How Does The Live Streaming App Work?

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How does live streaming app work

Streaming is the method through which the data transmission is used when a person is watching some video online. It is the way to deliver the video file a little bit at the same time being in some remote storage location.

By transmitting a few seconds of the file at the time, the client device will not require downloading the entire video before starting to play it. There are many live streaming apps out there. Hence, you must be wondering how does it work.

Live to stream

Live streaming is the process where the streaming video is sent over the internet in real-time and this will not be recorded and stored ever before. Nowadays, TV broadcasts, video game streams, and social media videos are following the same concept to live to stream things in real-time.

When you need to know about the difference between the regular streaming and live streaming, it is the actor reciting a memorized monologue and improvising the speech. In the former, the content will be stored beforehand and they will play the same to the audience again. So, the audience will receive the content just with the delay of a few milliseconds.

Live video streams will connect the event to a huge number of audiences in their devices at once. Video conference technologies like Google Hangouts, Facetime, skype, etc are following the same protocols.

Working of live streaming

There are different stages in the live streaming process that includes,

  • Segmentation
  • Compression
  • Encoding
  • Content delivery network (CDN) distribution
  • CDN caching
  • Decoding
  • Video playback

Video capturing

Live streaming starts with the raw video data where the visual information will be captured using the camera.

This camera will be attached to the computing devices and all the visual information will be represented into the digital data.

So, inside the system, it will be saved in the format of 0’s and 1’s.


The video includes lots of digital information and this will take a longer time to download the video file when compared to some short PDF or some other images.

This is because it will not be more practical to send all the video out through the internet.

So, the video will be divided into smaller segments in some lengths.

Compression and encoding

As the next step, the segmented video data will be now compressed and encoded.

This compression will remove redundant visual information.

For instance, if the first frame of the video displays a person talking against a grey background, that particular grey background will not need to render for any subsequent frame when it has the same background.

Encoding is the process that refers to converting the data into a new format of video or some text.

Live streaming video data is encoded into an interpretable digital format that will have different devices. Some common video encoding standards are H.264, VP9, AV1, HEVC.

Decoding the video playback

The CDN sends the live stream out to all the users who are logging the app to watch the live streaming of the video.

All such receivers decodes and decompresses in the devices will have segmented video data.

Eventually, the media player found in the device of the user either dedicated app or video player within the browser will interpret the data as the visual information and the video plays in the live streaming apps.

Thinking that’s a little complex? Want to build your own live streaming app? Then you can hire a mobile app development company.

Live streaming in-app

Video live streaming is the non-stop process where encoding, transcoding, packing, delivery, and playback are running one after the other in the defined format.

It has to undergo the following set of stages in the data transformation.

  • The encoded bits will be H.264
  • The container will hold the encoded parts together that include FLV, MP4.

The transport used for moving the stream from the media server to the player or the app of the user and this is called RTMP.

When the files are getting into the app, a special file called M3U8 will decide in which order the received field has to be played based on some protocols.

For free streaming, you can either use existing IP cameras and encoders or you can also use iOS or Android-based applications to record the video.

The goal of the encoder is in converting the data taken from the recording device in steaming format and it is carried out in two stages.

  • The server contacts the encoder and it will request the stream.
  • The encoder will send the stream to the server IP address and it will start publishing the live videos.

Thus the live streaming videos will start to work on itself to entertain the audience.

The Bottom Line – How Does Live Streaming App Work?

So, you might have now got some information on how the live-streaming app is working. However, you need to be more appropriate on the features of these live stream apps and how these will help you to fulfill the needs of the audience.

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