A   S t r e a m i n g   M e d i a   P r i m e r :  
G L O S S A R Y
when accessing pre recorded, or on demand, fi les). The 
progressive download: Also known as pseudo 
infrastructure to handle multicasting, known as the 
streaming,  progressive download  allows end users to 
M Bone (multicast backbone) is still emerging; the 
experience media accessed via a network such as the 
Internet is not yet ready for the popular proliferation of 
Internet, while the media fi le is still in the process 
multicasting. The terms  multicast  and narrowcast are 
of downloading; as opposed to downloadable media, 
sometimes used interchangeably, although  multicast  
which cannot be played back until the entire fi le  is 
more specifi cally refers to the actual technology inher 
received. Unlike true streaming, progressive download 
ent in the process.
leaves a copy of the media fi le on the client. Progressive 
narrowband:  Low bandwidth (typically dial up) net 
download is also called HTTP streaming because Web 
work connections usually 56 Kbps or lower.
server software using standard protocols (HTTP serv 
ers) can deliver progressive download fi les,  unlike 
narrowcast:  Transmission of media to multiple end 
true streaming, which takes advantage of the special 
users but, as differentiated from broadcast, not to 
protocols used by media server software to adjust 
everyone on a network
transmission to match the actual available bandwidth.
NTSC:  National Television Standards Committee stan 
protocol: A formal description of, i.e., rules for, how 
dard for color television transmission used in the 
specifi c types of computer systems interact.  
United States, Japan and elsewhere. NTSC incorporates 
an  interlaced display with 60 fi elds per second, 29.97 
pseudo streaming: See progressive download.
frames per second.
QuickTime: Apple's multi platform, multimedia soft  
on demand: Media which is not transmitted live, as 
ware  architecture; used by software developers, hard 
it is recorded, but is made available as an archive 
ware manufacturers, and content creators to author 
on a server, for end users to access when they wish. 
and publish synchronized graphics, sound, video, text, 
A television broadcast is  live;  renting a video and 
music, VR, and 3D media.  QuickTime 4  includes 
watching it at home is  on demand. 
strong support for  real  (RTSP) streaming.   
optimize: Another term for pre process.
RealMedia:  Architecture developed by RealNetworks 
to deliver audio and video content on the Web. Along 
packet:  Although computers and modems can send 
with QuickTime and Windows Media, one of three 
data one character at a time, it's more effi cient to send 
dominant streaming architectures.
information in larger blocks called data  packets,  or 
datagrams. When using the standard Internet protocol, 
real time:  In computing, refers to an operating mode 
TCP/IP, packets are typically around 1,500 characters.   
under which data is received, processed and the results 
Packets consist of the data being transmitted plus the IP 
returned so quickly as to seem instantaneous. In terms 
address information of the sender and the recipient 
of streaming media, refers to content streamed live, or 
as it happens.
PAL:  Phase alternating line television standard popu 
lar in most European and South American countries. 
reference movie: A metafi le in the QuickTime archi 
PAL uses an interlaced display with 50 fi elds per second, 
tecture, used to invoke the QuickTime player and/or  to 
25 frames per second.
refer the browser to an adaptive bit rate (MBR) fi le.
pixel:  An abbreviation for picture element. The mini 
resolution: The amount of information in each frame 
mum computer display element, represented as a point 
of video, normally represented by the number of hori 
with a specifi ed color and intensity level. One way to 
zontal  pixels times the number of vertical pixels (e.g. 
measure image resolution is by the number of pixels 
640x480). All other things being equal, a higher resolu 
used to create the image.
tion will result in a better quality image.
player:  In a multimedia architecture, the client soft 
rich media: Another term for multimedia. 
ware application, typically a plug in, that enables play 
RTP: Realtime Transfer Protocol is used as the transfer 
back of the media.
protocol for RTSP streaming (true streaming), and can 
plug in: A plug in extends the capabilities of a Web 
deliver a streaming media fi le to one or more end users  
browser, enabling the client to display or playback a fi le 
simultaneously (i.e., can unicast or multicast).
type which the browser itself cannot handle. 
RTSP: Realtime Streaming Protocol provides the func 
Pre processing:  Sometimes called optimizing, pre 
tionality allowing end users to randomly access and 
processing removes non essential information from 
control the delivery of streaming media content.
your video and audio information that is diffi cult 
server cluster or server farm: A group of networked 
to encode and/or does not substantively add to the 
servers that streamline internal processes by distribut 
quality of the streamed media. So pre processing prior 
ing the workload and expedite computing processes 
to encoding reduces the burden on the compressor, 
by harnessing the power of multiple servers. Load 
potentially saving time and CPU capacity.
balancing software tracks demand for processing power 
namic Mediay
post production: The phase of a fi lm or video project 
from different machines, prioritizing the tasks, and 
that involves editing and assembling footage and adding 
scheduling and rescheduling them depending on prior 
effects, graphics, titles, and sound.
ity and demand users put on the network. Redundancy 
ensures that if one server in the farm fails, another can 
pre production:  The planning phase of a fi lm  or 
step in as backup.
obe D
video project usually completed prior to commencing 
SECAM:  Similar to PAL at 25 FPS, the SECAM format 
d
production. 
is employed primarily in France, the Middle East, and 
A
production:  The phase of a fi lm or video project 
Africa.  It is only used for broadcasting. In countries 
comprised of shooting or recording raw footage.
employing the SECAM standard, PAL format cameras 
46
and decks are used.
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