Video servers are similar to traditional file servers, in that they provide digital information across a network. However, the nature of video introduces additional requirements and constraints that a file server doesnÕt have. First, video has very tight constraints for delay and delay variation (jitter).
Second, video demands substantial bandwidth for every video stream the server delivers. Thirdly, video files are very large, requiring complex storage management systems, and finally, if the system delivers interactive functionality, some mechanism for receiving commands from the end-user, such as fast-forward, reverse and other Ôtrick-playsÕ must be provided. The end-user selects an item to view and once this is confirmed as a valid request the decoding software on the end-userís computer can request the media server to deliver it. The end-user needs to communicate what network, software and hardware capabilities they have, so that if possible the appropriately encoded version of the material can be delivered.