Streaming video is content sent in compressed form over the Internet and displayed by the viewer in real time. With streaming video or streaming media, a Web user does not have to wait to download a file to play it. Instead, the media is sent in a continuous stream of data and is played as it arrives. The user needs a player, which is a special program that uncompresses and sends video data to the display and audio data to speakers. A player can be either an integral part of a browser or downloaded from the software maker's Web site.
This is different from what used to happen before streaming, when an audio or video file had to be downloaded completely onto the user’s device before it could be played. While this was acceptable in the early days of the internet when web content only constituted simple pages of text and static images, today the situation is much different.
The video streaming process is not new and has existed as a concept for decades. There has been academic and industrial research on various ways in which video streaming takes place. We have consulted various research documents, and these are included at the end of the blog. However, based on research and our experience in video streaming, the process can be summarized in the following diagram:
The process in its simplest form is as follows:
- Capture: Video is captured from a camera. Encoding: Video is then converted from raw formats to compressed digital formats so that they can be easily transmitted over the internet.
- Transmission: Video is delivered from point of capture to the user, over the internet. To make the video streamable, the video is broken down into small chunks and then transmitted through a video streaming protocol. The process usually takes place in a video streaming server.
- Decoding: Video is uncompressed into playable formats. This step may not be needed if the file was delivered using a compatible format.
- Display: The viewer can then view the video from an application or web player.
An LMS is a reliable tool for managing traditional learning content, but it’s still lacking when it comes to hosting and streaming videos. Most LMSs are not built or designed to manage videos.
Furthermore, since an LMS is a platform for all types of learning material, it lacks the more specific features and functionalities offered by a video streaming application. This can pose a challenge for organizations looking to use more video content for their training & learning purposes. For these reasons, LMS video hosting will be unreliable for training and learning and instead recommend a video streaming platform that can be used on its own as a consolidated solution or integrated with an existing LMS to enhance its functionality.
Despite the fact that there streaming options like YouTuve, Vimeo, etc available to use for free, however academic providers cannot avail them because they effect the commercial side of their business.