In light of recent events here at Viddler, we have been receiving questions on the distinction between HTML5 streaming and progressive download. This article is being written to help our customers better understand the difference between these two delivery options and with this better understanding, utilize the choose that is right for them.
Follow this click-path to find your delivery options (Default Settings << Delivery Options)
While an account's delivery setting is set to Progressive download, when the user clicks "play," the video actually gets downloaded to the machine that the video is being played on. The video is downloaded and stored in a temporary directory, and the content will start playing as soon as video file is available locally (on the user's machine). If/when the user wants to skip ahead or fast forward while watching the video, to do so, that portion of the video must be downloaded already. The video is delivered via HTTP protocol (like any other webpage). Best used if users have a slower internet connection or if the videos being watched are very large (1+ hours).
On the other hand, when an account's delivery setting is set to HTML5 streaming, the video is delivered through a streaming server without the file being downloaded to the user's machine; which means as soon as the user clicks "play", the video will start to play. No data or content is kept on the user's machine, everything is handled on the server's side. If/when the user wants to skip ahead or fast forward while the video is being streamed, they can do this instantly and the video will resume from their desired point. The video is delivered via Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP). Best used to minimize bandwidth usage, since the bandwidth is only being used on the portion of the video a user actually watches.