Streaming videos and watching videos are two completely different things major difference being that streaming requires a network connection. To gain an understanding of how distinct these two are, it’s relevant to have an understanding of what they entail. Streaming videos is a method of content delivery in which a video is presented to a user while simultaneously being received. This means that the original video is downloaded in segments by an end-user while simultaneously being presented and it happens in real-time.
The video that gets continually downloaded is saved temporarily in the cache memory. Streaming happens over a network with a lapse time that is controlled by the internet speed of the end-user or the graphics hardware in use. When someone streams a video over any online platform, what happens is that there’s a video at the platform’s end that is consistently getting transmitted over the internet. It happens through server software that acts as an intermediary between where the video is stored and the internet where eventually users can access the video by an internet address.
What ends up initiating the streaming is not in the server’s end but the browser of the end-user. The server will contain a few lines of code that tell the browser about a video wanting to be displayed. The screen formed and streaming, as a result, is all part of browser design. Other types of streaming include Television and radio but these work on a slightly different principle from how streaming using the internet works. What contrasts between these two is that one allows sending back of data in both ways and one does not.
Watching videos means that a video being watched exists in local storage. It does not in any way get presented to users until it wholly exists in local storage. What happens when a video is getting watched goes as follows. First, if the video is to be at all opened by any video watching software, it needs to have been fully downloaded and present in the main memory.
Data is then sequentially passed to the computer processor for decoding since videos usually get download in formats that dictate processing steps from which it’s going to be decoded. The processor relies on a video watching software or any other utility software on instructions involving how to decode. After it is fully decoded, the visual part gets sent to a graphics processor while the audio part gets send to an audio processor. An audio processor may not be necessary since audio decoding usually brings out an end product in most devices.
Both these processors are responsible for making sense of the stream of data that gets into them. The visual one is complicated however because Visual Display Units are of several types each with a different working principle.
From the information above, it is apparent that these two are different things working in different ways. Streaming, which was not available until 1990, is preferable than watching videos generally because it saves space and time that gets used when downloading.