Thanks to advances in Internet and streaming technology, it’s never been so easy for you to catch up on your favourite TV show on Netflix, check out the viral video everybody’s been talking about, or even watch live events online!

Define “streaming”

Streaming is a way to enjoy all types of media online without having to download any files in order to play them. It’s called “streaming“, because the data makes its way to your computer in a continuous stream, and is ready to be played as soon as it gets there. Unless the content is live, you are able to pause, rewind, and fast forward as if it were a file you downloaded.

So, what’s the magic behind streaming?

In order for you to experience the media in real time, streaming media uses compression technology to optimize the delivery of audio and video files. According to SearchStorage, “content compression can be as simple as removing all extra space characters, inserting a single repeat character to indicate a string of repeated characters, and substituting smaller bit strings for frequently occurring characters. This kind of compression can reduce a text file to 50% of its original size.” Sounds more technical than magical, right?

How does video streaming affect your Internet experience?

Here’s what you really want to know! When you stream video, you are using data. Standard definition (SD) uses less data than high definition (HD), and to help you manage your streaming experience, most video streaming websites let you adjust the quality settings between SD and HD. This means you can control how much data you use for each video you stream.

For example, quality settings on YouTube are adjusted using the settings “wheel” on the bottom right of each video:

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Another popular streaming service with entertainment lovers is Netflix. You can find information on how to manage quality settings here.

How does Xplornet help you access the content you love?

Xplornet has a variety of packages available with different levels of data. We can help you choose the right package based on what you want to do online, including how much streaming video you plan to watch. Were you streaming a little more than usual this month? With the Usage Tracker in MyXplornet, you can check how much data you’ve used during your current billing period. Most of our packages also offer more data if you go over your monthly usage, so you can continue to use the Internet to watch what you want to watch.