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What Are the Different Types of Streaming Media Services?

The demand for streaming media services has grown rapidly since the average price for high-speed Internet service has dropped.
Netflix is a type of paid movie streaming media service.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
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  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2014
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Streaming media services include television programming, movies, radio broadcasts and live events. All of these services are accessible via the Internet, although some might require a specific software to access. The speed of the Internet connection is critical in the delivery of any streaming media services. A direct, high-speed Internet connection, such as through broadband, DSL or cable, is required because the speed of data transfer via a dial-up connection is not fast enough.

Streaming media grew exponentially as the price for high-speed Internet connections dropped. Using a standard computer, most people can now access media from other countries that is not available on the television. In addition to the expanded access, popular television programs and movies also can be viewed via the Internet, usually without commercials.

The actual television program is owned by the studio or station on which it is broadcast. Increasingly, these media companies are making past episodes available on their websites. Product commercials often are excluded, but the broadcasting company is able to increase its information about customer preferences and the popularity of various shows. Customers also can purchase merchandise directly from the website or find other programs that they are interested in.

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There are two types of movie streaming media services: paid and free. The paid services broadcast the licensed copy of the movie to subscribers, who can then view it at their convenience via the Internet from anywhere in the world. This is a great benefit for people who travel extensively and want to relax and watch a movie.

Free services usually broadcast pirated or bootleg copies of popular movies. This might include illegal copies or draft versions of the movie. The service is free, but the quality is less than ideal, and in many cases, the service is poor.

Many radio stations have added streaming media services to their list of product offerings. Users can listen to live broadcasts or prior sessions via the Internet. The quality of the broadcast can be quite high, and many stations have included additional features that encourage listener interaction.

Live events can be broadcast to either public or private audiences using streaming media services. For example, a university graduation ceremony can be made available via streaming media to family members and friends around the world who are unable to attend. There is no risk for the school, because attendance is usually quite limited, and it allows more people to participate in the event.

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shell4life
Post 6

I absolutely love being able to watch videos of things like my child's school plays and ballgames online. The school is great about updating their website often with things like this that they know the parents are interested in seeing.

Family friendly businesses pay the school for the privilege of advertising on their website where these videos are posted. Local clothing stores, toy stores, and bowling alleys park their ads here where the parents will be sure to see them as they scroll down the page.

If I ever have to miss a school event, I can catch a glimpse of it online. Although it will only be a snippet, there's always the chance that my kid will be in that short segment. Also, I get the bonus of finding coupons from local businesses on the page.

StarJo
Post 5

When my local newspaper really put some effort into developing their website, they decided it would be good if their readers had the option to “watch” the news. They started filming the writers reading their articles aloud.

This works for people who prefer getting their news audibly. For reports on things like storm damage, they film the writers at the scene when possible for added effect.

When they interview people, they have to get permission to air the interview via their streaming media service. Some people decline, so these interviews are available only in text.

Perdido
Post 4

When I had satellite internet, I used to watch short music videos, performances, or newscasts all the time. Now that I have switched to internet through my phone company, I have limited data usage.

If I go over this amount of usage, they charge me a big chunk of change. I have no idea how much data I use when streaming videos that last only a few minutes, but I'm scared to find out.

Does anyone know approximately how many high quality videos under five minutes each I would have to watch to go over my allotted usage of 8 gigabytes? I really miss my streaming media!

Oceana
Post 3

Everybody finds those advertisements that stream before the actual video annoying, because we have to endure them. There is no option to fast forward, usually. This is why advertising rates for such ads are high.

You can't get up and go to the kitchen during the commercial like you can while watching TV, because this one will only last a few seconds. Advertisers know that anyone who is interested in viewing the video will definitely see their commercial.

Though this is one nuisance with streaming media, it's a small one. The videos I watch only have one commercial that precedes them, so I can handle that.

letshearit
Post 2

@drtroubles – I would try a site like hulu (just google it) if you are in the US as they have a really great selection of TV shows from various networks and it is all for free. On that note, many networks have their own streaming media channels and some even keep up fairly comprehensive archives. If you are willing to go for a pay service I would suggest trying something like NetFlix.

I think if you want a streaming media service provider online that gives you a really good quality service you are going to have to pay for it. Free sites are nice but I find they just tend to crash a lot and have issues.

drtroubles
Post 1

There are so many kinds of streaming media software online it is tough to find one that really gives you good quality video. Does anyone know a streaming media server that has a good selection of television shows and movies?

I have tried several Windows media streaming services, all free, and their video feed has always been choppy or too filled with commercials. I wonder if there is any way around this?

Some of my favorite shows air on A&E and I would love to be able to watch the shows without running into issues with the media player crashing. I prefer to stream because I don't want to crowd my harddrive with files.

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