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WHAT IS STREAMING

22 May 2022
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What is streaming? Internet streaming allows you to watch videos, listen to music and even follow live events from your Internet-connected PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet or smart TV. Streaming technology opens the door to a world of new sources of entertainment and information.

What exactly does “streaming” mean?

Streaming is a type of multimedia technology that sends video and audio content to your internet-connected device. This allows you to access content (TV, movies, music, podcasts) at any time, on a PC or cell phone, without being bound by the provider’s schedule.

Streaming is a significant change in the way we access multimedia content. Not so long ago, we all depended on broadcasters’ services to access news and entertainment. We used radios and televisions to receive whatever the broadcaster wanted to play and listened to the programs they offered on their schedule.

All that has changed with the Internet. We can now consume the music, news, TV shows and movies we want, when and where we want. And we can do it from almost any device: smartphone, tablet, PC and even television.

All this is possible thanks to streaming. Streaming technology makes a fundamental difference in the way content is distributed. It allows you to easily watch a movie on your PC or listen to a podcast on your mobile whenever you want. Best of all, you don’t need to know anything special to play a movie: just press a button.

Streaming or broadcasting: what is the difference?

By broadcast, we mean a single station that sends its signal over the airwaves, which is picked up by receivers tuned to that signal. Each receiver receives the same information simultaneously. That’s why you need to check the guide to see when a particular program will be available. In other words, a single source distributes to many receivers at the same time.

In contrast, streaming refers to a single source sending content to a single destination via a digital connection (such as the Internet). The same information can be sent to other destinations, even if the request was made at a different time. Thus, multiple recipients can access the content on their own schedule.



A cable television service usually provides both types of distribution. News programs or sporting events are sent to many homes at the same time; you can watch them when the programs are available. Many cable services also allow you to “record” a program so you don’t miss it and can watch it later at your convenience; the content will then be sent to your TV when you want to watch it.

With hundreds of thousands of media sources on the Internet, you can access streaming content on anything that interests you. From cats to cooking, politics to polo, wine to carpentry, there’s something for everyone on the Internet. In fact, you can access so much content through various streaming services that many people have chosen to “cut the cord,” canceling expensive cable or satellite TV subscription services to access only streaming content.

 



Streaming or downloading: what is the difference?

Streaming differs from downloading in several important ways. Downloading involves transferring files from a source to your own computer (or other device). This process results in a file that is saved on your computer.

Like streaming, you can access a downloaded file whenever you want. Unlike streaming, you do not need an active Internet connection to access the file once it is downloaded.

On the other hand, when you download a file, you must have enough space to store the entire file. A typical high-definition (HD) movie consumes between 4 and 5 GB of space on a computer or mobile device’s hard drive. This can fill up the device’s storage space quite quickly. On the other hand, if you’re watching a streaming movie, you don’t need to save the file, so you don’t need all that storage capacity.


Learn more about streaming movies and series:

 


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