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Streaming media are multimedia that are constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider. Its verb form, "to stream", refers to the process of delivering media in this manner; the term refers to the delivery method of the medium rather than the medium itself.
A client media player can begin playing the data (such as a movie) before the entire file has been transmitted. Distinguishing delivery method from the media distributed applies specifically to telecommunications networks, as most other delivery systems are either inherently streaming (e.g., radio, television) or inherently nonstreaming (e.g., books, video cassettes, audio CDs). For example, in the 1930s, elevator music was among the earliest popularly available streaming media; nowadays Internet television is a common form of streamed media. The term "streaming media" can apply to media other than video and audio such as live closed captioning, ticker tape, and real-time text, which are all considered "streaming text". The term "streaming" was first used in the early 1990s as a better description for video on demand on IP networks; at the time such video was usually referred to as "store and forward video", which was misleading nomenclature.
Live streaming, which refers to content delivered live over the Internet, requires a camera for the media, an encoder to digitize the content, a media publisher, and a content delivery network to distribute and deliver the content.
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GOOGLE SOON WILL OFFER CELLULAR SERVICE
Google has laid the groundwork for its own cellular service by buying capacity on the networks of Sprint and T-Mobile USA, according to news reports.
The sprawling search company would sell the service directly to consumers, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed sources. Tech news site The Information reported on the deals earlier on Wednesday.
Google is heavily involved in mobile through its Android operating system, the world’s most widely used mobile OS, as well as through selling mobile advertising, and is pushing to make more radio spectrum available for wireless services. But the partnerships with Sprint and T-Mobile would bring the company into the cellular business itself, offering Google phone plans directly to consumers.
The deals would make Google an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), a carrier that doesn’t build or operate its own network but sells services that run on the partners’ infrastructure. Sprint is the third-largest U.S. mobile carrier and T-Mobile is the fourth largest.
As a powerful and well-heeled newcomer, Google might disrupt the cellular industry, just as it has the wired broadband business with its Google Fiber service. The U.S. mobile industry has been wracked by new business models and falling prices in recent years.
It’s not clear whether the company will launch a full-scale national effort or a more limited rollout. There are terms in Google’s contract with Sprint that would allow for renegotiation if Google draws a huge number of subscribers, the Journal said.
A Google mobile service might rely partly on cheap or free Wi-Fi networks where available, the Journal said. That’s a likely strategy for Google, which has called for making more unlicensed or lightly licensed spectrum available for mobile services. The company has advocated the use of both unlicensed “white spaces” frequencies in the TV band and a band around 3.5GHz that would be shared with the military and other users.