HTTP versus RTMP : Which Way to Go and Why

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) refers to the protocol used to deliver webpages and images across the Internet worldwide. HTTP is an adopted, open standard-the most ubiquitous mode of delivery online. HTTP is a “stateless” protocol; think of it as an airline ticket to anywhere. HTTP can be delivered by a variety of web servers, both commercial and open source.

Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) is a network control protocol used in entertainment and communications systems to control streaming media servers. RTSP is used to establish and control media sessions between two points, usually server and player client. Clients of media servers issue VCR-like commands, such as PLAY and PAUSE, to facilitate real-time control of playback of media files from the server. Microsoft’s Smooth Streaming is a hybrid delivery method that acts like traditional

Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) refers to the proprietary protocol developed by Adobe Systems for streaming audio, video, and data over the Internet between a Flash player and a Flash Media Server. Like RTSP, RTMP is an example of a traditional streaming protocol, though it is only one of many versions of streaming protocols for the web. RTMP is defined as a stateful protocol, meaning that from the first time a client connects until the time it disconnects, the streaming server keeps track of the client’s actions. The client communicates its actions, or “states,” to the server by issuing commands such as PLAY or PAUSE. When a session between the client and the server is established, the server begins sending the media as a steady stream of small information packets. This behavior continues and repeats until the server or player client closes the session.


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