We explain what streaming is, how it works and what types exist. In addition, its history and which are the most important platforms.

The streaming became popular through the consumption of smartphones and computers.

What is the streaming?

transmission by streaming, also called streaming, streaming, or streaming, is a method of distribution of contents multimedia (audiovisual) via computer networks, which transmits the content at the very moment it is consumed, without having to download and store it beforehand. The term streaming comes from English stream (“jet” or “stream”) and refers to the uninterrupted transmission of audiovisual content.

The transmission of commercial content via streaming It became popular after the year 2000 throughout the world, as broadband services made it possible to equalize the data transmission rate necessary to transmit series, movies, podcasts and other deferred content (that is, previously recorded) or different live and direct television services. Unlike traditional television or radio broadcasts, it had the virtue that the Username you can choose what content to watch and when.

To have access to this type of services you need a connection to Internet and one or more devices capable of playing audio and video, such as smart TVs, tablets, smart phones either computers. The success of this technology, therefore, goes hand in hand with the increase in the consumption of this type of device, and the improvement in wireless data transmission capacity (4G and 5G).

as it happens with others anglicisms, that is, other English loanwords in Spanish, the word streaming should always be written in italics.

Background and history of streaming

On November 18, 1994, The Rolling Stones broadcast 20 minutes of their concert live.

The basic principle of transmission by streaming is not new, already in 1920 the Muzak system of music background invented by the American soldier George Owen Squier (1865-1934) operated based on the continuous transmission of electrical impulses, but the technology of that time did not allow its use; at least not in the terms that it finally came to be in the 1990s.

The streaming became known among the masses in 1994, thanks to a concert by the British rock band The Rolling Stones, who on November 18 broadcast live a 20-minute excerpt from their concert in Dallas, United States, as part of a promotion of pay-per-view content services for the Showtime network. This broadcast was made possible by Multicast Bone (MBone) technology, invented in 1992 to broadcast academic conferences.

Later, in 1995, appeared RealAudio 1.0, an audio format that made it easy and light to streaming of audio over the internet, which had a massive impact on telecommunications and demonstrated the virtue of the system of buffering or temporary storage of content for almost instantaneous enjoyment.

However, the true capabilities of this technology were successfully tested thanks to the YouTube social network, which appeared in 2005 and is dedicated to transmitting audiovisual content over the Internet. In the years that followed, the giants of the entertainment industry appeared via streaming, both in the television and cinematographic area, as well as in video games, radio on-line and the podcasts.

How does the streaming?

transmission by streaming It works the same way as any other broadcast. data digital, but instead of requiring the complete download of the content to proceed with its reproduction, the services streaming they have a data buffer, that is, a computer memory space dedicated to the temporary storage of information, where the content is accumulated for immediate transmission, so that there are no interruptions.

Thus, the data is transmitted, received and reproduced quickly, as long as the bandwidth of the Internet service equals or exceeds the transmission rate of the information. Therefore, the larger the data packets (for example, if the video quality is set to maximum), the more information per second must be processed, stored and reproduced.

Types streaming

The platforms of streaming they can transmit all kinds of audiovisual or interactive content.

The transmission via streaming can be classified according to the type of information consumed in:

  • streaming audio. Allows you to listen to radio and recorded programs (podcast) via Internet. They can also make phone calls and transmit audio messages.
  • streaming Of video. It allows you to receive a continuous stream of moving images, such as a feed from a security camera in a store, or a documentary or scientific recording of some kind.
  • streaming of audiovisual content. It allows consuming integrated audio and video content, such as series, movies, video conferences, video calls, among others.
  • streaming of video games. It allows the download of the necessary data to play quickly and online, usually after having installed a portion of the game. software required to play on a computer or video game console. In other cases it refers to the installation on-line of a new game directly on the devices, without downloading and further processing.

platforms of streaming More popular

Some of the most popular platforms for selling content through live streaming or streaming are the following:

  • Youtube. It is one of the pioneering platforms in the business of streaming of audio and video, and consists of a vast social network that continuously stores and reproduces the recordings of its users, whether they are self-produced programs, advertising messages, etc.
  • Netflix. It is one of the platforms streaming most popular, and offers its subscribers access to thousands of series, films and short films to consume directly. Their success It has been such that many smart TVs now have Netflix buttons on their remotes.
  • Disney+. Mainly aimed at children and young people, this service of streaming of Disney-branded content (or its associated brands, such as pixar, Marvel either starwars) was founded in 2019 and offered to the public in the midst of a boom in platforms of this type, linked to mobility restrictions due to the covid-19 pandemic that began in 2020.
  • Vimeo. It is a loading platform and streaming of videos founded in 2004 and which operates as a social network, whose high bit rates and high video resolution made it popular with artists in the music world, as a site to host and distribute concerts and video clips.
  • HBOMax. property of the business of film production and distribution HBO, this platform of streaming It was launched in 2020 and quickly became one of the most demanded in a highly disputed commercial sector, since its contents are not limited to those produced by the company.
  • Google Cloud Streaming. It is the service of streaming of data of Google, which emerged in 2008 as an alternative to storing applications on the computer, which can instead run them directly from the cloud, that is, via the Internet. In this sense, Google Cloud is a virtual environment that sends and receives data taking advantage of the technology of the streaming.
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