A   S t r e a m i n g   M e d i a   P r i m e r :  
H O W   D O   I   P U T   M Y   S T R E A M I N G   M E D I A   O N  T H E  W E B ?
If your fi les are MBR (multiple bit rate) encoded, use the above equation for each stream 
contained in every MBR fi le. Add the results of your calculations for all of your stream 
  If you're delivering a lot 
ing media fi les together, then don't forget to add the amount of storage you need for the 
of streaming content over the 
server software itself, and whatever incremental capacity you anticipate needing.
Internet, telecommunications 
What about my Internet connection?
bandwidth is typically the major 
Perhaps surprisingly, the capacity of the streaming server is not typically the limiting 
factor for throughput the bandwidth of your Internet connection is what really counts. 
expense. Leasing costs for the 
 A single Macintosh running QuickTime Streaming Server can deliver up to 1,000 
high bandwidth digital lines 
simultaneous streams at 56 kilobits each, or an aggregate of over 50 megabits per second. 
you need can cost more per 
That's enough to saturate 40 T1 connections to the Internet, or to completely swamp 
fi ve 10Base T Ethernet LANs. 
51
week than your server and 
But the good news is that you only need enough bandwidth to accommodate the 
software cost annually. 
amount of streaming you plan to do  To serve a small number of streams from 
  Setting up a Streaming Server 
your home or offi ce, 128K DSL is the minimum you should consider. Cable modem 
QuickTime Book
50
can be used, but continual traffi c fl uctuations make the network unreliable, potentially 
compromising the quality of your streams. In fact, attempting a live Webcast over a cable 
modem connection would be unwise. A single T1 line can carry enough streaming data 
to serve 25 end users simultaneously connected at 56K. Whatever your connection, be sure to check 
with your ISP your throughput will be limited by your ISPs backbone carrier; some ISPs are better 
prepared for the anticipated explosion of streaming media demand than others.
So just how much bandwidth do you need?  Let's use a bit more bandwidth math to fi gure it out  
the bandwidth required for serving content can be calculated by multiplying the data rate (in kilobits 
per second) of your streaming production(s) by the maximum number of simultaneous streams 
you expect to serve:
Kbps X maximum number of simultaneous streams = Kbps of bandwidth needed
Example bandwidth calculations
Data rate of streams
Max. audience size
Bandwidth needed
Example connection
20 Kbps
60
1,200 Kbps or 1.2 Mbps
T1
60% 20 Kbps plus 
100
4,400 Kbps or 4.4 Mbps
Fractional T3
40% 80 Kbps
80 Kbps
100
8,000 Kbps or 8 Mbps
10 Mbps fractional T3
20 Kbps
2,000
40,000 Kbps or 40 Mbps
T3
Enough math already!  I just want to make streaming media 
We've got good news for you... If you don't want to mess around with servers, you don't have to. Just as 
there are Web hosting providers, there are hosting services that can serve your streaming media fi les for 
you. Should you serve your own streaming media or outsource?
  Defi ne your target audience: Are they dial up or broadband customers? Is your 
content video, audio or both? Live or on demand? Is your content mission critical? 
namic Media
How much redundancy do you require? Do you require support or do you have 
y
the expertise to run the hardware and software? Do you want yourself or someone 
else to take the page at 3am when the service is down? 
 Steve Stevenson
obe D
Streaming Media.com
52
d
A
50  QuickTime for the Web, by Steven W. Gulie, May 1, 2000, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers
35
51  ibid.
52    Choosing a Hosting Provider,  by Steve Stevenson, http://www.streamingmedia.com/tutorials/view.asp?tutorial_id=52
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