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Quick glossary: Streaming video

Originally Published:
Aug 2018

Streaming video technology is used in many facets of business enterprise communication, but the jargon can be difficult to follow. This glossary defines 20 common streaming video terms to help you grasp the benefits of this nascent business communication technology.

Here’s a sample from the list:

Adaptive streaming
An approach to video streaming that offers multiple streams of the same content but with differing qualities based on data transfer bitrates and the resolution of the display device. The idea is that adaptive streaming (aka, adaptive bitrate streaming) will coordinate the playing of the video to be the best match for the device's capabilities.

Artifacting
The distortion or noise that can occur when audio or video is compressed to a very low bitrate.

Aspect ratio
The ratio of width to height for a video display. Common display ratios include 4:3, 5:4, 16:10, and 16:9.

Bitrate
A measurement of the number of bits per second (bps) at which a video stream is delivered. The bitrate can change or adapt to different client players and devices.

Broadcasting software (video encoder)
The background software or application that captures and then streams events taking place on a device to a service or other device. Broadcasting software may also "stream," or more accurately record, video to some form of storage. Some of the most common broadcasting video encoders are OBS Studio, vMix, and Wirecast.

Chroma subsampling
A common practice for encoding and compressing images and videos by using less chroma information than luminescent information. In other words, the process reduces the amount of data required to record an image or video by reducing the amount of color information collected. For the most part, the human eye can’t see the difference.

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