Introduction

Gone are the days when people frequented movie cinemas to watch their favorite movies. Today, we have a long list of movies collections online in various platforms. With a compatible computer and fast stable internet connection you are served with endless movie entertainment as long as you have free time. I bet movie cinemas nowadays have clients only when films are launching before they are uploaded online. Online streaming can never go wrong because of the freedom and endless choices that someone is treated to. Movies are available in different categories and you just need to watch those that appeal to you.

Streaming is the transmission of continuous flow of video or audio data over the internet using a computer or a mobile device. You can also opt for downloading videos and audios for later use. These are stored in the computer and can be accessed anytime even without internet connection. There has been an increased movie-streaming services and trust me when you get online you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to the number of movie platforms that will show up upon conducting a search. That is to say that online streaming service is getting popular each and every other day with sites such as putlocker among others flooding the entertainment scene.

The fact that most of these movies and TV shows are free makes them even more popular amongst many people. You can stream them at any time of your convenience regardless of the time zone and just like that, with a single click you take control of whatever it is that you want watch.

Downloading and streaming comparison

Downloading can be simply put as asking a server that sends out files to other people, to send you zillions of packets (data that is broken up into bits) one after the other and you wait for them to arrive. Streaming on the other hand can be defined as using the packets as soon as enough of them arrive. Let us look at different perspectives on how different streaming and downloading can be.

1. Speed

With speed, how fast downloading a file can be is determined by the size, internet connection and the website traffic. For example a music album could take 5 minutes or 5 hours depending on its size, web traffic and how stable the internet connection is.

When it comes to streaming on the other hand, generally a hour video for example will play for 1 hour, unless there are occasional delays which are caused by buffering due to unstable internet connection. It is also important to note that streaming media can be used for live relaying of happening events at a particular time and place which can also be referred to as webcasting.

2. Quality

When checking out for quality when it comes to downloading a video, an internet packet communication system technically referred to as TCP/IP is used to automatically correct errors. With this, any lost or damaged packets are retransmitted again and the file that you end up receiving in your computer storage space is exactly the copy of the file that was previously on the server.

With streaming, any lost or damaged packets for that matter are not resent meaning they are completely ignored. However that does not usually matter because videos which are digitally streamed are converted back into analog format before you can watch them. For any packet that is lost during streaming, it leads to picture quality degradation where by a picture seems to disappear into square blocks.

3. Servers

When it comes to any conventional server, downloads in various sites such as putlocker usually work through web-serving methods otherwise known as the HTTP and FTP internet protocols. With that, the same version of each and every file is served to everyone.

Streaming on the other hand uses RTSP, which stands for real time streaming protocol whereby upon going to a web page that usually offers streaming media; you are redirected to a different streaming server. Here, different versions of each file are optimized for different speed connections and different files are served to different people.

4. File type

In simple terms, a download is single file which consists of all the important data packaged together which means that if you are downloading a movie for example, everything is packaged into a single file with a file type of something like MPEG4.

When it comes to streaming a movie, each part of the movie namely video, sound, subtitles or any other part, is transmitted as a separate stream and the movie player reassembles and synchronizes various streams as they arrive at your computer for viewing.

5. Encoding/decoding

Video or audio files for that matter can be uploaded instantly into a server for immediate downloading whereas for streaming, files have to be compressed into smaller video frames per second, and then encoded or turned into small digital packets, before they can be streamed.There is need for people watching or listening to streamed files to have codecs (decoding files) installed in their computers for purposes of turning encoded computerized files into analog pictures and sounds that humans can process. A plug-in is therefore needed in your web-browser to handle streaming files that you want to receive.

6. Multiple users

For downloads, when more people tend to download a file at the same time, it becomes harder for the server to work and the slower it works, the longer it takes for each client to download files.

When it comes to streaming, each client takes a separate stream because different people tend to start streaming the same video at the different times. Another kid of streaming produces a single stream allowing many people to watch or listen to files simultaneously especially for those watching live events such as football matches.

7. Copyright

A downloaded file which simply put is copied into the viewer’s computer, is easy to post on other websites, easy to email and that is enough to cause copyright issues but for streaming, files are deleted as soon as they are viewed or listened to, and so there is fewer evidence in the user’s computer for copyright issues.

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