What is progressive video streaming and adaptive video streaming?

What is progressive video streaming?

A progressive video stream is a single video file being streamed over the internet. This type of file is often a .mp4 but can be in many different formats. The progressive video can be stretched and squashed to fit different screen sizes, but regardless of the device playing it, the video file will always be the same.

Problems with progressive streaming

There are two immediate problems that you will find if you use progressive streaming.

  • The first is quality. a video that is only 1280 x 720 will never play at correct quality levels on a screen that is 1920 x 1080px. It will be stretched and you will see pixelation.
  • The second is buffering. (Buffering is what we call it when the video pauses.) If the users have a poor-quality internet connection, and cannot download the video stream quickly enough, then the video will need to pause, wait for more data, and then start again. This makes watching a video horrible for the user. This situation is very common, especially on mobile devices, where the connection can vary greatly depending on the user’s location.

What is Adaptive video streaming?

Adaptive bitrate streaming provides the best video quality and viewer experience possible — no matter the connection, software, or device. Called ABR for short, the majority of these streams are delivered via HTTP-based technologies such as MPEG DASH and Apple’s HLS.

How ABR overcomes progressive streaming limitations?

  • The first problem with progressive streaming is quality. The quality situation is quite simple. Adaptive streaming allows the video provider to create a different video for each of the screen sizes (or devices) that he or she wishes to target. we can stream a specific video file to fit specific screen sizes, ensuring that the viewer always receives a video that will look good.
  • The second problem is buffering. Buffering happens when a user is unable to download a video file quickly enough to keep the video playing. Most videos play at 24 frames per second, so the internet connection needs to download at least 24 frames every second to avoid buffering. Adaptive streaming can resolve this situation by “adapting” to the speed of the user’s internet connection.
    To explain that in very simple terms, a small video can be downloaded faster than a large video, so if a user has a slow internet connection, and adaptive video stream will switch to a smaller video files size to keep the video playing.

How to enable ABR with StreamFast CDN?

Deliver live or on-demand video to any screen, from a single source. Upload your high definition videos to our servers, and they are automatically converted into all formats for all devices. You can use our transcoding services to create a combined file/Stream with different bitrates and use any player that supports Multiple Encoding.

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