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14.5. Video

Streaming video gets a better compression ratio than streaming audio, typically 20:1 rather than 5:1 before you really notice the difference in quality, but since video starts out with far more data, it is even harder to do over the Internet than audio. Video compression depends strongly on the content involved. Videos of talking heads giving the news are easily compressed because each frame is so much like the previous one. Action films don't compress well.

Streaming video is not yet ready for wide use on the Internet but may be useful in intranets. Precept Software (http://www.precept.com) has streaming video for intranets, but it's a Windows-only product. Real Networks (http://www.real.com) does streaming video, too, and has cross-platform (PC, Mac, Unix) clients and PC and Unix servers.


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