Streaming video works exactly the same
way as streaming audio, except the client receives video as well as audio.
The video starts playing while the file is being downloaded. This service
should be used when you need to present information that requires visual
input, like body language or actions that aren’t easily explained in words.
A downfall to our implementation of streaming video is that the client must
have Microsoft’s Windows Media Player installed. Also, another major problem
with streaming video is the required bandwidth needed to transport it.
Streaming video can be delivered to dial-up machines, but the size and quality
of the video is not very useful. For streaming video to work properly,
the client really needs a 200+Kb Internet connection.
The streaming video can be configured, within limitations, to talk to the
client before sending the video and calculate the proper speed to use for
sending the video out. This way one file can be used for different connection
speeds. Even with this feature, we have found that if you want to support
both dialup and high speed connections, we will need to make both a high
bandwidth file and a low bandwidth file.
If the connection speed is lower than what the file was made for, you will
either get a video that stalls and jumps or a black screen with audio only.
The following three examples are all of the same video. They are configured
to play at 18Kb, 36Kb, and 268Kb. If your connection speed is below any
of these figures you won’t be able to view the video. Notice how small
the picture is on the 18Kb and 36Kb videos and how "tinny" the sound is.
Also note how hard it is to read text and how jerky the video is compared
to the 268Kb video.