Many of us are choosing to watch TV shows and films direct from the Internet.
So much so that Netfilx and Youtube account for approximately 50 percent of Internet traffic in the US.
If you watch a film or listen to music on the Internet then the film/music can either be downloaded or streamed to your device
Many services like Youtube only support streaming whereas others like The BBC iplayer support both streaming and downloading.
But what is the difference? – Many people think that streaming a film doesn’t transfer a copy of the film to their device,, but it does!
However the media player only stores a temporary copy of the film locally, and so once you disconnect from the Internet or switch off your device you lose access to the movie, and must start the stream again.
Streaming is used by the large film sites like NetFlix, Amazon Prime etc as allowing downloads would probably violate the film copyright.
Streaming is very much like the old TV or radio network were the show was broadcast, and you had to watch it then.
As regards data usage streaming usually uses a little less than downloading as it is usually compresses.
However, if you watch the movie twice then it uses much more as it needs to be streamed again.
When you download a film from the internet then a local copy of the film exists on your PC and you can watch the film at any time. You can also transfer/copy it to other devices.
Downloaded content is bought (like buying a DVD) whereas streamed content is rented.
You can even stream your downloaded film to other devices if you have the correct hardware.
In addition you don’t normally need to purchase any other software to play downloaded files provided they use standard video formats e.g. avi, mp4 etc
Video Streaming Vs Downloading Q&A
|Do I Need an Internet connection to stream or download ?||Yes||Yes|
|Do I Need to be connected to the Internet To Play the video ?||Yes But see Note:||No|
|Do I Need a Fast Internet Connection?||Yes (2-5 Mbits/s download speed)||No|
|Can I watch while video is being
streamed or ownloaded?
|Will downloading/streaming use part of my Data Allowance?||Yes||Yes|
|Will downloading or streaming Use
space on my device?
|Yes bur relatively small as video isn’t stored permanently||Yes- Lots of space used -allow 1GB for every hour of video|
|Note: Software Like playlater can be used|
- Beginners Guide to Internet TV
- Playlater and PLayon –Wiki
- Can you record a Netflix stream for offline viewing