The Technology Behind Streaming Videos

Streaming videos online may be one of the most common uses of the internet. Whether streaming movies, watching YouTube videos, skimming through Vine clips, or using any other form of streaming media, the average internet user spends an incredible amount of time watching streaming media. To put this in perspective, 6 billion hours of YouTube video are watched by users per month. 100 million internet surfers watch streaming media every single day, and if you were to watch all of the video content transmitted by the internet in 1 month, it would take you 5 million years.

If you were to ask the average internet user to define streaming video, you would probably get a confused answer. Something along the lines of, “video that just comes off the internet without having to download it” would be the best answer you might get, unless you ask an IT professional. And to a certain extent, this definition is correct.

One way of watching media on your computer is by downloading and then playing it once it has been downloaded in its entirety. All of the data is on your computer, which you can save, allowing you to watch at any time without an internet connection. Streaming video is watching the media as a constant stream of data that plays as soon as it reaches your device. The data flows constantly, and if the internet connection is disrupted, the data will stop and the media will be halted until the connection is stable again.

When streaming media first became a technical possibility, it took a long time for internet users to watch or listen to anything. The data flow was slow and often it took longer to reach the computer than for it to be played, and the media would load and play in fits and starts. The technology has since improved, allowing for modern internet surfers with stable internet access to watch an entire movie via streaming media without any pauses or delays.

Normally, streamed media begins as high quality digital data, known as raw data. This data is compressed and sent immediately over the internet, where it can be played without being downloaded or saved to the hard drive. The compression of this data tends to reduce the quality, so that some frames are left out or pixilated when they are viewed as streaming media.

Compression of this sort is why so many streamed videos appear in poor quality, or why sound clips may skip slightly when being played. In order to transmit the data compactly and quickly, some level of quality had to be sacrificed. The level in which the video is originally shot and compressed as well as the speed at which it is transmitted over the internet can all have an effect on quality when the streamed video is finally viewed on your computer.

Video streaming has further enhanced the connection of internet users on a global scale. With the vast improvements in technology in recent years and in those to come, the world is becoming a smaller place.

A Guide to Watch Free Movie Trailers

Computers and internet has entirely transformed and provided a new meaning to entertainment. You do not need to make a plan prior to watching a movie. You do not need to visit the theater, buy DVD or rent it from the local DVD library. You can watch it at home and without paying a buck and that too by just a mouse click. Though there are a lot of people who still like to watch movies at the theater or rent the DVD.

And instead of downloading the complete movies at one go you can also download the trailer of the movie for free. Free movie trailers provide a sneak peak into the movie and lets you be the judge if you want to watch that movie at all. If you do, then the next thing that you can decide is about going to the theater or not. If the movie is not worth going to a theater then renting it or copying it will be a waste. You can then download the movie on your PC and then watch it at your leisure. You can also download free movie trailers and copy it on a CD or DVD and give it to your friends. This way you will be able to help your friends too.

There are some hardware and software that your PC will require before you can watch the movies or their trailers. You require a steady internet connection and preferably a broadband connection for your computer. A 256kb broadband connection will be able to play the movie at an instant. After this you will require a Quick time Player or a Real Player, or Windows Media Player. Install one of these players on your computer system. These players can also be downloaded for free from the internet. This software enables you to watch the movie and listen to its audio. Windows 2000, Windows XP, Mac OS X Tiger and Panther all support the software. The software has a lot of advantages, they do not require a time for connection and if the connection is lost in the middle then they will reconnect on its own. They also select the good quality video stream after assessing your computer’s connection speed.

The audio can be controlled and this makes the movie watching a fulfilling experience. You can also adjust the bass and the treble levels of the audio to your liking and change the sound of the movie. This is perfect for people who like to listen to soft audio. You can also watch your favorite movie scene by browsing and you can change the size of the video by adjusting the size of the media player.

Watching free movie trailers is a very simple activity, in relation with the internet and that too if you love watching the movie trailers before watching the entire movie. But in doing all this you must also remember that you are streaming the trailers from a good and a legal website. It is important that you do not get involved in any infringement. With all these measures you can have a happy time watching the free movie trailers

What To Consider When Choosing a Media Streaming Device

With home media streaming devices on the rise the features available to consumers will continue to increase. This is why I have decided to write an article on the importance of choosing the right device to meet your needs. By looking at the media streaming device it may appear that it has Wi-Fi capabilities accompanied with the ability to stream Netflix and Pandora so you assume you are all set. If these are the only features you are after then that’s great and by all means make the purchase. My only regret would be that there probably is a media streaming device out there at the same price point that will offer more features. Therefore media streaming devices are capable of doing much more than Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora. Three aspects that I will cover in detail are supported media file formats the device can read, importance of USB ports, and automatic media categorization.

The biggest challenge used to be finding a media streaming device outside your PC that offered the ability to play your entire media collection. Now consumers have many options to choose from allowing a multitude of selections. For this example I will compare both the Boxee Box and Roku supported media file formats. With both the Roku and Boxee Box offering a great selection of application and the ability to stream Netflix, there is still a huge gap with the number of supported media file formats built in. The Roku offers only 3 supported media file formats versus the Boxee Box at 21. This is a huge gap in supported media file formats and if you have a personal media collection there is a high chance the Roku cannot meet your needs. One more notable point is these supported media file formats cannot be updated. As nice it would be like it is on your PC going to a website and installing a file, these devices do not have this ability. Both Boxee Box and Roku are excellent products, but at the same point it is up to you to decide which is a better fit for your home media center.

Most devices these days offer USB 2.0 ports that will work just fine for any home media collection. Something to keep in mind is the number of USB ports that the product offers. When I first started my media collection, before the invention of NAS devices, I used to keep movies and music on just about any storage device I could find then plug it into my computer. Fortunately with today’s technology there are NAS devices to help us keep our collection all in one place on our network. If you are new to the hobby you would probably look at eight terabyte NAS and say that’s crazy I could never fill that up. Well… Let me just say you may get there sooner than later. So getting back to my original point you probably will purchase an external hard drive to begin your collection. If you have only one USB port you will find yourself spending countless hours transferring data to a larger drive when it fills up. With a second or third USB port you can just plug in another hard drive without interruption. The obvious answer is to purchase a NAS device with expandable bays, but this is a costly expense and if you are just getting your feet wet with the hobby this option might not be realistic.

Something Boxee and XBMC have done extremely well is the ability to categorize your media collection. Let me give you an example that explains what I am talking about. In your media collection you have The 40-Year-Old Virgin on your storage device. Once you direct Boxee or XBMC to that file source it will detect your movie and add it under the movie section. Once in the movie section a picture will be applied of the movie cover with information about the movie and often trailers. As your collection grows each movie will be added giving you the ability to categorize to your liking. The benefit of automatic media categorization is that you don’t have to search through files to find what you want. With this you have the ability to give your collection a visual appeal accompanied with information that is imported from different sources on the internet.

I hope you have enjoyed my article on choosing the right home media streaming device. If there is anything else you would like me to cover that wasn’t in my article please let me know. For information and discussion on home media centers please see http://www.homemediaspot.com Please make sure to like Home Media Spot on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.