These advances in computer networking, combined with powerful home computers and modern operating systems, made streaming media practical and affordable for ordinary consumers. Stand-alone Internet radio devices emerged to offer listeners a no-computer option for listening to audio streams. In general, multimedia content has a large volume, so media storage and transmission costs are still significant. To offset this somewhat, media are generally compressed for both storage and streaming.
Consumerization of streaming Increasing consumer demand for streaming of high definition (HD) content has led the industry to develop a number of technologies such as WirelessHD or ITU-T G.hn, which are optimized for streaming HD content without forcing the user to install new networking cables Live Media.
Today, a media stream can be streamed either live or on demand. Live streams are generally provided by a means called “true streaming”. True streaming sends the information straight to the computer or device without saving the file to a hard disk. On-demand streaming is provided by a means called progressive streaming or progressive download. Progressive streaming saves the file to a hard disk and then is played from that location. On-demand streams are often saved to hard disks and servers for extended amounts of time; while the live streams are only available at one time only (e.g., during the football game).
Streaming media is increasingly being coupled with use of social media. For example, sites such as YouTube encourage social interaction in webcasts through features such as live chat, online surveys, etc. Furthermore, streaming media is increasingly being used for social business and e-learning.