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Streaming Video Resources

Provides descriptions and links to a selection of free and pay-per-view streaming video sources available on the Internet.

About this Guide

This guide identifies and describes a wide range of streaming video resources. These include educational and documentary videos, user uploaded content, archival video, and popular television and film titles. The resources are provided in alphabetical master list in the All Streaming Video Resources tab, and are also subcategorized by topic area. These subcategories can be accessed through the following list, or from the Streaming Video Resources by Subject tab.

Thanks to Deg Farrelly, of Arizona State University, and Wade Lee, of the University of Toledo, for allowing me to draw content and inspiration from their streaming video LibGuides. Thanks also to Al Bernardo for his assistance in creating this LibGuide.

This is not an exhaustive list of streaming video sources on the Internet, but a selection of those identified as particularly valuable and/or useful.

Disclaimer: The Otterbein library is not responsible for any of the content linked from these sites.  We cannot guarantee availability of the content they provide, nor assume responsibility for the functionality of these sites.

The image comes from the Flickr Commons, "The 50s in 3D," from the National Archives UK.

What is Streaming Video?

Streaming video is a means of delivering video content to computer desktops via an Internet connection. A host (server) delivers the file to the receiving computer (client). Settings at the host’s end determine whether access is available to multiple simultaneous users or limited to a single user. Unlike video downloads which must transfer to the viewer’s desktop, streamed video plays almost immediately after the viewer hits the “play” button; some content must buffer before streaming begins. Streaming video also differs from video downloads in that no copy of the file is stored on the end-user’s computer, so files remain relatively secure.

Playback of streamed video requires that the client’s computer has appropriate player software installed. Commonly used streaming frameworks include Windows Media, RealPlayer, QuickTime, and Flash. Some streaming services provide files in the end-user’s choice of formats.

Because of the generally large size of moving image data files, streaming videos usually employ file compression, a programming strategy that greatly reduces the size of the file through frame sampling and other complex means of reducing image redundancy. This compression can negatively affect image quality when compressed videos are played full-screen or projected. Even with compression, effective use of streaming video requires a robust, high-speed internet connection. Dial-up connections generally are too slow to adequately deliver streaming videos.

Subject Guide

Allen Reichert's picture
Allen Reichert
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