What is streaming media?

The Netherlands Media Art Institute defines streaming media as any data transport on the Internet which is "real time". Real time means instant communication from content supplier (server) to content viewer (client), but IT also means the role of server and client can be switched. Examples of streaming media are liVe video streams, video streams which are sent to a client without being stored first on a local storage device, but also chats, interactive multi-user games and internet relay chat (IRC) could potentially be a streaming media application.
The main focus of Playing Field will be on streaming video, exploring the possibilities of this medium.

The strength of streaming media:

Streaming media have a couple of advantages with respect to more traditional media like video and even television.
They provide a way to reach a worldwide audience, giving the possibility of two-way communication. Using two-way communication and combining multiple users, multi-user applications can be created. Multi-layered functionality opens the door to non-linear and interactive video.

The limitations of streaming media:

The transport mechanism is defined by its weakest chain. This means that streaming media are limited in bandwidth (the quantity of data transmitted per second from server to client). This often results in poor video quality and smaller image sizes. An other limitation is the need for specific technical knowledge. Whereas video technology is now a fully developed technology, streaming media requires a lot of research and experienced technical assistance. The technology is also changing very rapidly which requires constant upgrading of knowledge.

More technical information on streaming see: OSSA knowledge base