Mobile Streaming

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Mobile streaming is the process of transmitting video (or other type of rich media content) from a server to a Mobile device such as a PDA or cellphone. In cases where the Mobile device relies on a carrier network's data communication link, the process becomes much more complicated than simply opening up a standard Flash stream and transmitting the content.



Worthy of particular mention is the DLNA specification for Mobile Streaming between devices. This protocol enables video to be served from one device and viewed on another (for instance, Video on a Mobile Phone could be "streamcasted" or sent over in real-time to a DLNA-compatible Computer, TV Set-top box, SmartTV, Spekaer system and/or Projector). This can even work with Mobile Streaming where the Mobile device both downloads/streams and uploads/nearcasts over DLNA to the paired device (typically the use case being to view your Mobile content on a larger screen).



Techniques to overcome the historical difficulties typically associated with streaming content to mobile devices include:

  • Offering a Download[5] link for the video so the user can download then playback from their device
  • Buffering (Pre-Downloading)[6] the file via Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)[7] or another protocol in short-term storage then prompting the user to playback the content from their device
  • Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)[8]
  • Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP)[9]
  • Sending a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)[10] message containing the content, then prompting the user to view/play it
  • HTTP progressive download[11] and playback for recorded or even live media[12] NOTE: special agreement with the carrier network may be required (sometimes older phones don't support HTTP video playback natively so it would be blocked on networks with high percentage of those older phone models, but more often than not the carrier itself has blocked it due to an attempt to limit overage charges/complaints, or, strategically for business reasons because they are monopolizing their market, etc)
  • P2P streaming via HTTP[13], Multicast[14] or Broadcatch[15]
  • any other ways usually consist of a combination of Streaming Media Servers and device-specific media playback techniques...




External Links


  1. This ain’t your grandfather’s DLNA:
  2. Top 10 DLNA Streaming Apps For iPhone & iPad:
  3. wikipedia: Devices Profile for Web Services (DPWS)
  4. Stream Computer Desktop to TV using DLNA TVersity & VLC:
  5. wikipedia: Download
  6. wikipedia: Data buffer
  7. wikipedia: HTTP
  8. wikipedia:RTSP
  9. wikipedia:Real_Time_Messaging_Protocol
  10. wikipedia: MMS
  11. wikipedia: Progressive download
  12. wikipedia: HTTP Live Streaming
  13. wikipedia: HTTP(P2P)
  14. wikipedia: Multicast
  15. wikipedia: Broadcatch
  16. Comparison between DLNA streaming servers:
  17. Plex on Xbox One -- How to stream from your PC to your Xbox One:
  18. Step by Step Guide for using Plex with Xbox One (How to Guide for DLNA):
  19. Cloud-enabled SDK for Twonky 8:
  20. What are the supported Transcoding formats for the Kaltura SaaS edition?:

See Also

RTSP | RTMP | MMS | P2P | 3GP | MP4