Transmitting digital audio or video content while users listen or watch. Material can be streamed from a private network or the public Internet, the latter now the streaming capital of the world. To the user, streaming is the same as listening to radio or watching cable, satellite or broadcast TV, except that a connection to the Internet is required. Like cable and satellite TV, content can be streamed on demand or on a regular schedule.
Unlike downloading files, which remain in the computer until the user deletes them, streaming content is automatically deleted from the computer, set-top box, smart TV or mobile device after being played.
Streaming, Downloading and Transmitting
Because streamed content is actually being downloaded (if only temporarily), and downloading means transmitting to the user's device, the term streaming is often erroneously used as a synonym for downloading, as well as any kind of transmission. See stream
, streaming audio
, streaming video
, adaptive streaming
and home theater streaming