Streaming technology: Live vs. on-demand
Users can stream video on demand or live. The difference, as the name suggests, is that in the latter case, content is recorded and broadcast in real-time with no major time delays. It could be a company-wide meeting, a live football game or even the live stream from a concert. The benefits are clear: more immersive, immediate and exclusive experiences for the content consumer. Live content can also be archived and made available for access on demand alongside other previously recorded audio/video.
In technological terms, there's not a great deal of difference between the two. The main distinction is that in on-demand video streaming, content is stored after the encoding step, and streamed from the media server when requested. It can then be served up as required when requested by a user. Typical on-demand platforms include YouTube, Vimeo and Disney+, while live-streaming services include Twitch, YouTube Live and Facebook Live.
However, from an IT infrastructure perspective, live streaming is more resource-intensive, with content broken down into smaller blocks and transmitted in larger volumes to minimize delays. More bandwidth is required to ensure a smooth user experience with no latency, which is where edge computing can help.