Downloads vs Streaming: Pros and Cons at DVinfo.net

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Old June 2nd, 2007, 05:54 PM   #1
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Downloads vs Streaming: Pros and Cons

I just set up my new commercial film website. My friend said its nice, but why not stream. With what I have set up he says, a video has to download, and viewer has to launch, why not just stream it on the webpage?

I did not think of that. What are the pro and cons of that? and how does one implement it? ( I just dropped the quicktime files onto the server and made links in my html editor) thanks!
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 06:07 PM   #2
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Streaming is much better for the viewer because the show starts immediately. If someone has to download, they look at the file size, maybe get discouraged and hit cancel.

Also, and I could be wrong here, streaming is tougher to store and redistribute so it protects your content better.

Take a look at Streamhoster.com. I've used them and the prices are reasonable - as low as $15/month.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 08:35 PM   #3
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You could also you youtube or dailymotion, which includes options to embed your uploaded video into your website. The only downside is that the video will also be available on those websites as well.

If you choose to stream videos, the image quality will be compromised but the chances are more people will watch it. I suggest having a streaming video along with a decent quality download for those willing to wait for the better image quality.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 09:26 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=If you choose to stream videos, the image quality will be compromised but the chances are more people will watch it. I suggest having a streaming video along with a decent quality download for those willing to wait for the better image quality.[/QUOTE]

Exactly! I personally use Sorenson Squeeze and get some top notch quality with small file size which translates to instant gratification for the viewer. Its the world we live in - I want it now. Couple that with a QT download for those willing to wait for higher quality - assuming you don't mind that they have a copy of your work on their hard drive. Streaming won't download to their hard drive. Cheers.

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Old June 2nd, 2007, 10:00 PM   #5
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1) what do you guys mean by wait?, On my computer, I click on link and it plays immediatly (cable modem)

2) for Mac guy how do you set up stream -- that was confusing, did not get it. (forget about you tube)

3) why quality worse? (I do notice that all the commercial production companies are showing with quicktime, ie they are asking you have quicktime. that means they are not streaming?)

4) offer both? don't get it, you have a stream, and then some text saying download here, any example you can post? thanks!
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 11:17 PM   #6
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Encode a QT .mov with fast start streaming capability so you can just embed it, then put a Save Target link below it so IF they wanna download instead they can....not too complicated.

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Old June 3rd, 2007, 10:07 PM   #7
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thanks Klye, I think that's exactly what I have currently, it's "looks" like streaming to me. If you would like to answer any of my 4 questions please do, no one has helped with those yet.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 02:56 AM   #8
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word of caution in steaming.... yes it does download to your HD

Unless somethings changed, when a person streams certain video content, it does actually download a "temp" file (PC anyway) into your "Temporary Internet Files' folder. I have retreived full video files in there. Sometimes the name gets changed, or the extension needs to be change to view.

Back me up someone here, but I used to do this........... (I now run a Mac and haven't had the time to look for it on my HD)

By the way, it doesn't ALWAYS happen, but most time it will. And when you hit the "empty (or clear?) Temporary internet fold" they are gone.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 06:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Carter View Post
1) what do you guys mean by wait?, On my computer, I click on link and it plays immediatly (cable modem).
That depends on your player settings - most players will let you decide how to do it: either start playing after a short buffering time or download the whole file and only then play it.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #10
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thanks still curious:
why quality worse? how do you set up a stream? how would you offer both?
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Old June 4th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #11
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Posting a video on your website is technically not streaming. To use the correct technical terminology, streaming is a continuous transmission of video (could be audio only) - for example some TV stations are offering live streaming of their programming. When you start watching a live stream, you get connected at the given moment in time, in other words, you won't be able to watch what you want, but what they stream at that time. Streaming is done using dedicated services - for example I do this from my church; what I do is get the video in a PC via firewire, use Windows Media Encoder to encode to .wmv on the fly, and simultaniously upload to a streaming server. I have a link on the church website, when a visitor clicks on it, it goes to the streaming server, opens up Windows Media Player on his computer and starts playing, again, after a short buffer time. So the viewer will watch "live" what is going on in my church - well, almost live... there is a 20 seconds delay I programmed in the Encoder to prevent interruptions, if there is a short interruption (a few seconds) in our internet service, Encoder detects that, buffers the content, then uploads it when service becomes available.

When posting video on your website, that will be downloaded to the visitor's media player. Now, as I specified earlier, some players will start playing the video after a short buffering time (a few seconds, depending on bandwidth and parameters you can specify when encoding the file), while others will fully download the file before starting to play - it depends mostly on the player and the way it is set up.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 11:05 PM   #12
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What's your opinon on what to do?

Here are some site of major production houses, what are they doing?

http://www.believemedia.com/flash.html
http://www.beachhousefilms.com/
http://aerofilm.tv/
http://www.radicalmedia.com/
http://www.bobcentral.com/home.html
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Old June 5th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #13
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Kevin,

I really see only three things that you can do with streaming that are not possible with progressive downloading:

(1) play audio and/or video of a live event, much like TV broadcast, as Ervin mentioned in his response,

(2) adjust the bitrate on the fly, while the media is playing, to switch between higher/lower quality versions as the quality of your connection changes, and

(3) it seems that it's more difficult for the average user to capture streamed media into a file (and then replay it later or use it otherwise) than to capture files that are offered for (progressive) download.

Unless at least one of these things is important to you, I would suggest to use progressive download since it's easier on the server/web hosting side (read: easier for you to set up).

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Old June 5th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #14
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It's my understanding that to provide true streaming media it has to be done from a specially configured streaming server and not a typical webserver that most hosting is done with. I would say that most of the Quicktime files that I have viewed had to be downloaded first and then viewed and ALL windows media files like .asf, .wmv & .wma have opened and played within 5 seconds progressively downloading while I viewed or listened to them. What's bad about the Quicktime files when you just left click on them is that nothing visually happens like a status window or at least a player opening and telling you the status. Before I finally realized that it was downloading the content in the background, I just gave up and moved on. But in actuality, it was downloading and on a PC there is a very small download icon in the lower left of your screen when this is happening as with all downloads. Then, 3-5 minutes later when it finishes downloading it will open and play which can scare you to death if you forgot about it, especially if the volume is up.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #15
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thanks Martin, I think that what I did, very easy to set up, but a freind of mine on Windows says the the PC people have to physically click to download then launch a media player..... so he got the wondering.

Were those 5 sites I posted doing the progressive downoading /not streaming.

James, did not understand most of your post.
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