My recommendation is to go with a streaming server over a web server.
- A streaming server is a specialized piece of software that accepts requests for video files, knows about the format, bandwidth, and structure of those files, and in many cases, pays attention to the performance of the player that's receiving the vide. Streaming servers deliver just the amount of data necessary to play the video, at precisely the rate needed.
- Unlike the web server, which simply starts dumping as much video data onto the network as it can, the streaming server opens a direct conversation with the media player which improves viewer experience.
- Since the server sends video data only as it's needed and at just the rate it's needed, it also allows you to have precise control over the number of streams you serve and the maximum bandwidth you consume.
- You can skip ahead in a video, or begin playback at a point somewhere in the middle. This is a convenience to users, but also a boon to you as a provider. It enables interactive applications like video search and personalized playlists.
- It lets you monitor exactly what people are watching and for how long they are watching it.
- It makes more efficient use of bandwidth since only the part of the file that's watched gets transferred.
- The video file is not stored on the viewer's computer. The video data is played and then discarded by the media player, so you maintain more control over your content and reduce copyright issues.
Last update: 09:23 AM Sunday, May 6, 2007