer of data in real time. They break files into very small chunks and send them to the required location in a specific order. These protocols include:

  • Real-time transfer protocol (RTP)
  • Real-time streaming protocol (RTSP)
  • Real-time transport control protocol (RTCP)

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