With the increased availability of broadband, video is now becoming more accessible as a web support medium. You can enhance your company's image by including streaming media clips on your website. Examples of the use of streaming media include virtual walkthroughs, music videos, sports clips, weddings, film clips, corporate presentations and a host of others.
By definition, streaming media is video or audio transmitted over a network that users can begin to play immediately, instead of waiting for the entire file to download. Typically a few seconds of data is sent ahead and buffered in case of network transmission delays (although some data is buffered to the hard drive, it is written to temporary storage and is gone once viewing is complete). The most well known streaming media site is of course YouTube, but there is no reason why you cannot have a mini YouTube on your own site, with a single clip, or with a playlist indexing several clips.
Video can be made available on the Internet in a variety of different formats. These encoded formats determine which player your viewers will need to view the clip. All the main players have free downloads available, and links to these can be added alongside the video clip on your website.
The main streaming formats are:
- Flash Video
- Real Media
- Windows Media Video
- Quick Time