Streaming video vs progressive download

video streaming server

In this post you'll learn how streaming video is different from progresive download and find out which one is right for your business.

To put it very very simply:
Youtube = streaming video
Vimeo = progressive download

With YouTube you can skip ahead to parts of the video that haven't yet been downloaded to your local machine. Which is great for really long high quality videos.

With Vimeo, on the other hand, you can't. The reason is, to stream video you need streaming servers, which cost money and are not easy to set up. Hence most typical DIY flash player solutions implement progressive download.

With progressive download you can still skip ahead in the video, however only to parts that have been downloaded.

Progressive download is realised via HTTP(S) protocol via port 80 (or 446 in case of https) on your server. Companies on shared hosting accounts can experience slightly slower load ties for progressive download videos, because on these shared hosting accounts port 80 is loaded heavily.

Streaming video uses a completely different protocol- Real Time Messaging Protocol (or RTMP for short). The problem is, you need a streaming server to deliver rtmp stream, hence this setup is more expensive and a lot more complicated.

If your business has lots of high quality video content, that's longer than your typical one minute promo, you should really look into getting a true video streaming setup going.

For most companies it makes sense to use a dedicated video streaming provider, other than YouTube.

Now on the flip side, if you're doing business on ClickBank, for example, and have a long sales video without playback controls, it really doesn't matter whether you're streaming videos or offering progressive download. users won't be able to skip ahead anyways.