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Video delivery in Claro: What is progressive download and streaming video?

This article offers a brief introduction to these two types of video delivery. Links to other sites with more detail can be found at the end.

Progressive Download

Progressive download means that the video is delivered progressively to the player. The video plays as the video is loaded, which can lead to the video stuttering if the internet connection is slow. However, the user can pause the video and get perfect playback when the video is loaded.

Files are cached on the viewer’s computer so can be copied and saved by the user.

Real-time Streaming Media

A streaming media server is a server with software that is specifically designed to deliver video and audio content. Streaming media servers are typically set up for specific file types and use a variety of different protocols (such as RTMP, Real Time Messaging Protocol or RTSP, Real Time Streaming Protocol).

Streaming servers load in content as the user requires it instead of loading the entire video (i.e., if the user scrubs ahead in the timeline the video loads from there).

Real-time streaming provides the best web delivery performance and better security for your content (since videos are not cached so they can’t be copied easily and you can set up restrictions based on IP addresses and other options).

Slower connections may still encounter buffering problems but optimal streaming practices detect bandwidth capabilities and offer properly encoded files for different connections.

Many organizations use a video provider to host their streaming videos instead of setting up their own streaming server, as they can be expensive and are very bandwidth intensive. Others use dynamic streaming video which can be loaded on any HTTP server.

Content Distribution Network (CDN)

A Content Distribution Network (CDN) has multiple servers world-wide and provides geo-location to get the closest available server for the viewer. Having a CDN deliver the player/media stream is the most efficient means of improving player load/stream performance.

Public Video-sharing Services

There are also several free public video-sharing services such as YouTube and Vimeo. These host user-generated video delivered in their branded players.

There are some privacy options available so that you can control who can see your videos.

Adding Video to a Course in Claro

So, you can host your course videos with a public video-sharing service, on your own servers, through a video service provider, or with the course package in your LMS or launching service. These services may provide Progressive Downloads, Real-time Streaming Media or some variation of video delivery. You should check with your provider for more details.

There are a few ways to add video to your course in Claro:

  • Upload Video to the Media Library and insert it in your page to play in the Claro video player. The video will be on the same server as your course and will use Progressive Download to play the video.
  • Insert an externally hosted Embed Video that plays in the host’s player (Externally hosted embedded video may be progressive download or real-time streaming, depending on the host provider).
  • Insert a Media Stream (real-time streaming video) from an external source that plays in the Claro video player. This method utilizes a streaming media server where you are storing your video.
  • Record Video from your Webcam or USB video camera that plays in the Claro video player. (The video is saved and stored in Claro, as if you had uploaded the video. When you publish the course and play the video, it uses progressive download to play off of the same server where your course is stored.)
  • Record Activity from an area of your screen or running application that plays in the Claro video player. (Same as Record Video above).

Sources and Resources

For more information and a useful detailed comparison table of delivery options, see Adobe’s Video Learning Guide for Flash: Progressive and streaming video.

Streaming Media also offers a series of What is… articles including one called What is Streaming?.

Read the OnlineVideo.net article on Streaming vs Progressive Download vs Adaptive Streaming.

Check out the article snippets at Adobe Press too, including Delivery and Deployment Primer.

Vimeo has a helpful collection of video exporting and compression tutorials from different programs.

YouTube also has many help articles.

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