Glossary of Terms

We know it can be tough when talking about webcasting and live streaming technologies. Terms and acronyms get thrown around all the time, some being newer techniques and others are more traditional methods that still hold true to this day. This glossary provides short definitions for many of the most common terms used today.

Bandwidth
In relation to video, bandwidth describes the speed of the internet connection.  Bandwidth is also defined as the amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. When it comes to streaming content, a viewer has to have enough bandwidth in order to watch the stream.

 

Bit Rate
The amount of data conveyed or processed per unit of time. For streaming, this is in the context of video and audio content and often given in units of seconds, usually expressed in measurements of kilobits (kbps) and megabits (mbps)

 

Buffering
Streaming video involves sending over ‘chunks’ of video data to a user. The video player will then create a buffer involving the chunks that are coming up, but have not been viewed yet. This means that the viewer watches from the buffer in the event a chunk of video is lost. Ideally the last chunk of video will be received before the buffer is emptied.

But depending on your connection speed, that chunk may not arrive before the buffer is empty due to a poor or low connection speed.

If this occurs the video content will stop and the player will wait until more data is received resulting in that spinning circle that we are all too familiar with, while the player attempts to keep up and rebuild the buffer.

 

Embedded Player
A media player enclosed in a web source. Players will vary in appearance, features and user controls.

 

High-Definition (HD)

HD: 720p image resolution (1,280 x 720 pixels)
Full HD: 1080p image resolution (1,920 x 1,080)
Ultra HD: 4K image resolution (3,840 x 2,160)

 

Live Streaming
Relates to media content being delivered live over the internet. The process involves a source (video camera, screen captured content, etc.), an encoder to digitize the feed, and a platform that will take the feed and publish over a CDN (Content Delivery Network). Content that is live streamed will typically have a delay in a magnitude of seconds compared to the source ensuring a smooth delivery to the viewer.

 

Transcoding
The process of converting language or information from one format to another to likely gain compatibility with other programs and/or applications.

When identifying a digital file conversion, both the intent of the conversion and what actually happens during the conversion needs to be looked at which leads to the following definitions:

Encode (or Compress)
To convert for storage or transmission, particularly when the new file uses a lower data rate than the original.

Re-encode
The process of saving a file back to its existing format after performing a post-editing process.

Transrate
To convert to a different data rate using the same format.

Transsize
Convert to a different resolution using the same format.