A live stream starts with the visual information captured by a camera, which is then converted into digital data – 1s and 0s at the deepest level. Then the video is segmented into small sections a few seconds long, and encoded and compressed. For example, a background that does not change from frame to frame can be left out of the compressed video, which reduces the overall size and thus reduces delivery costs (also known as latency).

The CDN servers then distribute this segmented, encoded, and compressed video data to the dozens or millions of people who want to watch it. A media player on each user’s device then interprets this data as visual information and the video plays. youtube live stream views

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