How to distribute and utilize videos: Part 1 “Progressive download.”


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The ever-greater demand for video distribution

Following the advances in high-speed networks and the capabilities of the devices we use, there are more opportunities to use video contents. There are many possibilities, such as Broadcasting, entertainment, education, and advertising. The video distribution technique called streaming, which was once the standard, is changing as well. That change affects CDN, too.

In this blog series, we are going to tell you about “video distribution techniques on the internet.” Here, in part 1, we’ll be talking about the simplest method of video distribution “how to use progressive downloads.”

Types of video distribution

There are 3 main techniques for video distribution on the internet. When you use it, you need to prepare both a distributing web server and a device to play the videos.

Progressive download

This is the distribution technique of playing a video while downloading the movie file.

It uses HTTP protocol, and many HTTP servers (Web servers) have adopted it. It is easy to introduce and has the big advantage of working on most devices.


This is the distribution technique with the protocol of streaming.

The bit rate of contents decides the transmission speed, and idling traffic does not occur. It just sends the necessary data for video playback; it is suitable for footage of longer duration, like films. Also, you can use this method for live streaming. Another feature is that the latency between real-time footage and distribution of the video is low.

HTTP Streaming

This is the streaming technique that allows video distribution with HTTP protocol.

It uses a general-purpose HTTP protocol so that you can play video on smartphones, which was difficult before with traditional streaming methods.

How to use progressive download

We will explain how to use the progressive download method, which is the simplest of the 3 video distributing methods above.

Prepare a Web server

You can set up progressive downloads using standard web servers such as Apache or Ngnix. It is also possible with common sharing rental server services.

Prepare the video content

Upload your video content to the web server with the progressive download.

Whether the video file is playable depends on the web browser. However, most browsers can play videos with the H.264 video CODEC, and AAC’s mp4 file sounds CODEC.

Prepare the HTML file

Simply put the video content’s URL on the Web browser to play a video.

However, people usually want to play video on embedded player on a webpage. If you embed ”″ and show the footage to play, you have to use video element as follows.


<video width="320" height="240" controls>
<source src="" type="video/mp4">

Playing image

Something worth noting is that the web server needs to accept range requests. Especially as, for smartphones operating systems like iOS and Android have not adopted range requests, so the video won’t be able to be played.

Progressive download is suitable for CDN

As progressive download is a simple way to distribute video data with HTTP, it works well with CDN, which mainly uses HTTP’s cash system. It has many possible uses, like large-scale distribution and corporate websites that requires a stable distribution environment.

CDNetworks Video Distribution Service

CDNetworks have a unique platform for video distribution.

Not only limited to Japan, we have developed our services as a global platform. Our customers use it when they want to give their global users fast & stable video distribution. Also, CDNetworks serves OVP (Online Video Platform), which is a one-stop service to manage and support your video contents.

If you are worried about any of the technical stuff, we will listen carefully and deliver excellent service.

If you are interested in CDNetwokrs Video distribution service, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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