In Part I of this series, we discussed the optimal way to deliver progressive video streams, taking advantage of modern, efficient codecs. That approach works great for short-form videos (under 20 seconds) and for videos that are displayed at a low resolution (such as ads and previews). But what if you're delivering videos that are longer than 20 seconds for a higher-resolution experience? You can certainly still deliver them as a single file (progressive streaming), but you might run into issues, such as buffering or too high a resolution.
Video is an increasingly important component for websites - whether it’s to inform visitors, enhance user experience or support sales and marketing efforts. But delivering high-quality video at large scale can be quite a challenge. You need to consider encoding, format, bandwidth usage, delivery and the devices on which visitors may be watching the video, to name just a few concerns.
In the early days of the web, the only thing that mattered was getting that content out to users no matter how long it took or what resources it consumed. As a matter of fact, users seemed to understand and were ready to wait till whenever their browser's loading spinner stops and the contents displayed.
You know that moment when you click a video link on your phone while on your way to grab a coffee from the office kitchen, but then you get that annoying buffering icon, and just give up? That video might have been interesting, maybe even valuable, but it’s just not worth your time.